A long time ago a little girl sat on the stair at the front door. The new brother had just arrived from the hospital, and the ladies of the neighbourhood had just arrived with gifts to come and see the baby. Most of the ladies didn’t notice the little girl, but if they did glance in her direction they remarked how lucky she was to have a baby brother to play with.
To this little girl these remarks were not true, because she wasn’t allowed to touch the baby, she wasn’t allowed to speak loudly in case she woke the baby and she certainly couldn’t play with the new arrival. It was her perception that the family did not seem to have much time for her. She had been the baby her whole life, and now some little baby had taken her place.
Thank goodness we have come a long way since those days. A lot of preparation of the sibling depends on his / her age, but the modern mother is much more sensitive to her toddler when the new arrival is due. The toddler may be too young to understand that his / her place in the family is in the hearts of the parents, and that this place is not in any danger, but somehow we need to get the toddler to understand the concept.
Allow the toddler to be involved in the pregnancy as much as possible by letting the little one help with the preparations for the new baby.
Before the birth, the mother can start assembling a collection of small gifts and hiding them in the cupboard. These little gifts can be inexpensive, but they will certainly help to distract a toddler when the new baby gets showered with gifts and attention. Even though many friends will remember the other siblings, we cannot expect them to bring gifts, so these little hidden items may just save the day.
A mother knows her offspring and knows what a hug and appreciation can do to make a little heart happy. She will need to plan her days when the new baby arrives so that she will find quality time to spend with the other siblings. Care and forethought will ease sibling rivalry when the new baby arrives.
Above all, remember that the baby needs to bring a gift straight from the hospital.
Now at last, you are ready to welcome the little stranger into your home.
Teresa Denton ©