When you’re going to be giving birth to baby number 2 (3,4,5,6,7…) instead of baby number 1, there are a couple of big differences.
First of all, you will be a bit more relaxed about the whole prospect of having a baby – when I was pregnant the first time I religiously read (well, to be honest I studied) ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ every evening before bedtime. The second time around, I hardly even looked at that book. Been there, seen that.
But second of all, this time around there is another human being in your life to deal with (or 2,3,4,5,6…). I remember feeling so attached to my first child in that second pregnancy. I felt like cuddling her the entire day long! I guess it has to do with hormones and guilt. I was betraying that little person by giving birth to another, equally important child! (Although, at that time, I honestly couldn’t imagine ever having the same feelings for the second child)!
Well, this is how it went: the moment my son was born, I had 2 children, and loved them equally. It’s as simple as that.
Here are some tips that, we’ve experienced, might help with dealing with the older children. Of course, regardless of what you do, there will always be periods of awful jealousy. And beware – there will be moments (more than one) where you will want to strangle your older kid(s). Or sell them on ebay.
•Some weeks before you’re due: although you will feel that you want to give them loads of attention (you betrayed them by having a sibling, right?), start getting them used to some periods of less attention. Don’t react; let them play by themselves.
•If visitors come to admire the new baby, let the older sibling introduce the new baby (say: Joss, show your new sister to Jill and Andrew!) – this will make them proud and involved.
•Although you’ll feel over-protective of the newborn, still let the older sibling help with nappy changing, bottles, etc. It will make them feel important.
•Get your older daughter a doll if she didn’t have one already. My daughter used to be sitting next to me breastfeeding her doll!
•Before your baby is born, buy a few new books for your toddler. Bring them out when the baby is born. There will be plenty of time spent feeding the baby on the sofa, and just when the baby needs to be fed, your toddler will need your attention too! Have him sit next to you on the sofa, and read him some of the new books! It’s an easy way to give both kids your attention.
Do you have more tips? Please feel free to share! (Emilie will need them)!