Helping a young child deal with new baby in the family

October 3, 2010 – 6:32 pm

After all the preparation for the new baby’s arrival, feeling Mummy’s tummy, listening to baby’s heartbeat and looking at the photos from the scan, choosing a name, getting the bedroom ready etc., the actual event of the baby being there all the time can be a bit of an anti-climax for an older sibling. 

What is exciting about a new born baby to a child who was looking forward to a playmate?  The baby lies there either sleeping or crying or cuddling up to Mummy and they may begin to wonder ‘Is this it?’  In our experience,  children aged 5 – 7 can often be a bit despondent at this stage and need to be involved in something that boosts their spirit.

 

GETTING THEM INVOLVED

  • Designing and making a WELCOME TO THE WORLD POSTER for the baby can be fun and involve their imagination.
  • Give the child a ‘job’ to do that will make them feel important and special, such as introducing the baby to visitors, fetching a clean nappy or holding baby’s hand whilst feeding.
  • Make sure the child still has quality time with Mum and/ or partner. A fun activity or day out will help, as it can be a big shock when they realise they can’t have all your attention anymore.

 

SOME OF THE THINGS CHILDREN HAVE SAID TO US AFTER THE ARRIVAL OF A BABY SIBLING:

  • IT’S REALLY BORING HAVING A BABY, IT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING
  • ALL HE DOES IS SLEEP AND CRY
  • I GET TOLD OFF EVERYTIME I TRY TO PLAY WITH HIM
  • MUMMY’S ALWAYS TIRED
  • HE NEVER LOOKS AT ME OR TAKES ANY INTEREST IN ME
  • I FEEL LEFT OUT

 REASSURANCES THAT CHILDREN NEED:

  • EVERY DAY THE BABY GETS A LITTLE BIT OLDER. BEFORE TOO LONG HE’LL BE LOOKING AT YOU, SMILING AT YOU, BEING GLAD TO SEE YOU.
  • EVERYTHING THAT MUMMY DOES FOR HIM SHE USED TO DO FOR YOU. NOW YOU ARE BIGGER YOU DON’T NEED THESE THINGS. ONE DAY HE WON’T NEED THEM EITHER.
  • EVERYONE LOVES YOU JUST AS MUCH AS THEY ALWAYS HAVE DONE. JUST AS MUCH AS THEY LOVE THE BABY.
  • GIVE THEM PLENTY OF HUGS AND KISSES.

 

 

 

 

 

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