6 things to do before having your second child

I still remember the day my 5-year-old daughter asked me this question and I said to her, “Yes, baby..of course I love you.  More than anything else in the world.”

But her question was an eye-opener to the insecurity that was festering in my little girl’s mind. The reason? I was expecting again. Up until then, I was only thinking about my pregnancy, but now I was really worried about her: How could I assure her of her place, her love and everything else?          

Many second time parents might be sailing in the same boat. How will you talk to your first child about having another, how will he or she react to another baby in the house, to the inevitable lack of attention? Because once this feeling of insecurity settles down, it will definitely lead towards sibling rivalry — something no parent wants.

Here are 6 ways you can deal with this situation:

A new friend for you

Start telling your child that the baby is coming for him/her and that they will get a lifetime friend. Don’t forget to say that ‘we have you as a child, but you don’t have a best friend so this baby is coming just for you’.

Separate bed

Get your child to sleep in a separate bed. This has to be done much in advance so that he/she doesn’t correlate the two. Tell them, ‘You are a big girl/boy and you will enjoy it’. But make sure you continue their bedtime story routine. 

Let them choose names

Involve your child in the selection of baby names. Take suggestions from them and ask them why they think the baby should be named so. This will create a sense of affection towards the newborn.

Hospital visits

If possible, take your child along for hospital visits. When they see other expecting mothers, they will feel connected to the situation. Gradually, tell them that this is the place where you will come to take the baby home.

Baby stuff

Take your child’s old clothes, toys other stuff and show it to them. Share your memories and feelings with them. Tell them that now their brother or sister will be using their stuff. Make sure you ask them how they feel about it and if they would let the new baby use it. The answer will definitely be yes.

Avoid nonsense

Some people joke with children saying things like ‘Oh the new baby is coming, now your mom and dad will love him more’. Such things can permanently scar a child. Keep your child away from such foolish people. Naturally, the newborn needs you more, but don’t ignore the first one, try to do his/her little things that you were doing earlier. Make an extra effort so that the child feels attachment instead of jealousy and dejection.

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