Toddlers

Older Child Syndrome: 5 Ways to Help Your Older Child Adjust to a New Baby

The older child syndrome is quite real. Most older kids feel and react to the arrival of a new addition to the family.

However, while every child will make the needed adjustment with time, you can help things along…

Older child syndrome

Older Child Syndrome: 5 Ways to Help Your Older Child Adjust to a New Baby

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Preparing an older child for a new sibling

Bringing a new baby home is always a time of excitement for everyone, that is until there are some adjustments to be made.

Older kids are usually excited at the prospect of a younger brother or sister and would big you to no end trying to know when the new baby would be arriving. However, while they would have been prepping for the new addition for months, nothing prepares them for the actual shock of seeing the baby real.

The baby in the womb is so different from the baby in your arms and they would notice from the start how things change the instant the baby arrives mom.

Of course, all attention is going to be on the new addition; everyone would be so awed and thrilled at this new family member, with no one sparing more than a few minutes for her, and this rarely often.

This can be a difficult time for her and make her feel like she has been de-throned, especially in the coming weeks when most of this attention and love will be focused on the new baby.

Older child syndrome
Older child syndrome: How to Help Your Child Adjust

What To Expect at This Time

Some emotions you can expect from your older child at this time include:

  • Jealousy
  • Emotional turmoil that might present in your child becoming withdrawn
  • Tantrums that might happen often and exasperate you to no end.
  • Physical aggression

If you notice your older child starts to struggle with this new development, there are ways or methods you can adopt to make her adjust and accept the new development.

Older child syndrome
Older child syndrome: Getting your kids to bond

5 Tips to Help Your Older Child Adjust Faster

1) Talk with Your Older Child about What to Expect

You should have a little talk with your child before the baby arrives about what to expect. Depending on her age, make her know while there will be some changes, it doesn’t in any way mean she’s been replaced.

Assure her there’s lots of love in mommy’s and daddy’s hearts to go round.

You would need to repeat this talk after the baby’s arrival and a few times too. Reassure her of your love often, until you notice she’s calmer and more accepting of the situation.

Related: How to Get My Picky Toddler to Eat

2) Involve Your Child in Taking Care of the Baby

Involve her in the care of the baby. She will become excited and come to recognize her role as a big sister much faster.

Let her assist while giving baby a bath, rock baby, or during any other task.

Make nursing a bonding time for everyone and this will make her feel more like a big sister.

3) Schedule Some Time Alone with Her

It is worthy to note that even with the constant reassurances you give your older child, she just might still feel a tad bit neglected. She’s used to getting all of your love and attention and now has to share this with a new sibling.

To correct this, schedule some alone time with her and make this a time for you both alone. During this time do things she loves and is used to bring a semblance of the old back into her life.

Older child syndrome
Older child syndrome

4) Expect Some Developmental Regression

You should expect some regression from your child in certain key areas and be prepared for them. To reduce this, again give your older child lots of love and kisses and ensure she has some space or items of her own she doesn’t have to share with the new baby.

Read Also: Why Does My Child Grind Her Teeth at Night

5) Exercise a Lot of Patience

No matter how much effort you put into your older child’s transition to an older sibling, it won’t be as easy as you expect.

Kids eventually adjust, however, because every child is different, it might not happen as soon as you’d want or expect. You would need to exercise some patience – lots of it even – while waiting for the adjustment.

Understand that the new change is quite overwhelming for your older child and it will take some getting used to. You should continue to play your part and know that sooner or later, the acceptance and adjustment will happen.

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