Preparing your child for the new baby.
Here at One to One we want to do all we can to help you with ideas to ensure your child is prepared for the new addition to the family.
Here are some of our most popular tips:
- Make good use of our visits by asking your midwife to allow your child to listen in on the baby’s heartbeat and feel mummy’s tummy. Encourage them to sing to baby or pat the bump – teaching ‘kind hands’ will pay off later when you want them to be gentle with the baby.
- One of our Mamas (Midwife and Mother Assistants) can visit your home to talk to the child/ren about how mummy will feed the baby and what else they could do to help out. We can demonstrate how to hold the baby (Mamas always carry a spare dolly if you don’t have one).
- Let your child help to pack your hospital bag and put something special of theirs in too and explain that its so you can always be thinking of them when you are away for the night.
- Sharing books with your child about ‘new arrivals’ can be a helpful way to prepare. Websites such as Mums grapevine and Netmums has a great Top 10 list of books tried and tested by mums.
- We like the ones that involve animals rather than adults and children as the messages can be subtle but have just the right impact to get key points across.
- Allow your child to help with baby name ideas and keep them in a book. Be prepared to have lots of ideas from their favourite books or TV shows!
- Change can sometimes be hard to handle so if they have a routine of attending a pre-school or nursery, try to keep those session plans. This is where the child can feel comforted by normality and be surrounded by familiar peers who are there for their child-centered entertainment. Try not to feel guilty for sending them and enjoy the time to focus on you and baby (or catch up on some well needed sleep). They will soon be back to tell you all about their day.
- It is common for them to feel slightly jealous towards the baby as more of your time is spent caring for a newborn. You don’t need to shower them with expensive gifts. Young children benefit from time and attention spent with them so if family or friends want to know what they can do to help, ask them to come over and maybe allow them to sit and read or play a favourite game with your older child at home. Allow them to play with the baby’s toys to feel included.
These early investments will all pay off as they adjust and begin to become aware that the baby is here to stay.
Let us know if you have any ideas, maybe something else worked for you that you would like to share. Maybe you tried some of these things and they worked well. Let us know; we love to hear your experiences, which may help others about to go through similar challenges.