Bringing your new baby home to your child does not have to be a scary experience! We all know having a baby brings challenges, and we have all the tips to make the experience smooth and beautiful for all parties involved.
Establish a routine
Routines give children a sense of security and safety. They give them predictability, they make transitions easier, and yes, they are great for your child’s sleep! When life happens, including a new sibling, they will try to hang on to whatever they can to continue to feel loved and protected, and to try to keep a feeling of normalcy; a routine will provide all of these.
Keep their routine intact
If your child already has a routine, stick to it like glue! This includes their daytime routine and bedtime routine. Make sure things during the day have a pattern that repeats every day. For example, first comes breakfast, then comes playtime, lunchtime, and nap.
Prepare your child over time
Give your baby a name and start talking to your child about them. Play with baby dolls and show your child what babies need, how they behave, and what it means when they cry. If you are planning a hospital birth, explain what will happen, where they will stay, and who will take care of them.
Have a neutral introduction
Try not to hold the baby during the introduction. Instead, lay your baby down in their bassinet, on a blanket, or keep the baby in the car seat. Do not force your child to hold, hug, or kiss the baby.
Make your child a helper
Include him in all the activities that involve the baby, and have them help you. They can help you change diapers and bath your baby, for example. Have them hand you the diapers, rub a little bit of soap on the baby, etc. Get them excited about their role as a big sibling, and how they can teach the baby all the things because they know so much!
Helping your child sleep well when there is a new sibling
When it comes to maintaining your child’s sleep, routines and schedules will be your best friend. As mentioned earlier, keep them intact. Keeping the expectations and boundaries around sleep and bedtime is also very important. It will be very hard to not give in if they ask for things like sleeping in bed with you or being held to sleep like their baby sibling. Do not let mom guilt take over, reminding them of what the expectations are will send the message that you have things under control and they have nothing to worry about, that is what they need to sense from you!
We often see little ones coming to us for help with sleep after welcoming a new sibling. If you need help, do not hesitate to contact us! Whether you need a sleep consultant in Oklahoma City, or looking to schedule a free evaluation, call us today.