Twitter was taken over by the wonderful news of ‘Kareena gives birth to a baby boy’ on Sunday. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan welcomed her second child, a baby boy and the wishes and congratulations are still pouring in from around the world. Netizens are already busy guessing the name of Kareena’s second baby and the media frenzy to get the first picture of the new baby is evident. While Taimur has been the reigning prince of the paps, the arrival of the second child will be a bonus for the media, fans and all!

There’s nothing quite as joyous as bringing home a baby, but it can shift the family dynamic, especially if you already have a first child at home. So how does becoming an elder sibling affect the firstborn and how can you make it easy and fun for them to welcome their new sibling? Here are some simple tips, fun tricks and effective ways to get your firstborn excited about being an older sibling.

5 Ways For Parents To Prepare Their Firstborn For A Sibling

1. Breaking The News The Right Way

It’s vital to talk to your child about the arrival of a sibling in advance. And most importantly, it’s best that you talk to them before someone walks up to your child and says, “Aren’t you excited about having a new baby brother or sister?”. You want to be careful not to build up the ability of the new baby to be a playmate and to satisfy the needs of the other child. Kids don’t understand that a newborn can be quiet or how demanding they can be.

Without being overwhelming, begin to incorporate the idea of babies into his/her everyday life. Tell your firstborn that his/her new sibling is arriving in the next few months. The best way could be by telling the new baby will be here by a certain festival which he/she knows (Diwali or Christmas) or till summer “when it’s the time to make ice cream and gorge on mangoes.”.

2. Start Preparing For A Change In Schedules

Most kids have their mothers take care of them, accompany them or be a major part of their everyday lives. This changes when then the new baby arrives. It becomes crucial for him/her to know that routines, schedules and activities will see changes. This should be done to make sure they don’t feel left out or ignored on the helm of the arrival of the baby, it can be detrimental to his/her emotional and mental health.

There is another thing that parents would benefit from doing. Because mom will be in physical recovery and needs to focus on the new baby a lot when the baby arrives, it’s really helpful if Dad can start putting in some extra time with the first child before the baby is born. If Dad and the first-born have already carved out extra time and have some special things that they are doing together on a regular basis, it will lessen the shock when baby number two is born.

3. Draw Up A Game Plan

As the due date gets closer, talk to your child about what will happen when mom (and dad) have to go to the hospital. Explain who will be caring for them and that not only will they be able to talk to mom on the phone but that they’ll be able to visit mom and the new baby after the baby is born. In the days before giving birth, try to keep a regular routine. Let your firstborn be the first member of the family to meet the baby, as close to its birth as possible. And keep the meeting private, just immediate family members so your child can react naturally, without a crowd present. Above all else, a new baby is a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your first child pick out a gift to give to his/her new baby brother or sister and likewise, have the new baby “bring” a present to your little one.

4. Welcome The “Help”

When going baby shopping, include your firstborn and hear out their suggestions. Ask for advice on which stroller looks fun, what toys to choose and even clothing. Getting your firstborn involved in the process will make them realize that they are an important, contributing member of the family and that the life of the new sibling is something they should be part of. Let them ask questions, give you suggestions or even dish out some criticism. Find a way to acknowledge all of this and accept what’s okay without hurting him/her.

Even after the baby has arrived, get them to help you with little things like handing over the diaper or choosing the baby’s clothes for the day. It may take longer with the extra set of hands, but if your child wants to be involved, welcome his/her efforts. There are, however, some things mom will do with the baby, such as breastfeeding, that will make older kids feel left out. Be sure to keep books that a nursing mom can read with an older child nearby or have mom sit near the television and let mom and preschooler watch a show together while baby eats.

5. Recognize That There Is Life Outside the Baby

It is natural for family, friends and guests to coo over the new baby and shower it with attention. However, it is vital that your firstborn doesn’t feel left out. Sometimes you may want to draw attention from the new baby and put it back on your preschooler. Encourage visitors to occasionally talk with your big little one about anything but the new arrival. Discuss school, friends, activities—anything that is important to your child.

Reserve some mommy and daddy time just for your first child. As soon as the baby can be left in the care of a family member or nanny, take your firstborn for a walk or some playground time – without the baby. A quick trip for ice cream or a trip to the grocery store can do a lot more than you think. The key is to showcase that even though things have changed, the changes are all positive and will make your family stronger.

Some kids may welcome the new sibling with open arms and never express any discontent. Others may say hurtful things. Most fall someplace in the middle. It’s important to be patient as your little one adjusts. Encourage him/her to talk about how they’re feeling through words or even a picture. Try to relate. Priority number one is to make sure your child feels loved and needed. Adding a new member to the family will affect your preschooler in a big way, but ultimately a positive one. They are getting a new sibling, but hopefully, they are also gaining a lifelong friend.

Srushti Pathak
Srushti Pathak

A blogger, aspiring author and old soul at heart, Srushti Pathak believes in writing stories that touch the heart. She maintains that curiosity defines her zeal for writing and creativity in all spheres of life motivates her.