It is a popular notion that a first-born gets agitated at the birth of a second baby to the family. This could be true if as parents, you do not plan it out in a proper manner. Communication is important; generally your eldest will be between two to five years old when the younger is born; at that age, children feels interested on another baby and confused if parents act strangely. So it is your responsibility to manage the elder sibling accordingly.
Tell the elder what they want to hear
Tell them that the baby is awaiting advice from the elder sibling; that will make them feel important. You can take them to see the newborn in the hospital, but keep those visits short as they can get scared or nervous due to the hospital environment. Mother can show the elder the little one, ask what he or she should be named, or which baby blankets they think the baby prefers. You must explain to him or her that the new baby is going to be sleeping and crying a lot and will need diaper changes far more frequently. You can also ask the elder’s help with those things. Assure that even the newborn needs more attention there will still be time for him or her and you can still do things like you used to. To prove it, it’s better if you can take the elder on a walk or to the kindergarten several days whilst a caretaker or a family member takes care of the newborn.
Don’t do sudden changes
When you are home with the newborn, even if it is the time for it, don’t start a fresh programme for the elder child such as sending them to kindergarten if not attending already, start toilet training or arrange unfamiliar play dates. There is a possibility that the elder child may misunderstand these times apart from you to be moments where you and the new baby can be alone. If he or she is a toddler they might develop habits such as sucking their thumbs or throwing tantrums for no reason more frequently. These are short time issues. They will go away when the routine is re-confirmed with a new member included.
Gifts from each other
Make sure to take the elder child with you when you shop for the baby gifts in Australia. You can ask them to pick a suitable colour for the baby’s room or let them choose baby towels. Make them feel important and in-charge as the first born. If they sulk when the baby needs more attention you can tell them that they were also like that when smaller. Buy a “gift” from the eldest to the newborn. You can ask them to pick it out themselves. Vice versa buy something which is given to the elder “by the baby”. It will also be helpful to keep a photograph of the first born in a prominent place.
A baby brings much love and happiness. Two babies can double it. But as parents you need to manage the situation so the happiness won’t be spoilt.