A second child will soon join your family and everything is likely to be turned upside down. The big question on your mind is how to prepare yourself and your older child? Find all our advice to make this transition a success.
Before the arrival of the second child: activate the preparation mode!
Preparing your older child for the arrival of a second child
Just as you anticipate the arrival of your future child, let your older child know. Explain what’s going to happen. You love him and you have decided to enlarge your love bubble, aka your family. Read our interview with coach Maëlys Le Levreur who explains it well. We don’t apologize for bringing in a new baby because it’s our choice as parents. However, you can include your eldest in the preparations like choosing a cuddly toy!
Make your birth trousseau
Sort through your first child’s things. Clothes, furniture, bed, changing table, bassinet, stroller… Depending on the date of birth, the season and their condition, some things will have a second life. After this sorting, you will know better what you need now. We also help you with the ideal birth kit.
Changes to be made smoothly
The arrival of a new baby is sometimes the occasion to change your older child’s bed. Since he or she is going to become a big brother or sister, we’re switching to a big bed (and incidentally because you need to get his or her cot back)!
If he is very attached to his bed or still too small, do not deprive him of his sanctuary. There are alternatives such as cribs or mose baskets for a newborn’s first few months.
If he or she is ready, then celebrate this passage appropriately. Value your little one as he grows into a big one, and most importantly, do it well before you give birth. Not only will the transition be smoother, but you’ll avoid too many changes when you return from motherhood.
Plan your childcare on the day of your delivery
To avoid stress, plan who will look after your older child on the day of delivery. Grandparents, trusted neighbors, friends, babysitters… Tell them that they are your emergency contacts and can be called at any time. Beforehand, prepare your child’s suitcase with him/her, the one he/she will take with him/her if he/she sleeps elsewhere, in order to create a complicit and joyful moment for him/her.
Our tips for preparing for the arrival of a new baby
Plan a party for your new family
The idea is to welcome the baby, but also to celebrate your new family! Include your older child in the preparations and party. He or she could plan it with the co-parent or family while mom is in the maternity ward with the baby.
Relieve your guilt
If your time is not always expandable, your love is. Your heart will grow several sizes and so will the whole family’s! So stop thinking that your older child is unhappy because he or she no longer has your full attention. Instead, he or she has a little brother (or sister) to have lots of laughs with and a relationship for the rest of their lives.
When your first child comes back from the maternity ward, he/she may go through different phases: jealousy, regression (“since we only take care of the baby, I’ll become a baby too”)… This last phase is sometimes necessary to better find your place. Your mantra will be: “every phase is temporary”.
Finally, you can include your older child in the daily routine with your newborn. Ask for simple advice like “the baby is crying, do you think he’s hungry?” . The idea is not to make your child responsible, but to include him!
To go further, listen to this episode of La Matrescence.
The Charlie Crane Team