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A new baby in the family
Wietske Boon

“I am three years old.  Mommy and Daddy give me a lot of attention up to now.  They play with me and we have nice long talks.  When it is bath-time, I may sometimes play extra-long in the water.  When we go shopping, now and then I get treated with a new toy or some sweeties.  All the toys in our house belong to me. When we visit friends everyone comments on how much I have grown and how cute I am.  Now Mommy is expecting a baby.  What I don’t get, is where does babies come from anyway? Everyone tells me something different, and I don’t believe anyone anymore.  And I am scared!  Will Mommy and Daddy still love me?  Who is going to play with me, I hear babies take a lot a of the mommy’s time. I adore my toys, what if the new baby takes it and breaks it? I am not so sure about this whole new baby thing…”

Having a new baby in the family doesn’t have to be a traumatic event in the firstborn’s life.  Here are a few guidelines to make it easier for your child:

During pregnancy

Once you find out that you are expecting, tell it to him. Give him regularly the opportunity to ask questions and answer it with patience on a level that he can understand.  There are books available that explain pregnancy and having a new baby on a child’s level.

Always be honest about what he can expect when the baby is born.  Sometimes it will be fun, but other times the baby is going to cry and will need a lot of mommy’s attention.

When baby is born

When baby comes home

Wietske Boon – Play therapist; www.childtherapist.co.za; wietske@childtherapist.co.za

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