Here are three tips doctors and childcare providers think new parents should consider when they’re prepping baby number one for their next bundle of joy.
Keep your first kid in the loop
Being the firstborn generally means being the center of a mom and dad’s world, and adding a new baby disrupts that status quo.
This fact of life is why pediatrician and mother of triplets Delene P. Musielak thinks it’s important to include your firstborn in the baby preparation process, especially if your eldest is in the toddler stage like Archie – who is currently 2-years-old.
"Be translucent with your toddler: Include your toddler in the new baby preparation," Musielak – host of The Dr. Mom Show – told Fox News. "Not including them can lead to regression, such as bedwetting, sucking their thumb, needing a pacifier, wanting a bottle or even speech regression to get attention."
Figure out new sleeping arrangements
Aside from letting your first child know that they are going to have a new sibling, sleeping arrangements may need to be changed to accommodate baby number two. This could mean having to move your firstborn to a new bed or room.
"Transition baby number one from a crib to a ‘big kid bed’ if they’re old enough and are showing signs of readiness, such as standing or climbing in and out of their crib." Rashawn wrote to Fox News via email. "One crib is better than two and this is a great way to help your firstborn celebrate a milestone!"
Educate your child on biology
Not only will there be changes to your household for baby number two, but there will also be physical changes to a mother’s body. While this fact isn’t surprising for adults, it certainly can be for a toddler or young child.
A crash course in reproduction isn’t necessary, however, Dr. Laurie Hollman believes parents should let their firstborn know that bodies change throughout pregnancy.
"If you or your spouse or a surrogate is pregnant, you can begin to use that word (pregnant) so the child is not scared or confused by the change in their mother's body," Hollman told Fox News. "Depending on the child's age and language development they will not only be curious about this new baby but also about how bodies change. Remember their bodies are changing rapidly but they don't think that will happen to grown-ups."
Hollman, who is a child psychoanalyst, psychologist and therapist at Choosing Therapy, went on to add: "You want any bodily change to be viewed from a positive light, something to be curious about but not afraid of, something that's natural and common, and something you very much want to share and chat about with your first child."