Bringing a new baby home can be a grab bag of mixed emotions, in particular for the stepdad becoming the first-time biodad. Bringing a newborn into a blended family adds another dimension to the family dynamic.
Even before the baby is born, there are other children’s feelings to consider. There may be crazy schedules of kids coming and going plus their outside activities to cope with as well.
The following tips can help you ease bringing a newborn into a blended family with a little less stress.
1. Play the Name Game
If your stepchildren are older, you can involve them in helping you choose a name for the new arrival. Grab some chart paper or bristol board. Make one side of the paper for boy’s names and the other side for girls (that is if you aren’t finding out the gender!).
Encourage each child to add two or three choices to each side. You can take them to the library to check out baby name books.
Let them research the Internet, or maybe they have a favorite name already. The only stipulation is they must share with the family why they chose that name and share if it has special meaning.
2. Get Decorating!
Depending on how old your children are, they could get involved with things like choosing paint colors, themes and even choosing furniture like the baby’s new bassinet and crib. If your children are younger and decorating the room with you isn’t an option, you could select wall decals and create a custom mural.
They’ll love feeling part of welcoming Baby home.
3. Start a Baby Pool
This doesn’t mean a place where they can swim. Instead, this is a guessing game with a prize at the end.
This is especially perfect for teens who are already on social media and can involve friends and family. Have your teen set up a spreadsheet to keep track of each person’s guess on gender (if applicable) and the baby’s weight at birth and collect a small entry fee like $1 or $2.
Whoever has the correct gender moves on to the finals where your teen looks at the weight guesses. Whoever is closest with the weight wins half of the money collected.
The other half of the money is for a purchase for the coming baby.
Allow your teen to choose what that item will be.
4. Invite the Kids to Your Ultrasound
A baby in your wife’s belly is unseen and often hard to relate to your children. You tell them the baby is there, and they see her growing belly, but it’s all so unreal.
By inviting your kids into your ultrasound, they can experience the magical feeling you get when you see your wee one bouncing around on the screen and hear the baby’s heartbeat thumping away. Your children can then see the baby is real and alive and moving around in there.
5. Make Special Time
For that time, no baby talk. Make it all about that particular child.
Talk about their friends, their latest interests and just have fun. This will go a long way in making your child feel they’re still important to you and they won’t lose their “place” with you.
If you can, try to make it semi-regular to do things like this.
6. Give Out Special Jobs
Assign each child a special duty or job for the day of the baby’s birth. If you’re like most parents, you won’t know the exact date your baby will arrive, so it’s good to go over this plan a few times to make sure all children understand their role.
If you’re planning a C-section, this is a little easier to plan.
Some duties you could assign are:
- Calling relatives to announce the baby’s arrival
- Making sure the baby’s bag makes it to the hospital
- Creating a bag of various snacks for Mom’s stay in the hospital
- Dinner preparation for the family, each night Mom, is away (have them prepare their idea ahead of time to make sure you have ingredients on hand)
7. Get Them Informed
Before your newborn’s arrival, it’s a good idea to give your kids a few lessons on what to expect from a baby. Your kids may not know babies might cry a lot or ice cream and other favorite foods may not be a great thing to share with Baby. It’s important to give them an idea of what to expect.
Bringing a newborn into a blended family doesn’t have to be earth shattering or heartbreaking. Just remember to consider your other children’s feelings.
Make sure they know how important they are to the family as well. The new baby will be a beautiful joining of two families, and they can all be a part of that magic.
Mother’s forge the bond with their baby’s by carrying them for nine months inside their womb. It can be difficult for a new dad to develop the same type of a relationship with their infant. A new dad may not know what role they should play in their newborn’s care and closeness. Here are important parenting tips that can help new dads bond with their baby.