Bringing home a new baby is a blessing. But let’s be perfectly honest - it’s also a disruption for the entire household. Especially the children you already have at home. Eventually, your kids will come to get along great (well, most of the time). But until then, these tips can help you smooth over the bumps in the road.
If you can, let your child practice with a doll or stuffed animal while you’re still pregnant. You can use this time to teach your child not to touch the baby’s head, to use soft gentle touches with the baby, etc.
Once your baby is home, if you see your older child acting too roughly, be sure to quickly (but gently!) correct the behavior. After all, your child probably isn’t trying to harm your baby - he or she most likely just wants to play or love on the baby, but isn’t always able to moderate how he or she does that. So always watch closely, and never leave them unsupervised.
New babies require a lot of time and attention and it’s not uncommon for your older child to feel a little left out. It’s a great idea to involve your child in the care of your new baby whenever you can. Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is an important role - having them help during bath time or diaper changes, or giving them a specific role during feeding time - can make a big difference.
Whenever possible, be sure to carve out some one-on-one time with your older child, too. Maintaining your relationship is incredibly important, so find the time to play, read a book, color or just snuggle up and watch his or her favorite show. Your child will appreciate this - and so will you.
Don’t be surprised if those first days and weeks with a new baby aren’t smooth sailing. But relax. With love, patience and a little effort and planning - everything will fall into place.