New baby tips
A new arrival can be such an exciting time but, if you already have a little one, the arrival of a new sibling can be tricky time for them. They may look for extra attention overnight and their sleep, and behaviour, can suffer. I have popped below a few tips which may help with the transition from only child to elder sibling.
The good news that this can be really short lived and there are lots of things you can do, to prepare your little one and after your baby is born to help with that transition! We have popped our top three tips for each stage below.
Before the baby’s arrival:
1. A good idea is to start getting into slightly new habits a few weeks before your new baby is born. If, for example, you all go swimming on the weekend, mummy might need to sit in the café watching everybody swim for a few weeks before the baby is born. This will mean it is not the baby’s fault that mummy can’t come swimming any more, but it is normal for her to go and watch with the baby like she used to.
2. If you need your little one’s cot for the new baby you need to initially ensure they are ready for the transition to toddler bed. 2.5 years is really the earliest you should consider this. Bear in mind that if your eldest little one does not sleep, transitioning into a toddler bed too early is likely to make things worse, not better.
3. I have found that taking your little one to buy a present for their new baby is a really lovely way to spend some time together but also introduce the idea of a caring role. This can be a new teddy or cuddly toy which the new baby can have as a special teddy when they are awake. Your little one will appreciate the 1-1 time with you and will love to give his new baby brother or sister the special teddy. You could also, give you a little one a present from that new baby as a ‘thank you for being my big brother or sister’ can be lovely. Give them a toy that they will be really excited about and something that they are into, as a thank you for being a big brother or sister.
After the baby’s arrival:
1. Ensure you spend at least 20 minutes of 1-1 time every day with your little one after the baby is born. This will ensure they are not looking to fill their ‘attention cup’ at night, even if that attention is negative. It sounds relatively easy but, with the demands of a newborn, it can be tough. Ensure it is focussed, child led play and not just reading a book or watching tv (no matter how much you would like to).
2. A really good tip, when your little one comes to meet your new baby for the first time, is to ensure the new baby is not in mum or dad’s arms, but is perhaps in their Moses basket, car seat or cot (depending upon where the introduction will take place). This will ensure your arms are free to give your little one a big cuddle and they can see that the new baby has not replaced them.
3. When family and friends come round to meet the new baby make sure that they first speak to your little one before asking if the little one can show them to the new baby. This will ensure that they do not feel left out and feel that they are still important when everyone comes round.
Above all, try and enjoy this special time. Your eldest little one may take a little time to adjust to their new role but with patience, and understanding, they will be thrilled with their new arrival in no time.
If you really do struggle with your little one’s sleep please do get in touch!!! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can have a free, and absolutely no obligation, chat!
Jenna Wilson isone of the founders of Little Dreams Consulting.