Parenting: How to deal with sibling acceptance when you have a second baby
Choosing to extend your family is a big decision because it no longer affects only the parents, it affects your child as well. You can’t control how your child may react to the newborn but you can definitely make it easier for him.
1. Explain it to your child
During the pregnancy, explain to your child that he is no longer going to be the only child in the house, but don’t make him feel less important. Articulate it in such a way that he looks forward to meeting his new sibling. Be ready for questions mostly revolving around how babies are formed.
2. Involve him
When the baby is born, make your child help you manage the baby. That way you can ensure they spend time together under your supervision. Leaving them alone from the very beginning maybe dangerous because it’s natural for your child to feel jealous or snatch away the baby’s belongings to gain your attention.
3. Ask questions
You’ll be bombarded with questions by your child but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your share. Ask your child for his opinions on what the baby should wear, where they should go or which nanny to hire. It’ll help inculcate a protective nature in your child toward his sibling and make him feel important.
4. Divide your time
No doubt the baby is taking up all your attention but make sure your child doesn’t feel neglected in the process. This could cultivate negative feelings towards the baby. Balance your time wisely and make sure you spend quality time with your child as well.
Gifts are always a good idea. When you go shopping for your baby, make sure to buy a little something for the older one. Tell him you’re proud of him for sharing and passing on his toys to his sibling. You’ll have a lot of guests dropping in with gifts for the baby so make sure you have some stacked away for your older child too.