How do you prepare your children for a new baby?
A soon to be mum asked me this question and it got me thinking. As an ex childminder i used to help children get used to the idea of new siblings by doing a few simple things that were fun and interactive.
A great way to help siblings with the arrival of a new baby is to get them involved.
1. Spend time with your children doing a collage of the birth journey, the family as it is now, mummy's growing bump, going to hospital/home birth, the family with the new baby.
2. Be realistic. Many parents tell older siblings that a new baby will be fun and exciting, a new playmate. But reality is very different. A baby sleeps and needs attention, they can't play as yet. So, tell your child what it was like when they where a baby. Show pictures and milestones of when they were younger (when you were this old you could do...).
3. Role play. Give your child a doll, some nappies and baby stuff so that they can use their imagination to prepare for their new brother and sister.
4. When baby is born, help your older children feel included by asking them to help with nappy changes, feeding, singing to baby.
5. Help your child draw some pictures of what their new sibling will look like. You could frame the pictures for baby's room.
6. Love bombing. This concept was developed by psychologist Oliver James. It involves spending a set period of time with your child doing exactly what she/he wants to do. You might want to set some boundaries with time, t.v etc but other than that this allows a child to feel empowered, grow in confidence and grow in self esteem. You don't need to spend money. Simply ask your child what things they would like to do were they make the decisions and off you go. You will be establishing secure bonds and showing love and trust.
Let me know how you get on, send me some pictures or other ideas for parents :)
Elizabeth from Calm Baby and Bump