Introducing a newborn baby to the family can be an exciting time for everyone in the house. However for the older children in the house it can cause feelings of loss or jealously. Think about it. The younger children can understandably feel a little left out to the new addition. Family life can now be a little fraught.
Here are some things you can do to make the new arrival welcome.
Acknowledge to the other children and to yourself that they may feel displaced for a while. If you are going to breastfeed the baby make sure the kids know that you may not have as much time during the day to spend with them. Reassure them that a routine will come into play with time. When the routine is set things will turn back to normal as they were.
Get your other children involved with day care of the baby as much as they can. Have one of them fetch the wipes when the time comes for a diaper change or to fetch the diaper itself. They can also help out with giving the baby a bath when the time comes. The help allows the other children to feel involved and not left out of anything. It makes them feel efficient and important at the same time and that can go a long way.
When you do breastfeed explain to the kids what it is that you are doing. Show them pictures of babies being fed by the mom including animal babies. Remind them that they were also breastfed at the same age. This can be a good thing to do if the children are quite young.
Children love to mimic what parents do all the time. It is monkey see and monkey do so to speak. Do not act surprised if you see a child breastfeeding her stuffed animal. Encourage the child to tell you about their baby.
When you breastfeed the baby do not go into a different room to do so. It makes it seem like something bad when you do that. As you breastfeed the baby encourage the kids to watch you. Let them watch how that baby drinks the milk and explain how it makes the baby strong. This will allow the children to accept the fact that breastfeeding is normal.
The young ones might want ally of your attention as you breastfeed. They might hang off of you. Get new books or puzzles in advance to prepare for this. When the time comes to feed read a story to the kids or have them draw some pictures. This makes them feel involved in the process and not left out of anything. This can go quite the long way for both side.
If you notice that the siblings are bickering with one another and you find yourself losing your temper over it try to take some time out. When you calm down explain to the children why you are tired. Make sure that they understand that you are not really angry and need a much needed rest.
Some young children will show their frustration on the new baby by nipping it or pulling the hair. Explain to them why this is not a good thing to do and encourage them to be nice to the baby. Have them help dress the baby or feed it. They can even help with the bath.
If you know how your children may react to a new addition try to ensure that all can go about smoothly. Prepare them for the birth in advance. Make sure they see the baby as a member of the family who is looking forward to being a part of something in the world and of the family. Show them pictures of babies and babies that are breastfed. Bring them to visit someone with a new baby in the house and get them used to things.
Make sure that you make time for the other kids in the house when the baby comes.
Sibling rivalry and siblings themselves can be quite the work to deal with. Make life easier for yourself and the kids by preparing quite well.