Help! This is something I know was happening but now it has I don’t know how or what to feel about it. What might help me feel much happier when meeting the baby for the first time?
I may feel worried, excited, scared, proud and maybe all of these at once so this may cause me to behave in what might be ‘babyish’ or regressive ways. I may refuse to go to the toilet and want a nappy on or I may throw tantrums but then again I may be very loving and overprotective of my new sibling. I am hoping that my parents and family see this as me getting used to my new role and figuring things out. Surely it wont be that long until it all settles down again so please be as patient and loving as you can everyone.
So this is my eldest boy Sam meeting his new baby sister Megan. Throughout my pregnancy especially in the last few months I was keen to prepare him as best I could for her arrival which included taking him to the scans, getting him involved in getting things ready (clothes, bedding etc) and reading books about new babies. I also thought it a good idea to get him settled at nursery before Megan arrived so he wouldn’t feel pushed out by her if he had started after the birth. He enjoyed seeing the baby on the screen but I think he still found it confusing that there was a baby in my tummy. Starting nursery was a bit fraught to begin with but he soon settled in and continued to enjoy his time with the childminder (who he had been with since he was 11 months old).
Not only was I keen to prepare him I was also aware that making the first time they met a special and memorable one. I read up on tips on how to do this and used the ones that I thought would work for him. We read that it was recommended to get Sam to visit the hospital on the day I was being discharged so there would be less chance of him getting upset about leaving me or him worrying why I was still in hospital and what a nice memory for him that he came to collect his sister too. I asked my husband to take him to a café for lunch before coming to the hospital so a) to make the day a special one for him and b) so he wouldn’t be hungry as that might affect him or distract him when he met Megan. I also wanted to make sure I made a fuss of him when he walked in and that we took it at his pace when it came to seeing Megan. Funnily enough he came running in, calling out my name, giving me a big cuddle and then going straight to the cot to have a look at his new sister. I can remember him being very inquisitive and excited when we all had a cuddle together.
A hospital visit might not always be possible so maybe get the older sibling to plan a welcome home party for mum and baby.
We knew that buying Sam a gift from the baby would be something to help him feel like not all the attention was on Megan and hopefully initiate the bonding process between the siblings. I can’t remember what we bought exactly, only his reaction and how proud he was telling people who had bought it for him. I have read that this might also work the other way as well and we got Sam to choose something for his little sister before she was born.
Getting friends and family to make a fuss of Sam when coming to meet Megan for the first time was also a tip we thought might help him feel less pushed out.