The arrival of your new bundle of joy will undoubtedly change the dynamic of your family, and this of course means emotional adjustments for your other children.
There are quite a few factors to think about in regards to how well they cope with their new position in your family dynamic. For example: age, personality and whether they are an only child or not. Some children will show signs of jealously, separation anxiety and others will merely need a little extra sleep while processing the new changes. For those children effected negatively, I advise as little interference to their daily routine as possible especially the bedtime routine. Of course everyone in the family needs to compromise a little, as parental attention is now spilt. My TOP TIP is to involve siblings as much as possible with your new baby’s routine, ask them to help with nappy changes, fetch toys, bathing etc. while you are investing focus and time into the key areas of your newborns day such as feeding, digestion and structured wake time.
Whilst your new baby sleeps, set aside quality time with your other children. I know this is challenging often with school runs and day-to-day life, but grabbing help to ensure your new baby’s needs are met, will really pay off once out of the newborn stage and routine and sleep associations are set.
The newborn stage is the establishing stage, this is when your baby learns patterns and behaviours, the difference between day/night and when/how to eat. This, often intense time takes weeks of setting a pattern but only weeks – which is a long and very important time in a newborn baby’s life, but a very short time of routine interruption in your siblings lives.
It’s commonly thought that a new baby needs to just slot right into a family’s already “set-up” life… In a perfect world this would be wonderful! But the truth of the matter is, this often leaves little room for meeting your baby’s daily needs to settle and sleep well day or night. Dedicating time to your baby’s routine will result in your new baby slotting nicely into family life once established.
My method is firstly based on digestion, as a newborn’s life is centred around feeding. When breastfeeding no set of boobs are the same, everybody’s milk supply and flow is different.
Understanding your milk supply and regardless of feeding method, making sure your baby is fed until full, is the first stage of the routine. Secondly, allowing progressive time awake after feeds not only helps with digestion but enforces the difference between night and day. And thirdly, your sleep positions are as important as your day routine.