Today I want to share my top 5 tips on helping your older child(ren) adjust to their new baby brother or sister. Bringing home a new baby is a huge adjustment to everyone in the family but it can be especially hard for younger older siblings. They may not understand why mommy and daddy can't give them their undivided attention anymore and why they have to share the time with the new baby.
This is where a Postpartum Doula can step in and really help out! I can help you and your older child(ren) navigate this new normal. So, ready to learn my top 5 tips? Keep on reading!
Allow the older sibling to help out with baby. Ask them to bring you the diapers and wipes. Ask them to hand you the burp cloth. Allow the older child to sing to the baby as you're putting them down for a nap. Allow the older child to feel needed and encourage them to help you.
Set up a special toy bin. This can be filled with cheap Dollar Tree toys. Only bring this bin out when the baby is eating. The new toys will help keep the older sibling occupied so you can focus on feeding the baby.
Don't forget to spend one on one time with the older child(ren). I know you want to spend all of your time with the new baby but the older sibling doesn't understand why they're all of a sudden having to share. Leave the baby with your Postpartum Doula or a trusted family member long enough for you and the older kids to go get ice cream or go to the park. This will help the older child be reminded that they're still important to you, too.
Simply talk to them before the baby is born. Help them to understand that you're going to be bringing a new baby home. Explain to them that you'll need to be spending a lot of time with the baby, just like you did with them when they were born. Even get your older child(ren) their very own baby doll to play with. Teach them how to change a diaper, feed the baby, and wrap them in a blanket. This would be a great time to explain safety of the baby to them as well. Your PP Doula can also help with this.
Maintain their routine as much as possible. As adults, nothing is worse than getting thrown off our routine. Right? A child is no different. They thrive on routines so maintaining that as much as possible is so important. If you do bedtime with your toddler every single night, keep doing that and have someone else watch the baby. OR, teach your postpartum doula your routine with the toddler and I can do it with them as you're bonding with your new little babe.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can help your older child(ren) adjust to their new sibling. If you have any questions about what else a PP doula does, please email me! I would love to explain it all to you.
Until next time my birthy friends,