Perhaps you've dreamed of having a big family ever since you were a little girl or your new baby's arrival came as a surprise. Maybe you and your spouse have been hoping for years to have a second child. You might even be a family who has chosen to welcome a child into your family through adoption. No matter how your family is growing, the arrival of a new baby marks a period of change. It's normal and natural for older children to feel a variety of emotions surrounding the arrival of their new sibling. Maybe your children feel happy, excited, or anxious about the new baby. They might even feel a little bit jealous. No matter how many children you currently have or how they feel about your family's new addition, there are a few ways you can help everyone feel more comfortable and at ease about your baby's arrival.
First off, make sure you include your children as much as possible. While you might be tempted to make important decisions on your own, consider letting older children participate in making decisions. This will help them feel involved and included during a period when many children feel left out or forgotten. Simple ways you can get older siblings involved is to let them choose the decor for the nursery, ask them to help you paint, let them pick out a piece of baby furniture, or even ask them for assistance with baby's middle name. Even simple choices can help your kids feel included and cared for.
Next, it's a good idea to spend a little extra time with each of your children both before and after the baby arrives. While pregnancy can be exhausting and you might feel overwhelmed taking care of a newborn, your children will appreciate knowing that you took time out of your schedule to spend with them despite feeling exhausted. Consider taking each of your children out for ice cream, making a craft with them, or even watching a movie together. Just let them know that they are not forgotten even though the baby takes up a lot of your time.
Finally, make sure you help each of your children prepare for the arrival of your new addition. This could be as simple as reading a book about a new sibling. Visit your local bookstore and pick up a few books about becoming a big brother or a big sister. You could also make sure that you explain to your children that even though you're having a new baby, you still love them. Many children feel nervous or scared that their parents won't love them after a new sibling joins the family. Explain to your children that this isn't true and that you will still love them just the same.