Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Prepare Your Child for a New Baby

Having a baby is life-altering for you and everyone around you including your other children.  The key to a smooth transition is to have a plan for both preparing and training older siblings. Brainstorm before the child is born to come up with ways of coping with the situations that are bound to arise once the baby has arrived.
Prepare your child:
·         Tap into your child's natural curiosity about babies. Look at picture books together and talk about what's going on inside your body right now and what the baby will be like after birth.
·         If they are old enough to understand, tell them the baby is coming near a certain holiday.
·         Take your children with you to some prenatal meetings. Give them jobs to do like squirting the jelly on your belly. 
·         Let them decorate a one piece with fabric paint for the new baby.
·         Have them pick out some things for the baby's room.
·         Ask a friend or relative to give your child some extra time and attention after the baby arrives. This will help him know that he's still special.
Read Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep to them to show how a big brother loves and protects his new baby sister.
Hover: Whenever the children are together, “hover” close by. If you see your child about to get rough, pick up the baby and distract the older sibling with a song, a toy, an activity or a snack. This action protects the baby while helping you avoid a constant string of “Nos,” which may actually encourage the aggressive behavior.
Teach soft touches: Teach the older sibling how to give the baby a back rub. Tell how this kind of touching calms the baby, and praise the older child for a job well done. This lesson teaches the child how to be physical with the baby in a positive way.
Act quickly: Every time you see your child hit, or act roughly with the baby, act quickly. You might firmly announce, “No hitting, time out.” Place the child in a time-out chair with the statement, “You can get up when you can use your hands in the right way.” Allow him to get right up if he wants – as long as he is careful and gentle with the baby. This isn’t punishment, after all. It’s just helping him learn that rough actions aren’t going to be permitted.
Demonstrate: Children learn what they live. Your older child will be watching as you handle the baby and learning from your actions. You are your child’s most important teacher. You are demonstrating in everything you do, and your child will learn most from watching you.
Praise: Whenever you see the older child touching the baby gently, make a positive comment. Make a big fuss about the important “older brother.” Hug and kiss your older child and tell him how proud you are.
Don't panic if your older one doesn't take to the newborn at first sight. Sibling love sometimes takes a while to blossom.  The keys to a smooth transition are to anticipate and empathize. "Everything will go much more smoothly if you can put yourself in another person's shoes.”
Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep can be found:

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/sh-sh-sh-let-the-baby-sleep?store=book

Moving Through all Seven Days link:http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965# http://www.helium.com/users/406242.html
Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/kathystemke
Follow me on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6147172660&topic=4910#!/kathymarescomatthews.stemke?ref=profile
Follow me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/kathy-stemke/13/269/285
   Add to Technorati Favorites


Alleged Author said...

I'm going to share this with my friend who will be having her second child in a few months. Thank you so much for this post!

kathy stemke said...

Thanks Alleged. You should buy her my book, Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep. Both children will love it.