When two people marry and combine their families into one, they often then focus on having children to solidify their bond with each other. This desire to have children often does not go away even when the two spouses already have children from prior relationships.
However, the stepchildren may not be so eager to welcome a new half-sibling. For this reason, it’s important for the couple to find ways to include their combined children in the preparation for and welcoming of a new baby. When parents wonder what they can do to help their stepchildren feel more open to the addition of a new baby, they may take these reminders into consideration.
Include Stepchildren in New Baby Planning
In the months leading up the baby’s birth, stepparents can involve their stepchildren by having them help plan and prepare for the baby. Allowing the stepchildren to pick out baby blankets, toys, clothing, and even the color of the nursery can help them feel like they are having an impact on the new baby’s arrival into the family and contributing to the baby’s health and happiness.
The stepchildren may eagerly anticipate the baby wearing clothing they picked out, playing with toys they selected, and sleeping in a nursery partly designed by its half-siblings. Their eagerness may fade away any lingering anxiety and resentment they have about adding the new baby to the family.
Reassure the Stepchildren
Stepchildren often fear new step-siblings for several reasons. They fear that their mom or dad will no longer have time for them and that their stepparent may relegate them to a lesser status in the family. They also fear that they will no longer have any value in their parents’ eyes. The new baby will be a combination of both their parent and their stepparent, while they only come from their mom or dad in the household.
Parents and stepparents alike can reassure these children that they will continue to be loved, valued, and appreciated even after the new baby arrives. Hearing reassuring promises may relieve the fears that stepchildren may have about the new family addition.
Actions Rather than Words
Along with reassuring their stepchildren, stepparents must make good on their promises. If they promise their stepchildren they will continue to spend time with them after the new baby comes, it is important that they make good on that promise and continue to go to ball games, go shopping, or simply spend time with the children at home.
Seeing promises put into action can have more importance to stepchildren who, despite the best of promises, may still need solid affirmation of the love of their parents and stepparents.
Delegate Responsibility to Siblings
Half-siblings can feel more welcoming toward the new baby if they are given responsibilities in caring for their new half-brother or sister. If an older sister is asked to make a bottle or an older brother is asked to wind up the baby’s swing, these older children may feel like they have an active hand in raising their half-sibling. Taking an active role in the baby’s care can also provide siblings the opportunity to bond and love their new brother or sister.
Stepchildren often fear and resent new babies brought into their blended families. Stepparents can alleviate the fear and anxiety about the new addition by following these suggestions.
Mother of four, writer Melanie Fleury knows teveryone in the family may not transition to life with a new baby well. In the past, she has allowed each of her children to pick out a small gift for the new baby so they can feel involved in the process of bringing baby home. Search http://www.target.com/bp/baby+einstein for some great ideas of gifts for your newest little addition.
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