We've experienced the highs and lows of introducing a second baby into our home. These second baby adjustment tips for older siblings are simple ways to make the transition work better for you and both of your children. This is especially helpful when kids are so young and don't understand all of the dynamics of how having a new baby will make you more likely to be tired, frustrated or worn down. It's vital to their relationship with you as parents and their new sibling that you do a few things to make the adjustment easier.
Second Baby Adjustment Tips For Older Siblings
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Spend time explaining changes a new baby will bring. This will vary by age of the older sibling, but for the sake of our own experience let's focus on younger kids who will be learning about a second baby when they themselves are still pretty young. You want to focus on a few things that may mean more to them than they would an older sibling who is more mature.
- Explain that you have to hold the baby while he or she eats and sometimes you won't have room on your lap for both of them, but you will make room when you can, and always snuggle afterwards if you can't.
- Talk about how the baby will cry a lot and make noise even in the middle of the night, but that you will be making sure they are okay and sometimes will have to be up late at night with them.
- Explain that you might be really tired and not feel like going to the park, playing outside or even staying up late for a snuggle and movie because having a baby is really hard. Let them know that you will make time for them, and make up those lost moments, but it may be a few weeks.
- Talk about how they need to be careful hugging you or jumping on your bed after you have the baby if you know that you will be having a c-section. While most avoid this, some women know in advance and can easily prepare their older sibling for the physical discomfort having a second baby will bring.
- Talk about how they might be sharing a bedroom, but their toys and bed are still theirs. If your older sibling will be moving into a big bed out of their crib, talk about how big they are and grown up. Make this transition a happy thing instead of making them feel like they are losing something.
Get them excited about helping with the baby. Before you go to labor and delivery, you can share with your older child how the second baby means they will need to be your big helper. You can practice having them bring you diapers and wipes, or even teach them a lullaby to sing to their new sibling. There are some super fun lullaby and kids nursery rhyme songs they will love learning. Create some fun instances that you know they will enjoy that will be at least a little helpful to you.
Plan a special date or event for just the two of you before the baby arrives. Right before the baby arrives, take time in your schedule to really focus a few hours on your older child. The arrival of the second baby means that time alone may be more random for a few months. Do something special like go out to eat, go to the park, a local museum they like or even a movie. Make sure they understand that this is special time since you might be busy for a little while with the new baby and that you love them just as much as the new baby and want them to feel special. You could even add a small older sibling gift or t-shirt to the date so they get excited about the second baby on the way.
Making a few simple plans can drastically change how an older sibling adjusts. These second baby adjustment tips for older siblings are an easy proven way to make sure all of your children feel loved, cared for and a part of the family.
Check out a couple of our favorite posts that also help deal with the upcoming news of second child, or the life after a second baby!
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