By Roberta Barcella
Everything starts from a small thought.
You were watching your first “king of the house”. He is independent now, he goes running around and he is still your little baby, but now is more your little boy. You may miss the time when you could cradle him in your arms, smell his hair and watch him sleeping.
Maybe now is the right time! You actually want a second baby. You want that feeling again.
But how to tell this to your first and reassure him that you have enough love for everybody?
First of all you have to be sure you are pregnant.
The best thing is wait for the first scan after 12 weeks, so you know everything is all right.
You can start earlier asking some questions about his desire to have a brother to play with, so you can understand his or her feelings. Show him how wonderful it could be to have a full time friend always around him.
After that keep dreaming up with your child about how his life will be full of joy with a brother. How many things they can do together. Build his expectations and when the new baby comes, it will be like he always have been there.
You can do your best, of course, but brother and sister relationships are never easy, at the beginning at least.So you have to be prepared!
My family is quite numerous. Two brothers, three sisters. I am the youngest of the three and actually this put me in a different position.
I am an observer of their relationship. My oldest brother was 23 months old when my oldest sister was born, my mum was 24, not so much experience on her side.
My brother Conc was the first son and the first grandson so all the attention was concetrated on him before Emily arrived. He was energetic and intelligent. Always up to something dangerous as most of the children.
Emily was few months old when he went to my mum and said “Mum, Emily doesn’t breath very well, don’t know why. I just gave her something to eat.”
My young mum was scared to death, she run to my sister crib, Emily could barely breathe so my mum put her upside down hitting her chest and miraculously she spat out a piece of lead.
How can you handle a situation like this? You cannot shout to your boy, even if you want.
You have to be gentle and patient because maybe (or maybe not!) he didn’t do it on purpose. He didn’t want to kill his little sister, at a conscious level at least!
So be gentle, because his feelings are still fragile and he needs to be aware that you still love him, but also that it is better if you are the only one who can feed him and his sister or brother.
Maybe you can leave him keep the baby bottle under your supervision and feeding the sister or brother, so he can feel involved in a “family situation.”
I have seen among my friends’ children, that a good management of the kids feelings leads to a good relationship between brothers and sisters. Competition is important but among siblings, love is more important. It helps them to build self confidence in life, to be best friends for each other and to protect each other.
For more suggestions and help about siblings issues you can read:
Young Sibs – for brothers and sisters of disabled Children.
Kids Health – for information on bringing a new baby into the home.
Babble – a website for young carers
Do you have a second child? Do you have any tips on promoting sibling love? Tell us via Facebook or Twitter.