Is Your Eldest Ready for a New Baby?
Preparing Your Older Child for a Sibling
Maintain a Stash of Emergency Goodies
Keep a few coloring books, mini Play-doh containers, puzzles, matchbox cars, and/or Etch-A-Sketch games hidden in a secret—yet easily accessible—location. Each time you need to tend to the baby and you notice your older child seems to be feeling a bit left out or needy, sneak a hand into the stash and pull out a surprise. This isn’t meant as a bribe to allow you to tend to the baby, it’s merely a distraction (and with young children, it will likely only be fun for ten minutes anyway).
Times when you need a moment to tend to the baby provide another opportunity for carefully chosen words. During moments when Aftosmis could not pay full attention to her daughter, she avoided using the babies as the reason. “I chose to say ‘Mommy can read to you just as soon as she is finished feeding the babies. It won’t take long at all,’ instead of ‘I can’t read to you now; I am busy with the babies.” This way, her daughter did not develop negative associations between her mom not being available and the arrival of her new brother and sister.
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