If your family is currently expecting, then you are probably very excited about the fact that your family is growing. However, if you already have a child, you could be worried about how he or she is going to adjust to this major change to the family dynamic. Of course, it’s natural for things to be a little bit hard for a child who is going from an only child to being a big brother or big sister, but this does not mean that you have to worry too much. If you follow these tips, you can help prepare for this big change in your family.
Start Preparing Your Child Early
For one thing, you probably should not wait until the baby is born to explain what is going on to your child. Even if your child is young, it’s a good idea to start preparing him or her for this family change early. Of course, how you do so will depend on things like your child’s age and maturity level. However, starting with small talks about the coming baby can help you ensure that things aren’t a big shock when your little one is finally born.
Get Your Child Involved
One good way that you can help prepare your child to become a big brother or sister is to get him or her involved in the preparations for the baby. For example, if you are painting or decorating the nursery, consider asking your child to help you pick out the paint colors or to “help” with putting the crib together. If your child sees that or she can be a helper and is being seen as a “big kid” while these preparations are going on, it can make things that much more exciting.
Get Your Child Used to Being Around Other Children
If your child is used to being an only child and is not really accustomed to being around other children very often, then you might want to start with introducing your child to the social aspect of being around other little ones soon. For example, if a family member or friend has a baby, consider allowing your son or daughter to meet him or her. This can help give your child a slightly better idea of what to expect.
Now is a good time to use imaginative play to help your child prepare for when the new baby arrives. For example, you can use a baby doll to mimic pushing a baby in a stroller, feeding him or her and changing his or her diaper. You can even work on teaching your child how to hold a baby properly with a baby doll. All of this practice can really come in handy after the baby is born. Buying a book for a new big brother or new big sister can also be a good idea.
As you can see, there are steps that you can take if you would like to prepare your child as much as possible for the day that you will bring your newborn home. Of course, there might still be an adjustment period. However, if you and your family take these steps, you can help ensure that things go as smoothly as possible during this major adjustment period for your family.