Preparing Your Family for a New Baby
It is exciting to add a new member to your family. There is usually a lot of excitement in the days leading to the birth of a baby, especially in big families. The little ones can’t wait to see their little brother and sister, and the nursery carefully put together day by day until the baby finally comes home. While this is the expected scenario, it is not always the case. Sometimes the family members can be very unprepared for a new baby and sadly, this may cause a lot of inconvenience to both baby and mom. In that regard, here are a few ways that can help you get your family ready for the newest member with minimal struggle:
HOLD A SMALL FAMILY MEETING
Get your brood together and verbally let them know what they should expect and the adjustments that may need to be done. This is especially effective when done by both you and your partner. You can also get a specialist or experienced mother (or couple) to chip in and make some major points.
A new baby will cause quite a number of changes in not just the family relations but also the sounds, smells, safety standards and general home environment. There will be diapers everywhere, a lot of baby-proofing will need to be done, the house will need to be cleaned more thoroughly and so much more.
It would also be helpful to speak to individuals directly regarding how the presence of the baby may affect them personally, and what roles they are supposed to play. For instance, your sons may need to know that they will have to reduce the noise involved in playing video games in the family living room.
GET EVERYBODY INVOLVED IN BABY-PROOFING THE HOUSE
Quite honestly, this won't be easy, especially if you have grumpy teenagers or some sibling rivalry brewing. It is, however, important that everybody understands the significance of baby-proofing, and what exactly should be done.
Having this done as a family exercise will help everyone understand exactly what is happening and why some things such as stairs barricade are being placed. This will help when the baby is home, and everyone understands their responsibility in keeping them safe. It will also help everyone get excited about the new baby.
LET EVERYONE PICK OUT SOMETHING FOR THE BABY
It would help if you did not leave the family out of the nursery room preparation and decoration. Many parents make this mistake and take it upon themselves and their partners to do most of the work.
If you want your family to get into the whole mood and excitement of welcoming home a new baby, the best way to go about it is by getting them involved in the preparations. Take the entire squad out to a baby store and let them pick out things that they think the baby will love (you better have enough money for this one though.)
Let everyone take a vote in deciding which colours to paint the baby’s room and let each one of them take a paintbrush and have a family fun day. With time, you will notice the excitement building up.
CHECK UP ON THE FIRSTBORN…AND THE SIBLINGS
Sibling rivalry is a rather common monster, and it usually rears its ugly head at around this time, when the parents are expecting a new baby. It is very easy for the only child (or any other sibling that is used to being the baby of the house) to feel intimidated by a baby who is not even born yet.
As a parent, it is really up to you and your partner to watch out for any behaviour that may suggest such insecurities and deal with it as early as possible. While you are at it, make sure that your behaviour does not encourage the rivalry.
To handle the situation, make sure that you involve your other children in the preparations for the baby. Go shopping with them, and if you don't have any prior plans, you can also let them pick out a name for their new sibling. Show them the right side of things, how they get to be the big brother or sister, and how they will need to take care of mommy and the baby once the baby is here. These are surefire ways of winning the child's heart.
ABOUT THE EXTENDED FAMILY
Pregnancy and delivery of a new baby is usually a sensitive moment of the immediate family, that is, the partner and their children. Most people prefer keeping other relatives out of it until much further for reasons such as it being a close family moment. Most of us also remember the unsolicited advice and opinions we received at this period that made us wish that certain people weren’t there to share such moments with.
Well usually, grandparents are particularly keen about their grandchildren and may insist on being there during birth or a few days after. Handling such a situation really depends on the kind of relationship that you and your partner have with your parents. You should both discuss this matter before the arrival of the baby and inform everybody of your decision in advance to avoid frustration and inconvenience when the baby arrives.
In conclusion, you will notice that most of these steps point at mentally preparing your family for the arrival of your baby. This is mostly what matters because the right attitude from family means that things will go well with minimal incidences. Remember to make everybody feel responsible for the protection and wellbeing of the baby, starting with safety measures and proper ways to handle the baby. Don't forget the only child; help them embrace the idea of a sibling without any hostility. Finally, watch yourself and your partner. Your young observers will most likely repeat any bad example you set.
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