How to help your child adjust to a new baby  |  Blog 

On the 8th June 2018 Pickles life was turned upside down. We had done as much as we could by reading books and explaining things but I don’t think he was prepared for the reality of what was happening... 

He was no longer an only child! 

I’d had visions and nightmare of how it was going to be. On one hand I knew that Pickle was going to be an amazing big brother. He is always so kind, gentle and loving towards babies and I knew that he was going to protect his little brother with all his might. On the other hand I was nervous... would Pickle feel left out? Would I be able to spilt myself between two? Would Pickle hate his brother for taking me away from him? I’m pretty sure that all mums have these worries when they have a new baby and the majority of the time we worry about all this for nothing because we all just get on with it. We found that as loving and caring as Pickle was towards his little brother, the jealousy seemed to manifest itself in a different way. He had no resentment towards Smidge whatsoever BUT he suddenly because extremely loud and started to wake up at 5am and refuse to go back to sleep in his own room. We managed to sort these things out with a good old sticker chart but I also think that the things we did before Smidge was born and in the weeks straight after helped us to find a new normal family life pretty quickly and painlessly. Here is what we did - 

1. Prepare before hand.

Although preparing before will only get you so far, it is still good to do. It’s such a huge thing for your entire family that preparing before won’t cause any harm. We brought a book called “There’s a house inside mummy’s tummy” and we read it to Pickle quite a few times whilst I was pregnant. Not only did it prepare Pickle for what was to come, it helped him to understand why my belly was getting big, why I was being sick and why I was so tired. We brought ours from Amazon here and I’d definitely reccomend it if you’re pregnant as it was a great help. 

2. Buy something from the baby. 

I had a bit of a melt down whilst I was in labour because I felt so awful for Pickle. Smidge was born at 36 weeks so I felt like I hadn’t had enough time with Pickle just on his own and I had a real attack of mummy guilt. In between contractions I went to Amazon and ordered Pickle a present from Smidge that would be at home when we came home from the hospital. We brought Pickle a paw patrol toy that he had wanted for ages and when we got home we told him that the toy was a present from the baby to say thank you to him for sharing his mummy and daddy. This went down so well with Pickle and he still tells people to this day about his toy from Smidge. 

3. Be prepared for feeding time. 

Pickle is 3, almost 4 so he is pretty self sufficient but there are still somethings he can’t do himself like get a drink etc. Because of this it was so important that I made sure he had everything he needed before I sat down to start feeding Smidge because if I didn’t it would be THEN that he would need a drink or want a toy out that he couldn’t reach. So I made sure that before I started feeding Pickle had a drink, snack and any toys he’d want and I’d explain to him that I was about to feed Smidge so was there anything he wanted out before I started. This way I didn’t have to make him feel second best by tell him he had to wait or telling him no whilst I was feeding. 

4. Don’t make a fuss 

On the occasions where Pickle has played up we’ve tried to down play it as much as possible. We have watched what we say to him (so no saying “oh you’re being a baby like Smidge” or “ well look at Smidge, he’s being a good boy”) and tried to ignore any attention seeking behaviour. Then he knows that by being silly or loud or whatever he is doing, it isn’t going to get a reaction. 

5. Communicate

This can be hard, especially if you have younger children, but for us it worked. Pickle is at a stage where we can talk to him about things and he can understand and communicate back to us how he is feeling. This has really helped us because if I’ve had to do something for Smidge I am able to explain to Pickle what I am doing and why he has to wait. It works both ways though because the times where he is starting to play up, we can talk to him and he can tell us what’s wrong and what we can do to fix it. It’s so easy to forget to communicate especially when you’re trying to deal with a new baby but it’s so important. 

And there you have it. This is what helped us and I really hope it will help some of you out there. As always if you think I’ve missed anything or want to tell me what you did when bringing a new baby home then let me know in the comments. 

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