Expecting a new baby is always exciting. During your first pregnancy, you are concerned about how a baby may change your relationship with your partner. By the time you are expecting a second baby, your focus of concern changes from your partner to your first child and their needs. It is natural to be a little worried about how the arrival of the new baby will affect your first born. Your first baby may feel replaced, left out, or jealous. You need to encourage and support your child by investing time in preparing them for the arrival of a sibling.
Tell your child about your pregnancy: Letting your child know about your pregnancy and be the first person to know about it will surely make things easier. It is really important that the child hears the news from you rather than someone else taunting them about the arrival of their sibling. As your child will be one of the most affected people from the birth of a new one, they hold the right to be told first and the news should come from you.
Talk about birth: No baby is too young to learn about birth. Share the age-appropriate content and information with your child about what happens at the birth. Children are naturally curious and may have a lot of questions about your pregnancy and the birth of the new sibling. You need to be patient with them and answer their questions to satisfy their curiosity to the maximum possible extent.
Start a countdown: If your first born is a little old and is able to count, you can prepare them by starting a countdown to the expected date of the birth of their sibling. They can start counting down weeks and months to the time of the birth, otherwise, if they cannot count, the birth of the new child could be associated to an important event like their birthday or a festival so that they know when to expect the new baby.
Make them bond with the baby: Encourage your child to bond with the new baby. Give them opportunities to feel the movements of the baby inside your belly. Tell them to talk to the baby bump, sing to it, or to respond to the movements of the baby.
Involve your child in welcoming the new one: All the above steps are themselves a part of the process but you can still do more to involve the firstborn in the arrival of the new baby. Show them the sonograms and the baby’s development week by week. Make them listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Take them along when you go shopping for the new baby and buy the little toys and other stuff they pick out for their new sibling. Most importantly, you need to make sure that during the whole pregnancy and the birth of the new child, you first born does not feel left out. Spend some quality time with them, make them realize the benefits of having a sibling and assure them that they are always going to have a safe place for themselves in your heart and life and that the arrival of the new baby would affect in no way your love for them.