Adding a new member to your family can be a challenging proposition especially when you already have children. However, there are some unique challenges that may require particular attention to generate a smooth transition. Many of these challenges arise during the early parts of a new baby’s arrival. Keep reading for a brief discussion of newborn care with older siblings.
Believe it or not, there is a lot you can do during pregnancy to make newborn care with older siblings considerably easier. After your kids are aware that you will be having a baby, take the time to sit down with them and discuss some of the things that will change. It may be critical for your child to hear that these changes do not mean that you love them any less or that they have done something wrong. You may also want to let them know that the new baby will cause disruptions to the household and as a result, they will have new responsibilities.
While your children may be used to being able to play all day or not having to keep quiet at night before they go to bed, part of newborn care with older siblings is helping them adjust to the baby’s schedule. In some cases, this is as simple as teaching them that they have to play quietly while the baby is sleeping or may require you to adjust their schedule so that quieter parts of their day like nap (coincide with when they need to be quiet for the baby. Their meal schedule may also need to change to accommodate your newborn’s feeding schedule.
Depending on the age of your older kids, one nice thing about newborn care with older siblings is that they can help with the care of the new baby. It can be extremely beneficial to include your other children in some of the care activities. Allowing them to help can make them feel included and more attached to their new sibling. Check out this article for ideas on how to incorporate their help in daily newborn care.