Helping your child adjust to a new baby

Lotion. Everywhere. On my bed. Smothered in my carpet. We were blessed with a new baby and we were also blessed with a jealous older son who was doing all he could to get my attention. He succeeded.

Having a baby is such an exciting time. Baby showers are thrown. Gifts fill your home. Plans are made. Everyone eagerly awaits the miraculous day and finally the star of the show is born.

Suddenly the older child realizes that mommy is now holding someone else. All the gifts are for someone else. All the attention is on someone else. Their world as they knew it crumbled.

Lotion is just one of the many actions my children have stooped to. I recall an episode with baby powder (back before we knew baby powder could be so harmful) as well. I’ve heard of fully potty trained kids now wetting their pants, the most behaved children falling apart.

So what is to be done?

I can sum it all up in one word… PATIENCE.

I know that’s not what you wanted to hear. But it is true. It takes time for everyone to adjust to the new move-in (including you). It will get better with time. Though patience is required there are a few other things you can do to make the adjustment time less painful for all involved.

1. Patience

2. Prepare your child as much as possible in advance. Regardless of your child’s gender a baby doll might be just the thing to help. You can dress the doll, feed it, help it not cry, and hold it. Talk to your child and explain what is going to be happening. They might understand more than you think. Let her/him feel the baby’s movement in your tummy.

3. Specifically ask others to include a little something for your older child in their gift bag. Even a simple piece of candy or balloon can help them feel included and loved. Or you can give your child a gift yourself.

4. If your birth is at the hospital and you’re bringing your baby home to meet big sister/brother, go meet him/her first. Explain what happened. Let them see that your belly is smaller now. Let them hold their baby (with help obviously).

5. Include him/her when taking pictures of the baby. Make them feel special too.

6. Make your new baby his or her baby. If it becomes her baby then she wants to
take care of it and love it. Your child needs to feel needed. Perhaps she can go get a diaper for you or fetch a blanket. Singing to the baby is a fantastic way to get them involved and it doesn’t require their smothering love. The more you can include them the better.

7. Breastfeeding can be a tough time because it excludes them completely. Reserve special toys or activities only for while you’re breastfeeding. Play special music or audiobooks. Could you use your other arm for cuddle time?

8. When your child does act up, sometimes ignoring their actions takes away their desire to act up. However, some things can not be ignored. Act with tolerance and understanding instead of punishment. Ask them how they’re feeling, then listen. Praise them for the good things they do.

BONUS TIP: Adaptiv essential oil blend has been designed especially for when we’re feeling anxious and having a hard time adjusting. Diffusing it or adding a little to your wrists or forehead can help both you and your child feel calm, upheld, accepted, and loved. It can stop a tantrum before it begins 🙂

In my experience and according to The Five Love Languages, there are five ways children feel loved. Which way does your child feel loved the most?

1. Words of affirmation– tell your child how much you love, adore, and appreciate them.

2. Quality time– spend time each day with just you and your child. Even 15 minutes of alone time with you can help your child feel loved and a sense of normalcy.

3. Receiving gifts– whether big or small, a gift might be just the thing to help your little one feel loved.

4. Acts of service– getting your child some food or helping them dress. It means more to some children than it does others.

5. Physical touch– do they need cuddle time, a hug, or even a pat on the back?
If you speak your child’s love language it will help everything go smoother. Keep at it. Study your child. You can buy your son all the gifts in the world but perhaps he just wants to sit on your lap. Do your best to help them adjust. Give yourself and them grace. I wish you the best.

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