The new arrival
Once your baby has arrived, your older child may be as thrilled as you are – but don't be surprised, or disappointed, if he isn't. Here's how to help him get used to the new arrival:
- Involving him in the homecoming by letting him come to the hospital, or helping to get things ready at home. Does he have any toys he would like to give to the new baby?
- Making a fuss of him and showing him you love him just as much as before.
- Having a special time with him every day.
- Not always attending to the baby first; as long as he isn't in pain or danger he can be left for a few minutes while you look after your older child.
- Letting him help with the care of the baby as much as possible – without over-burdening him.
- Asking visitors to greet him before your baby, and to bring a present for your older child as well.
- Letting him show visitors 'his' baby – it'll boost his pride.
- Praise him for being such a great older brother and talk about how important that role is.
- Telling your older child that your baby's first smiles are especially for him.
- Relationships can change. Given enough love, patience and understanding even children who seem to dislike their baby brothers or sisters do learn to love them.