Looking after the rest of the family
Keeping your other children happy
A new little brother or sister is a huge thing for a child who has so far only known a world that revolves around them. It can be confusing and upsetting when mummy and daddy suddenly turn their attentions to feeding, changing and cuddling someone else at all hours of the day (and night)!
If you’re pregnant again, preparing your child for the new addition to your growing family before the birth can make all the difference, but there are lots of things that can help once your baby arrives home.
Stick to their routine
It’s important to try to stick to your first child’s routine; mealtimes, playtimes and bedtime should stay the same as usual, with your newborn’s routine fitting in around them. Setting any kind of routine for a newborn in the first few weeks is a difficult job, but by keeping the disruption to a minimum for your other children, you’ll only have one baby without a routine, rather than the whole family!
Spend special time together
Although getting older children involved in caring for their sibling helps, don’t forget to make sure you spend as much quality time just the two of you, without the distraction of your newborn. Whether it’s a trip to the park or a bedtime story, they’ll love the chance to have you all to themselves!
You & your partner
Working together as a team has never been so important! In the early days when mum is breastfeeding or focusing more time on the new arrival, dad can spend time looking after the older children and can build an even stronger bond with them. Likewise, if the older child is demanding attention from either mum or dad, the other parent can spend more time focusing on baby. Children aside, it’s easy to spend all of your time looking after your growing family and forgetting to look after each other and your relationship. You are in this together! It can be challenging but do try to have some quality time as a couple too.
It’s often said that one of the reasons younger children can seem a little more well-behaved than their big brothers and sisters is because they learn from their older siblings’ mistakes! Some parents say that having an older child at the dinner table when weaning a toddler makes things a lot easier, as it encourages babies to copy them and give new foods a go. Clearly, children learn a lot from each other, and giving your older child the responsibility of setting a good example is a great way to make them feel important (and stop them misbehaving!).
Any more questions?
Our specialist baby advisors and experienced mums are here to talk and ready to help whenever you need them. You can call us or reach us on Live Chat 8.30am-5.30pm Monday-Friday.