You look wistfully at your first born as she bids you goodbye for school. You see your kumare, who just gave birth, holding her new baby in her arms, and all of a sudden you feel a pang of longing.
Before you go daydreaming, remember that the decision to have a second child does not solely rest on you and your partner alone this time. You also have to think about how it's going to affect your firstborn.
1. Preparing the big brother or sister When you’re expecting, it's important to involve the older sibling in the developments of your pregnancy as much as possible. Talk to him and explain the changes your body is undergoing, the most obvious of which is your growing belly. Bring hem to your doctor's appointments and show him the ultrasound results. Make him feel excited about it and if he is old enough, ask him to express how he feels about having a younger sibling. This will not only keep him from feeling left out, it will also drive home the point that the arrival of the new family member is something to look forward to.
2. From bunso to doting sibling When the baby gets home, it is expected that all members of the household and other visiting family and friends will have their eyes on the newcomer. Be careful not to neglect your firstborn; give him attention, too. Include him in conversations and let him welcome the baby in his own brotherly way. If you want to take it a step further, give him a task to give him a sense of responsibility; for example, ask him to sing a song for the baby or hand you the diaper during changing time. As long as he can feel that family members are treating him and his sibling the same way, and that he is given importance with his role as the family's new Ate or Kuya, he should not feel forgotten or out of place.
Click here to read more about preparing your firstborn for a baby brother or sister.