Whether you’re bringing home your first or your fifth baby, adding a new person into your family’s daily routine can be tricky. Dividing attention between your spouse, your other children, or even your pets can cause a strain in how you live your day-to-day. So what are some tips for a smooth transition?
Show you care for your partner by doing the little things.
According to psychologist, Dr. Francine Lederer, even something as small as brining your significant other a cup of coffee without being asked can make a huge difference. Couples often stop focusing on each other and working as a team, and start to place all of their attention on their new baby. While it is important to shower your child with affection, it is also important to maintain a healthy relationship with your partner. Not only for yourself, but also for your child. Among the many challenges of caring for a newborn, it’s hard to carve out time to have fun with your significant other. So appreciate any time you may have. Even if you only have an hour while your baby is napping, take that time to reconnect.
Make sure to include your other children in caring for your baby.
It is easy for an older sibling to feel jealous when a baby comes home. Their parents’ attention has to be split, and the change can be devastating to a child if they don’t recognize that they are still loved. Professionals recommend including older children in caring for a baby in as many ways as possible. Whether this means grabbing a new diaper or shaking a bottle, any seemingly small task will be appreciated by you and will make your child feel more comfortable and important.
Be sure to prepare your pets.
Even though pets may be an important part of your family, they may pose several obstacles when bringing home a newborn. Baby toys and pet toys often resemble each other. This could lead to confusion with your pet, so it is important to prepare them by training them with what they can and cannot play with. Additionally, may experts suggest that animals should be trained before a baby arrives as to avoid any undesired conflict. While this may seem like stressful or unnecessary effort when so much is already on your plate, Purdue University Child Development professor, Dr. Gail Melson argues that the effort is worth it in the end. Studies show that having an obedient pet increases leadership and empathy skills as an adult.
Overall, no matter how many children you have, each new baby is a learning experience. In the end, it is important to find what works best for you. Hopefully our little tips help.