• 8 Mom-Recommended Ways to Prepare Your Firstborn for a New Sibling

    Here are mom-recommended ways to make sure your older child doesn't feel left out.
    by Rachel Perez .
  • 8 Mom-Recommended Ways to Prepare Your Firstborn for a New Sibling
    IMAGE @mariajolina_ig/Instagram
  • It's normal for a soon-to-be mom of two to feel sentimental about her firstborn when it's nearly time to welcome a new baby. Take Jolina Magdangal-Escueta for example who penned a letter to her firstborn, Pele, with husband, Mark Escueta. 

    "Anak, ilang araw nalang, hindi lang ikaw ang aalagaan namin ni Papa mo," the soon-to-be mom of two wrote on Instagram. 

    "Lagi ko pinagdadasal na sana 'wag mo maramdaman na wala na kaming oras para sayo dahil hinding hindi ka namin papabayaan," she added. "Mas magiging masaya pa tayo dahil magkakaroon ka na ng kalaro. Hingi din ako ng tulong sa 'yo mag alaga ng baby sister mo," Jolina said. 

    "Basta tandaan mo, pag nandito na si Vika sa tabi natin, mas lalo pang madadagdagan ang pagmamahal namin para sa 'yo," the preggo mom said. 

    Jolina revealed her excitement for her second child is coupled with a fear that her 4-year-old son will feel unloved once his baby sister Vika arrives. 

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    In the comments section, many moms who could relate to Jolina's sentiments assured her that her feelings are normal especially now that the time is near for her to give birth. Their comforting words calmed Jolina's fears, and they even had suggestions how to prevent the future "ate" or "kuya" from feeling jealous or left out.

    We perused the comments and found some helpful advice to make sure your older kids don't feel neglected:

    1. Share with your child the excitement of having a baby.
    Telling your older child about your pregnancy is the first step. Taking him with you to prenatal visits is also a good idea. Share with him what's happening to his baby sibling as he or she is developing in your womb. Ask your older child to talk or sing to the baby, too. 

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    2. Assure your child that he's not being replaced.
    While getting him involved in preparation for the new baby, talk to your child. Tell him that time when you were pregnant with him and tell him how you felt when he was born. Assure him that he's not being replaced, but instead, he's gaining a companion, playmate, and a partner in his sibling.

    3. Read storybooks about being a big brother or sister.
    Reading about having a baby sister or brother can help your child have an idea what it would be like when you finally welcome the new addition to the family. Talk about the story — it'll give you an idea of how he feels or if he has any fears about being a big sibling.

    4. Present your child with a "big sibling gift."
    Come due date or delivery day, and everyone will fuss about you and the coming baby. When all the crazy of labor and childbirth has mellowed down, give your older child a gift and label it from his baby sibling. It's like an appreciation gift to mark his being a big brother or sister.

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    5. Give your child a role once the baby arrives.
    You're going to be more busy with caring for your newborn, of course, but remember that you have a little helper. Give your older child something to do, even if it's just handing you a diaper, and then make sure to appreciate his help. It will help your child not feel left out.

    6. Set special private alone-time with your child. 
    Spending one-on-one time with your toddler every day is a perfect reminder that he is still loved. Try also to keep some of the routines you had with him when he was still an only child. Spending time with your older child without the new baby is the key to keep your bond intact. 

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    7.  Don't let anybody tell your child you don't love him anymore. 
    Pinoys have a way of teasing a new big brother or sister that they are no longer loved. Nip this in the bud right away. Tell the person that you don't tolerate those words even if it was done in jest. Don't let the moment also pass without assuring your child that he is loved.  

    8. Be patient with your older child. 
    No matter how much you prepare, you'll never know how your older child will take it once the baby arrives. If your older child will display some attention-grabbing or regressive behavior (e.g., when he suddenly wets his pants again even if he's already toilet-trained).

    Understand that he's adjusting to the new status quo, too. Check if you're giving him enough attention or explaining to him correctly what's happening. Maybe he wants a few hours alone with you — hugs go a long way!

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