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Preparing Your First Child for the Sibling’s Arrival


How to involve your first kid in the preparations?
Now that you have broken the news to the baby and he/she is really excited, involving the child in the process and preparations is a really great way to form a strong sibling bond. If you are setting up a new room for the second child, then involving the first child in deciding the colour of the walls or making him/her in charge of the decorations is a really great way to ensure that the first child remains excited. If you have a kid who is old enough to understand, then taking him/her along for your gynaecologist visits can be a step which is not only informative but also inclusive. As the birth of the second child approaches, make sure you empower the first kid with statements like “You have been a great help.” and “Mommy is so proud of you’ “You will be a great elder brother/sister.”

How to make the first one understand what it will be like to have a new baby around?
It will be a great idea to talk your child and explain that the baby will be a new person with his/her own personality. You’ll also want to give the elder one the scoop on what newborn babies are really like. You can explain that the baby won’t be able to play with him/her at first, but the older one will be able to kiss the baby, hold the baby or hold his/her hand. Also it will be a really great idea to inform a toddler (2-4 years old) that the baby will spend most of his/her time sleeping, crying, and feeding. This will not only prepare the kid about the arrival of the baby but also make him/her understand what a new baby is like. To make the first one understand, you can also show him/her baby videos or their own photos when he/she was an infant/toddler.

Will things change as the birth approaches?
Well, this depends on your attitude and approach and also your general health before the delivery. Try to avoid any major changes during this time, such as moving or starting a new school. Don’t pressurise your child to complete toilet training or give up security items like pacifiers. Keep to the regular routine as much as possible. Spend as much time as you can with your child in these last weeks and try to stay in the present with him/her when you’re together. This can be a time to savour the special relationship that you’ve shared before things change.

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ParentEdge is a bi-monthly magazine for discerning Indian parents who would like to actively contribute to their children’s education, intellectual enrichment and stimulation. The magazine’s premise is that learning is a continuous process, and needs to happen both in and outside of school; thus parents have an important role to play in shaping their children’s interests and intellect.

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