While a new baby brings joy and celebration to the parents, the feeling is mostly different to the older siblings. To them, the new baby comes to take away their role and attention in the family. Although they are jealous, it is a natural feeling that comes with confusion in most children. The feeling, however, needs to be dealt with early enough to avoid rivalry between the siblings in future.
There is no better way than the older siblings bonding with the new family member before birth. The best way is by allowing them to listen to the baby’s kicks and heartbeats. By equipping yourself with the UnbornHeart Fetal Doppler, you can make this possible. The Doppler is suitable for use from 12 weeks of pregnancy and compatible with any Android or iOS Smartphone. When the older child gets to feel the other child in the mother’s womb, the thirst to see him/her heightens. As a result, adjusting in being the older sibling becomes easy after birth.
No child is the same as the other. Although from the same parents, they all have unique traits. Comparing siblings is a huge contributor to rivalry in many households that extends to when they grow up. For instance, if the older sibling is a poor feeder, avoid saying "I wish you would eat like your baby brother". While it may sound like an encouragement to them, it makes the child feel that he’s no good enough. They may result to hating the sibling who is viewed as perfect in the family.
Even after preparing your older child for the new member of the family, the bonding should extend after birth. Allow the older child to engage actively in the newborn’s life. Let them hold the baby, help with feeding and changing the nappy, reading to them, singing a lullaby and any other beneficial activity. It makes them own the baby and accept him as a new inclusion in the family.
Before and after the baby's arrival, make a point to go through old baby pictures with the older child. The pictures will allow them to have a glimpse of how they looked when young. Your child will then easily understand why the newborn needs all the attention and care from the parents.
Being a firstborn is a blessing and the older child should feel this. As you leave the hospital, embrace your firstborn and give him special attention. You can also offer a lovely gift and tell him it was bought by the newborn. Additionally, make a point of asking visitors to greet the firstborn before heading to the infant. Let guests talk about how lucky the first born is to have a newborn rather than how lucky the baby is. Your child will feel special and honored on being the older child. The same respect will be extended to the newborn.
Sibling rivalry is more common than you might think. Learning to solve it early in life is the ultimate solution and prevention to future problems. Sibling rivalry early in life does not mean the children won’t have a good relationship later in life. All they need is guidance and assurance and eventually they will be the best of friends.