Expect to feel differently. “It’s not unreasonable to cry hysterically or be totally ambivalent on your way to the hospital, even if you were overjoyed and excited the first time,”. Or maybe last time you didn’t fall in love immediately, and this time you do. No matter how altered your feelings, they’re probably normal.
Give yourself a refresher course. Even though you’ve been through it before, you may be surprised at how much you’ve forgotten about the finer points of things like burping, swaddling, and sleep timing. So dust off that pile of books and skim the important chapters, at least.
Let it go. You’ll probably be more relaxed about most things, but pay attention to sleep, Let other things go, but not sleep. Teaching your baby to fall asleep on his own in a static environment (like him crib), putting him to bed early, and getting him on a good sleep schedule is key.
Embrace their differences. Chances are your kids will develop differently, at different paces. You can’t compare them,
Remember that jealousy doesn’t always happen right away. Be aware that a tantrum or unusual acting out that isn’t directed at the baby may still be related to the baby. And even if it’s smooth sailing at first, don’t be surprised if there’s some kind of negative reaction when the baby starts to move and communicate more—around eight to ten months—that’s when she becomes a competitor.
Greet your older child with a massive hug. Don’t be holding the baby when your firstborn sees you for the first time after the baby is born. Of course you’ll hold the baby in front of him later, but in that moment when you initially see each other, have your arms free for him.
Keep things the same. The weeks after a new baby arrives is not the time for a new nanny, a new home, or potty training.
Don’t alienate your older child during feeding times. Let him help with a bottle, or sit with you while you breastfeed. If he’s antsy while you nurse, some moms suggest having a few special toys that only come out during breastfeeding time.
Instill some pride. When talking to your older child, refer to the new baby as “your” baby, so he feels some responsibility for his younger sibling.
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