When parents bring home a new baby, a child might feel a wide range of emotions. On one hand, they might feel excited and curious about the new addition to the family. They may want to help take care of the baby and feel proud of their new role as a big brother or sister. On the other hand, they might also feel jealous or left out, especially if they were used to being the center of attention. They may also feel overwhelmed or anxious about how their life will change with a new baby in the house. It’s important for parents to be patient and understanding, and to involve their older child in caring for the baby as much as possible.
Here are 10 things you can do to support your first child after the baby is born:
- Spend one-on-one time: Try to carve out time for special activities with your first child, like reading a book, playing a game, or going for a walk. This can help them feel special and valued.
- Involve them in baby care: Encourage your first child to help with baby care tasks like holding the baby, fetching diapers, or singing to them. This can help them feel included and important.
- Stick to routines: Maintaining your first child’s routines and schedules as much as possible can help them feel secure and grounded during a time of change.
- Give them attention: Make a point to give your first child attention and praise for positive behaviors, so they don’t feel like the new baby is getting all the attention.
- Talk about their feelings: Check in with your first child regularly to see how they’re feeling about the new baby and any changes in the family dynamic.
- Encourage expression: Encourage your first child to express their feelings and emotions, and validate their experiences.
- Plan special outings: Plan special outings or activities that are just for your first child, like a trip to the park or a favorite museum.
- Set boundaries with visitors: Make sure visitors understand that your first child’s needs and routines are still important, and that they need space and time to adjust to the new baby.
- Ask for help: Ask friends and family to help with your first child so you can spend some one-on-one time with the new baby, or take a break when you need it.
- Be patient: It may take time for your first child to adjust to the new baby, so be patient and understanding as they navigate their feelings and emotions.