Parenthood is a wonderful journey; lush fields of surprises, dark caves of hormonal changes, and oceans of love. Being a parent is so exciting that soon after Baby #1 arrives, many moms and dads ask themselves: Is it time for Baby #2?
Although having children is a personal choice; parents often worry about their firstborn. There’s no doubt that firstborns are perplexed by their little sibling. Baby #2 becomes the center of attention and everything suddenly changes. Trying to cope with their new role of a big brother or sister, Baby #1 faces a wide variety of changes and feelings.
While young siblings may deal with the stress in silence, older kids may experience sibling rivalry. Throwing tantrums and regressing to old habits become common. At the same time, families witness numerous positive transformations. In fact, Baby #1 can become more independent and Baby #2 can benefit from their older brother or sister.
Nevertheless, no matter how old a firstborn is, they’ll need some time to adjust when a newborn comes to the scene. Psychologists believe that with lots of love and patience, parents can boost sibling love and create a safe and stimulating environment for their children. So, here are 23 curious things that happen to Baby #1 when Baby #2 is born.
23 Pregnancy Will Be Exciting
It’s not a secret that no two pregnancies are alike. Each pregnancy is a miraculous journey: the mom’s body is stretching to accommodate her little bundle of joy and create an emotional bond for life. Interestingly, many pregnant women show sooner in their second pregnancies.
Perhaps for round two, family and friends will not treat you like a princess. Yet, there’s no doubt that pregnancy will be exciting. Your first child might be scared and happy all at the same time – just like you and your partner. So, simply enjoy the wonderful journey called pregnancy and give your firstborn lots of love! Note that in healthy pregnancies, carrying a toddler in the early months is fine.
22 Creating A Sibling Bond
Reproduction is natural, so it’s never too early to talk about babies. Parents should be open and willing to explain where babies come from. In fact, expert Korfmacher told parents.com, "Kids under 2 understand much more than they can say. If you explain that there's a baby in your tummy and that one day it will come out, they get it. You don't have to say or do much more."
Let your kid touch your belly to create a sibling bond. In case you are willing to let your child attend the birth of their sibling, prepare them in advance - the Big will be special!
21 Communication Will Improve
No matter how old a child is, they’ll need some time to accept Baby #2. In fact, researchers claim that even young kids experience a wide range of emotions and feelings, so it’s normal for your firstborn to be worried, excited, and upset all at the same time. However, there's nothing to worry about. Some of the changes you’ll notice in your child will be positive.
For instance, Baby #1 will be more open to talk and listen. Psychologists reveal that parents should let their firstborn help around the house to boost their self-worth and self-love. After all, we all crave for independence.
20 Regressing To Old Habits Is Possible
Since Baby #2 can be tiring, some transformations in Baby #2 can be surprising. Many children regress to old habits. From wetting the bed at night to thumb-sucking, regression is normal. Kids are simply trying to cope with stress and feelings. After all, Baby #1 is not the center of attention anymore and their weird behaviors show they need more emotional support.
According to todaysparent.com, moms and dads should be patient with their kids – Baby #1 just needs some time to adjust to the new family dynamics and the new member of the family.
19 Resentment Is Common
Perhaps one of the most common things firstborns experience is resentment. According to parents.com, a mom overheard her child whisper to a friend, "When Mommy's in the kitchen, we can spit on him." Being jealous is completely normal, though. Consequently, as explained above, Baby #1 may regress to old habits. If a child sees that Baby #2 sleeps in their parents’ bedroom, they might want to join them as well.
Whatever happens, never blame your firstborn or your newborn for any changes in the house. Being fair and loving will help kids overcome resentment and accept their new role in the family.
18 Their Role In The Family Matters
Talking about family dynamics, show your firstborn their new role in the family matters. Don’t force them to show love or happiness. though. Let’s admit it – even new moms need time to get used to their new baby. Just reassure your child you love them, and you need their help. In fact, according to parents.com, kids between 4 and 6 are willing to help a lot and share their toys.
As expert Jenn Berman said, "Most toddlers and preschoolers feel very conflicted about a new sibling. A part of them just wants to be a baby and another part, the part that says, 'I can do it myself,' wants autonomy and independence."
17 Baby #1 Needs Some Special Time
The feeling of being replaced is a common problem. And we can totally understand why! Parents spend lots of time holding Baby #2; friends and family make a fuss about the little one; baby #2 touches all old the toys in the house; and so on and on.
That’s why parents should help their firstborn feel special. Moms and dads should understand that one-on-one time is still vital. Play with them, take interest in their friends, and order their favorite pizza. Let your child do your hair or paint your nails. Pamper your child with laughter, ice cream, and love.
16 Older Siblings & Baby Behavior
Baby #1 may go through a sibling rivalry stage. They might start whining, screaming, and competing with the baby. A mom told parents.com, "Ever since my baby came home, one of my 3-year-old twins has been super jealous. She'll say she wants powder on her bottom, which she sees me putting on the baby, and she screams until she gets it."
Experts claim that parents should accept their child’s behavior. So, let them play baby for a bit; with time they’ll realize that being an infant is not so nice. After all, all babies do is sleep, eat, and pass gas.
15 Birth Order May Affect Siblings
Psychologists believe that birth order affects people’s personalities. Expert Dr. Leman says, "The one thing you can bet your paycheck on is the firstborn and second-born in any given family are going to be different." Often changes occur due to parenting styles. Note that parents often treat boys and girls differently.
New parents, for instance, can be overprotective and strict. As a result, older kids can become perfectionists. Middle children, on the other hand, often have to compete for attention. Last-born kids tend to be outgoing and a bit manipulative due to the attention they get all the time.
14 Tantrums Come And Go
Adjusting to a new sibling can be hard. In fact, your angelic firstborn might become a real monster. Tantrums and regression are common.
According to todaysparent.com, moms and dads need to acknowledge their child’s feelings and calm them down. As experts say, "Tantrums are an indication that a child’s world has gone out of their control. They need to be taken to a quiet place and allowed to calm down. There should be no discipline during the tantrum. You may have to pick them up and take them to a quiet place, even if it’s in a corner of a store if it happens in public."
13 Grieving In Young Siblings
While some siblings may experience jealousy and tantrums, younger kids may simply grieve in silence. Developmental psychologists say that becoming a big brother or sister before the age of 2 is the hardest.
Interestingly, expert Fran Walfish told parents.com, "This is by far the hardest time for the firstborn to accept a new baby. Every child needs a full tablespoon of Mommy all to herself. Two years is a full tablespoon. Less than that can increase sibling jealousy and resistance to accepting the baby as a full member of the family."
12 Trust Issues Are Common
Having children is a blessing. It's no surprise that the emotional bond between parents and their kids is divine. Yet, older siblings may experience some trust issues after the arrival of Baby #2. As explained above, adjusting to the new role of a big sister or brother can be tough. Firstborns may start questioning their parents’ love and support.
That’s why parents should help their firstborn cope with their strong feelings. They should never show any signs of favoritism or neglect. Moms and dads should make sure their kids are equally loved and valued. There's so much love in your heart, mama!
11 Sleeping Can Become Problematic
Parenthood comes with lots of sleepless nights and fatigue. If the age gap between Baby #1 and Baby #2 is small, juggling sleep training, naps, and schedules can be really difficult. As sleep is vital, parents should make sure their older kids can get enough sleep.
A helpful tip: Clinical psychologist Edward Christophersen says, "If the baby will be sleeping in your older child's crib, get him a toddler bed months before the baby arrives (or get another crib)." Let them help you decorate the nursery and choose new things for their room – make them feel special!
10 Their World Is Widening
Meeting Baby#2 is not so bad, though. Kids between 4 and 6 become more and more independent and aware of their surroundings, so they do not need Mommy and Daddy all the time. Their world is widening and Baby #2 can be a magical part of it.
Older kids can help their parents, talk to their sibling, and share toys. As a matter of fact, your firstborn will be proud to feed their crying brother or sister. Baby #1 is simply ready to show the whole world to Baby #2.
9 Expressing Emotions Can Be Hard
Younger siblings find it hard to deal with grief, frustration, and independence. On the other hand, older siblings may find it hard to share their true feelings. Experts reveal that some children (7-8 years) do not like sharing emotions and thoughts. They might simply ignore Baby #2. Note that according to Freud, from five years to puberty, kids go through the so-called latency phase.
Parents should encourage their firstborn to talk about Baby #2 and show understanding. Help your children bond and get to know each other. After all, looking after a newborn is not easy – and you all are in it.
8 The Age Gap Is Important
As we can see, the age gap also affects the way Baby #1 interacts with Baby #2. A small age gap can lead to numerous challenges and emotional demands for both parents and kids. On the other hand, a big age gap may make Baby #1 indifferent to Baby #2. Sibling love and rivalry are not the only issues to consider.
While having children is a personal choice, Mom’s health also matters. Interestingly, OBGYN Patrice Harold admits, "If the mother is in good physical and emotional health, I generally recommend she waits [to conceive] until her [youngest] child is about 18 months."
7 Sweet Snuggles
A baby or a tween, children simply need love and affection. Boosting a child's intelligence can help them accept new people and adapt to changes. Therefore, always snuggle your firstborn. Breastfeeding moms should allow their firstborn to become a part of the process and snuggle in bed with their them.
When kids are in a harmonious environment, they might start copying their parents’ behavior and show love to their younger sibling. While safety should always come first, let your children hug, kiss, and giggle. Let your babies sprinkle your life with love!
6 Celeb Siblings
Talking about pregnancy and motherhood, there's no doubt that celeb moms also experience difficulties with their children. Although many celeb moms rely on nannies and manage to hide their fatigue, having a big family be tough. Perhaps we can’t blame Michele Duggar for promoting the buddy system she uses!
Interestingly, there’s never a perfect time to have kids. Jessica Simpson's kids Maxwell and Ace, for example, are separated by 14 months. On the other hand, Victoria Beckham's firstborn son, Brooklyn, is almost 12 years older than her daughter, Harper. Kids are just kids!
5 Playtime Is Magical
Although Baby #1 might experience numerous transformations and deep feelings, one thing is for sure: they’ll be more than happy to have someone to play with. Play is vital for child development; social interactions can boost a child's emotional skills later in life. Let’s not forget that newborns also enjoy stimulating environments, which can increase their intelligence.
In fact, Baby #1 can benefit from their big brother or sister. Apart from playing with their tiny sibling, Baby #1 can learn new skills, independence, and self-regulation. Perhaps the house will be a mess 24/7, but... the more, the merrier.
4 Ways To Help Baby #1 Adapt
Having children comes with lots of surprises and struggles. Parents should realize, though, that their firstborn also finds it difficult to cope with Baby #2. From sleepless nights to lack of attention, Baby #1 needs some help to adapt.
Experts reveal that to help Baby #1 accept their sibling, parents must be loving and patient. Reading about babies and reproduction can help your firstborn understand pregnancy. Letting your older child help and feed the baby can strengthen the bond between them. Most of all, moms and dads should spend enough time with their firstborn to make them feel loved and respected.
3 Baby #2: Benefits And Changes
Talking about copying mechanisms, we can’t ignore the fact that Baby #2 also needs some time to learn to trust their primary caregiver. While parents must meet their baby’s needs, older siblings should provide a safe environment for their little brother or sister.
However, Baby #2 can benefit from Baby #1. By interacting and playing with their sibling, Baby #2 can develop multiple skills, which can boost their language and social skills. They can also learn that sharing is caring, and realize that sibling rivalry is just another form of sibling love.
2 Love And Affection
From financial issues to health concerns, there’s never a perfect time to have a baby. Yet, many parents will agree that children bring lots of joy and love. In fact, love is the main ingredient which makes families grow and flourish. New parents, single dads, veteran moms – there's no difference; moms and dads will always love their little ones.
So, to help Baby #1 and Baby #2 bond and thrive, mama, show your love, give kisses, laugh and dance. Believe it or not, despite all the emotional ups and downs and hormonal changes, your heart is an everlasting source of affection.
1 Don't Mess With My Little Sibling
In the mist of all the sleepless nights, tantrums, games, and sibling rivalry, there’s one change Baby #1 will embrace with love. Their new role of a big brother or sister will make them proud and independent! And one thing is for sure – they’ll never let anyone mess with their baby sibling. Even when their baby sibling becomes an adult.
The price Baby #2 will pay for having a guardian angel is... sweet awkwardness. To be honest, my sister still pulls my chicks in front of my hubby. Isn’t it great to have a big sibling?
Sources: parents.com, todaysparent.com