Getting Ready—Tips for a Happier Homecoming

Read about being a mom of 12. Our 'Supermom' shares her wise parenting advice.

The focus has shifted

You knew your little one would be jealous when you brought the new baby home, but you didn’t expect your older child to experience the same feelings. It’s true that jealousy is more usual in the toddler set; they are needier, more dependent on you for their survival. They notice that your focus has shifted in favor of the new arrival. But your older child might suffer some pangs of jealousy, too. Here are some things you can do to pave the way for a smoother transition.

A smoother transition

  • Let him in on the secret: When your pregnancy begins to show, it’s time to tell your child of your pregnancy.
  • Keep him in the loop: Tell your child what will happen when you enter the hospital to deliver the baby; who will watch him, how long you’ll be away, how soon they’ll be able to see you and the baby after the birth. Let him know that babies cry a lot and that you will need to spend a lot of time caring for the new infant. Make sure you tell him that though you will be busy with the baby’s needs, you will still love him every bit as much and that he will need to be and wait for your attention at times.
  • Part and Parcel: Find ways to include him in. Let him have input in decorating the nursery. Take him on a tour of the maternity ward. If you’re game, bring him with you for your next prenatal checkup and let him hear the baby’s heartbeat. After the birth, make sure your child is brought to the hospital for a visit, and if possible, let him hold the baby. At home, let your common sense guide you in finding ways to have your child care for the baby. You might teach him how to hold the baby, rock him, burp him or change his diaper.