There are three stages your child needs to be counseled at, so that the elder child can welcome and enjoy the company of your second child. Here are some ideas that explain how you can make your elder child comfortable, and not feel neglected by the presence of a younger child.
Prior to the birth of the second child
Starting to prepare the first child just after you know that you are expecting another child, makes sense. The first thing that you should teach your child is that a baby is going to arrive soon and it will be a gift for the family from God or nature, whatever you prefer to say. It would be ‘our baby’ and all family members will have a great time in playing with the baby.
Start making your child more independent. Let the child do things that he can do on his own. Make the child more comfortable with the other children, play dates, preschool can make the child learn to be around kids.
Make it clear with the child that he has to obey you, as you are in charge of all situations. The child needs to understand that patience is important, to get anything he needs to have patience. Your partner should know about taking care of the child, so that the child is comfortable when you are busy with the newborn.
After the baby arrives
When your child comes to meet you after the birth of his sibling, greet him graciously. Welcome your child with arms wide open and show him the baby. Your child is actually eager to see you first. Buy a gift for the child before hand, you can either give him the gift in the hospital or after you arrive home.
If you think to present the gift at home, let it be a surprise for him, hide it somewhere and ask him to check that particular place. Congratulate the child for becoming more responsible and elder. Celebrate by throwing a small party at home when you come back from the hospital.
Your child should understand and feel that the arrival of the baby is good for him. Try to keep the schedule of your child as regular as possible. You can take a picture of your child along with you to the hospital, so that when he comes to visit you, he notices it and is glad about it.
After you reach home, you can give him a responsibility like informing relatives about the good news. This will make him feel responsible and he would be engaged in an activity.
Bringing the siblings together
The mother is the bridge between the siblings, she can help in building a cordial relationship between the two. The first day after the baby is born the four of you should be together, hug, and kiss each other. Show the child that you guys are lucky and happy as a family.
Tell the child that the baby is lucky to have him as his/her elder brother. Let the child overhear you, when you purposely talk to the baby about the qualities of the child. If the child is jealous of the baby make him comfortable, tell him that is normal.
Nevertheless, he should remember his limits and he absolutely cannot harm the baby. Give your elder child time to make adjustments and allow the relationship of the siblings to grow at a normal pace. Make the elder child understand that from now on, both the children will share the love of the parents and both of them are equally important.
The love and affection of both the parents will make your child welcome the newborn with delight.