For some mums it can be several years after their first child that they have another. In some ways it is easier as your older son or daughter will more likely be able to understand the change, but in other ways after being your centre of attention for so long it can be hard for them to adjust.
Here are five simple tips to help you make it easier on them:
Talk about it
Make sure you tell your little one all about what is happening as soon as you know. Some mums like to wait until the 12 week mark but it is important your youngster is not the last one to find out. Now that they are older they are likely to understand a lot more of what a person goes through when they are pregnant than you might think. You won’t be able to use having a tummy bug as an excuse for your morning sickness for too long. Don’t wait too long – your little one will sense something is happening and they may become concerned. Be prepared for questions of ‘how did the baby get into you tummy?’
Make any changes a good while in advance of the baby’s arrival
If your little one has to change rooms then do it well in advance of the baby’s arrival. This way your child will have settled into the new changes before the baby arrives, hopefully avoiding any resentful issues.
Get them involved
Involve your little one in simple decisions like decorating the nursery, choosing a cot or even a pram. Give them the responsibility of buying the baby their first toy - simple things like that can make your older child feel grown up and excited. The one thing most kids want is to be independent and older.
Bring them to appointments
If possible bring your older child to a routine check-up so they can hear the heartbeat or even see the scan picture. This will make the baby more real to your child and they will most likely feed off your excitement.
Above all else make it a hugely positive experience for your child. They are bound to be worried about the change and how it might affect their relationship with you, so be excited. Mention how wonderful it will be to have another person in the house. Talk about the things they can do together once the baby is a little older, or how proud your little one is going to feel to be a big brother or sister.