Welcoming a new sibling to your home can sometimes be very hard on your child or children already in the home. No matter how proud you are of that child and how loved they are, it’s safe to say there will be an adjustment period when a new sibling comes into play.
You might see things like the refusal to be independent any longer or other active behavior that seems incredibly off for the child. This is quite common when a new little brother or sister is born and brought home. Children, specifically toddlers, often regress when a sibling is brought into the home.
These actions are often moves created because they notice that these things cause you to give the new baby attention. We see regression most often in children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years.
These children have had mommy and daddy all to themselves and now suddenly are forced to share and adjust. They simply really don’t understand what is going on and why your attention has been diverted elsewhere. They are unable to communicate with you their jealousy or frustration, so they act out in various ways instead.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to work through this time of change and help your child welcome a new sibling.
Coping is Key
Ultimately, your child needs ways to cope with the arrival of a new sibling. You can help your child cope by being understanding of their needs. Try some of these coping actions with your child.
Try not to overreact when your toddler displays these actions. Try not to make a big deal out of things or punish and ridicule them. Remember that they are seeking attention, and negative attention will also suffice. Be reasonable and calm, and just remind your child of the appropriate behavior.
It’s Ok to Baby Them
Your child is used to being the baby, and they simply want to still receive the attention they are used to. While the whole house is adjusting, it’s ok to baby them just a little bit. Remind them they are a big girl or boy but give them a moment to act like a baby.
Make a Compromise
There are times where you might have to find some middle ground to meet with your child. Find a suitable compromise for the situation that reminds them they are loved and important just like the newborn you are caring for.
Talk About It
This is a great time to talk to your child about their feelings and try to help educate them on what is happening. Talk to them about the changes in your home and why it affects their time with mom and dad. Communicate with them and let them know how loved they are.
Take Time Together
It is essential that your child still get some of your undivided attention. Schedule some one-on-one time with the child and take them out to do something without the new baby tagging along. Whether you have a picnic or simply use baby’s nap time to read, sing, and play, take that time.
Before Baby Arrives
There are also some things that you can do before your baby arrives to help with the child at home and prepare for changes.
Try out some of these options.
- Visit a baby so the child understands what being around a baby might be like.
- Buy your child a doll and show them taking care of the doll. Communicate with them that the new baby will require these things as well.
- Read about the upcoming changes with your child. There are many books out there that cover just this scenario.
- Keep the child involved as you prepare for the upcoming baby. Commend them and encourage them to help prepare for the new baby on the way.
Paediatric Sleep Coach in Singapore
Bringing a new baby home with other siblings in the house can be a challenging time for parents. Contact Petite Dreamers for help with sleep issues that arise from a new baby in your world. Louise will schedule a free 15-minute discovery call to learn more about your needs.