The newborn phase can be overwhelming for both parents. It is barely possible to retain a sense of normalcy in your home and keep yourself calm. So, it becomes a bigger challenge to maintain the relationship and connect with an older child.
As a parent, you will feel pulled in multiple directions. Trying to balance everything from feeding your newborn and looking after them to taking care of your older ones.
Dedicating time to your older children is extremely important at this stage. You don’t want them to feel neglected or left out. It might harbor negative feelings and impact how they view their younger sibling.
So, we have a few tips to help you connect with an older child to help you out.
1. Set Aside Time For Your Older Child
Transitioning from being the center of attention to getting less of it can be pretty hard for children. If your older child gives you a tough time, they may simply be craving your attention. It may take some time, but they will adjust eventually. Be patient and set aside time while the baby sleeps to connect with an older child.
It might be challenging to set aside time if you have had complications with your newborn. Your hands will be full, whether it is something as serious as a birth injury or occasional fever. The best way to handle this is to divide responsibilities. While one parent is busy with doctor appointments or setting up meetings with a birth injury lawyer, the other parent should spend time with the kids.
2. Give Your Older Child Space For All Feelings
No mother would like to hear that their older kid hates their new sibling. The frustration of your older child may come out in the form of hitting or harmful physical contact with the newborn baby. Although it is not easy for moms to hear those things, it is normal and expected.
Making your relationship with your kid a safe space is essential. Listen to them. The more you let your child express their feelings, the quicker they will be able to release those and progress towards acceptance and love.
3. Help Your Older Child and The Newborn Connect
The better bonded your children are, the more peaceful the household will be.
Although it can be challenging for you, helping your children connect can do wonders. Encourage love and gentle touches. Help them play together. Genuinely involve yourself in activities with them when you can. Sing poems, take them to the nearest park, or read books. Do anything that you think ties you all. Let your older kid know you are the newborn’s big sibling and an awesome brother/sister, and encourage them to take pride in that.
You can even let them help you if they are willing, but don’t push. Elder siblings may love rubbing on baby lotion, helping you fill the milk bottle, or retrieving diapers. Things may take time, but it will be worth the additional few minutes.
4. Do Something Special To Connect With An Older Child
When the newborn arrives home, ensure doing something exceptional for your older kid to make them feel loved. Reassure that their parents still care for them. Buying them favorite games, letting them spend extra time with activities they love, taking them to some special place, or getting them their favorite food are some of the ideas to cheer them up.
5. Have Your Older Kids Spend More Time with Family and Friends
When it comes to a newborn sibling, older children often get annoyed because of little to no attention. As a mom, it might not be possible for you to attend to your older child 24/7 and hug them tight. Instead, when your friends and family come to meet your new baby, you can ask them to spend a little time with your elder child. This way, older kids would feel loved and not left out.
6. Connect With An Older Child Not Overlooking Their Needs
Your love grows when you bring a newborn home, but unluckily your time doesn’t. Your time gets divided between each child. Of course, you cannot change this fact, and do your best to meet your children’s needs.
Try to keep a regular schedule for your older child. Let your child know no matter what, your love for them remains incomparable. Make an effort to keep them cheerful. Try never to disregard their call, as it will only make them feel ignored, especially if done repeatedly.
The newborn baby phase is exciting yet exhausting. It becomes more hectic if you are already a mother of one or two – the infant, the older children, the responsibilities, and whatnot.
Once you bring your new baby home, your older baby might show a little jealousy besides excitement. They may feel left out and ignored. Managing your time and setting aside a little may be necessary to keep your older kid happy and encouraged.
Listening to their feelings, getting involved with them in activities, meeting their needs, and helping them connect with their new sibling will enhance their bond and allow your child to connect with you.
Sara is our super author here at famous parenting and is an absolute wealth of knowledge. Sara has studied many topics including creative writing and journalism and loves to study how famous parents and entrepreneurs raise their kids. Her biggest passion lies in raising her 5 children. Between working from home, homeschooling her youngest 2 children and navigating the world of teenagers she really is a parenting guru.