Siblings want to feel included, secure and paid attention to
No matter how well you prepare them, it can still be a shock
It can be difficult for older children to accept a new addition to the family. They can feel left out at the arrival of this demanding bundle that takes up mum and dad’s attention round the clock. No matter how well you prepare your children for the arrival of a new baby, it can still be a shock. Although they react in different ways, they want to feel included, secure and paid attention to.
What can I do?
Deal openly with any jealous feelings - it will help your other children accept and understand this emotion. You may say, "You may want me to play with you, but I am feeding the baby. You may feel jealous of the baby and angry with me." This can also be helpful for toddlers, because even if they don’t seem old enough to understand, they’ll pick up that you care and are concerned.
Get them involved
- Let them choose a present for the baby and let them unwrap presents from well-wishers.
- Get them involved in choosing names for the baby.
- If your children are at reading stage, consider getting books about siblings from the library.
- Give them opportunities to care for the baby, such as pushing the pram, choosing baby’s clothes, folding a blanket.
- Don’t force them to get involved.
Reassure your children that they are special and loved
- Give them lots of hugs and kisses. Often, they may feel there isn’t enough parental love for them anymore.
- Spend time with your other children away from the baby - if possible, get a babysitter.
- Take one day at a time.
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Bounty is proud to bring you this information in partnership with www.familylives.org.uk. Family Lives is a charity with over three decades’ experience helping parents to deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life.
Comments on this article are monitored but NOT answered. However, Family Lives has extensive advice on their website, live chat services, and information about befriending services and parenting/relationship support groups. There is also a helpline and an online community forum offering a safe space for families to share dilemmas, experiences and issues with others who understand the ups and downs of family life. https://www.familylives.org.uk/how-we-can-help/forum-community/