Even if your older one was thrilled about having a sibling before the big day of delivering it, things may change once you bring the baby home. Of course, the older one’s behavior might depend on their temper and how well they can manage their feelings and emotions. Contained children have a better time dealing with a new sibling, while those that are more sensitive will need a longer adjustment time. Some first-borns have a difficult time adjusting to their new siblings and some might try to challenge your patience. Others might show regressive behavior. They will ask to drink from a baby bottle or start to “forget” all the potty training they received previously. They may become a little too violent with the newborn by snatching their toys from their hands and might ask for constant attention when you are entirely focused on your newborn: when changing their diaper or nursing them. But the strategies below will help you help you older one overcome the adjustment difficulties.
Give your first born special jobs even before your second one is born
If you want to give them some responsibility and make your first-born feel more like an adult, make sure to involve them even before your youngest is born in various activities. Let them help you search for baby swings on Amazon, let them soap the baby’s legs when bathing them, after the baby is born. Ask them to talk to the baby when they cry or to gently tap them on the back. Let them help you with bringing you the diapers and diaper rash cream when changing the newborn. This will help them adjust better and faster to their role as an older sibling and it will help them get over the slight jealousy they might experience.
Ask their advice
It is so simple to involve your older one in raising your youngest, if you ask their advice. Ask them what color the baby should be wearing that day. Ask them what toy they think the youngest might like best. Ask them to help you tell the baby a story or entertain their younger sibling. They have a natural inclination for entertainment and the baby will certainly enjoy it. In return, the older child will feel appreciated when they see that the younger sibling positively reacts to them and this will help them adjust easier to the new circumstances.
Watch the baby together
When not preoccupied with their homework, ask the oldest watch and observe the newborn with you. Explain what they are doing when they watch with a high interest their toys or when they reach for them. Explain to your oldest that they were also showing a similar behavior when they were newborns and this will increase their interest towards the new family additions.
These are some simple, yet effective strategies you could implement if you want to help your oldest adjust to a new family member.