When the new little brother arrives

As parents, when we receive the news that we are expecting our first baby, many feelings and emotions invade us. Joy, for that human being who will now be in our charge and who is already part of us; expectation, to know how it will be, if it will be a boy or a girl, what will be their interests, their fears … fear, facing the responsibility of raising a new member of the family and not knowing if we will be able to do it‚Ķ and endless other feelings. However, the most important thing is not to worry about what may or may not happen, and to look forward to that day with great enthusiasm and tranquility.

When the child is finally born we feel excited , the whole family goes to meet him, we receive calls from relatives who are far away to congratulate us, gifts and much support. Sleepless nights begin because the little one wakes up asking for food from time to time, or simply because we cannot sleep due to the constant need to make sure that he is well. It begins to grow, already eats porridge, crawls, gets up with help, the teeth begin to come out, pronounces its first words and takes its first steps. Without a doubt, an adventure of inexplicable emotions .

Over time it continues to grow and not only walks, but runs; He no longer wants to be carried so much in his arms, he likes to walk alone without holding hands with anyone … in short, they become more independent . At this time, parents begin to feel again the need to relive all those experiences, convinced that that little person so desired no longer needs us with the same intensity as before.

Statistics show that it is around 3 years when the child reaches high degrees of independence for certain things , and the parents again feel the desire to raise a new member of the family, thus starting the adventure again. But this time, this adventure brings new ingredients to the previous one, and new challenges: our first son / daughter faces the arrival of a little brother and a new person who will need the claim of his parents , until then dedicated exclusively.

In other words, the first child will also feel and be involved in the new situation and in the new process of change, so they will need to feel accompanied and be a recipient of care and support more than ever. This situation causes parents to question things such as whether they will be jealous, if they will take care of their little brother / sister, if they will be a good older brother, or if on the contrary, they will not want to have anything to do with the new baby.

What can I do to make this process smooth and enjoyable for everyone?

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Be aware of your feelings and understand your little one’s feelings as well. For children, especially at an early age, it is often a time of great confusion.

  • In the first place , because they can identify that something is changing in Mom , that the rest spaces are beginning to change, the passage to bed …
  • Secondly , because he will not stop receiving somewhat incomprehensible messages even such as ‚Äúnow you will be the older brother‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúyou must take care of and love your new brother / sister‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúbehave yourself, mom has other things to worry about now ‚Ä̂Ķ which can make the child feel forgotten or abandoned. The best thing you can do in this case is to validate his feelings, understand why he may feel confused, and provide answers to all those possible questions that may be hanging around his little head.

As much as possible keep the routines, remember that it is a process of change and adaptation for everyone , but that children work much better and adapt much faster to situations if they have a structure that provides them with security and calm. Anticipate events, talk with him as you would with your partner about the changes that are to come and what it means for a new member to join the family. Explain what his role will be and what you expect of him so that little by little he can assimilate the process and adapt to it.

Avoid continually talking about the new baby ; provide spaces where you can talk to your older son or daughter about their interests and attitudes , about how proud you are of how independent they have become and how much they have grown. Make him feel that, even if a new person comes into your lives, he or she will always be your first child and you will always love him as such. Play with him like you always have; Make sure your child regularly has time dedicated only to him, make him part of the process.

Although it may be inevitable that at some point the child feels jealous , surely with all these tips, this process will be much more bearable and you can handle it with more tranquility, love and empathy.

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