Adding a new baby to the family is an exciting time for families. Children especially feel that eagerness as they hold their new baby brother or sister for the first time; they finally get to see who has been inside of mom’s growing belly all these months! Their initial enthusiasm may fade, though, as the weeks go on and the reality of a baby’s needs sets in. Most parents see changes in behavior in their older children sometime during the first year after a new sibling is born. Parents may see a once-agreeable child acting out, becoming defiant, or beginning to show behavior struggles at school.
Parents do many things to prepare for the arrival of a new baby - decorating the nursery, buying a car seat and stroller, selecting a name, and so much more. No matter how much preparation you do, the unexpected can happen. Due to a variety of reasons, you could find yourself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) sitting by your newborn baby.
For three- and four-year-olds beginning to step out into the world from the safety of a parent’s arms, there can be much to fear, whether it be a bump in the night or walking into a new classroom. Bravery is a trait that can be developed and as a parent, there are things you can do for your child to equip them to live more courageously. According to Psychology Today, courage is "feeling fear, yet choosing to act." Let your child know that it’s okay to feel afraid. Then explain that learning bravery is about trying not to allow fear to make decisions forth.
When we’re pregnant or awaiting adoption, we dream about our baby-to-be and we always envision those beautiful scenes, which always show a charming baby smiling up at a peaceful parent’s face. We read books in advance of the big day about how to care for a newborn, how to bathe a newborn, feed and dress them, and then we feel somewhat prepared. However, a crying baby was never part of that idyllic vision, so this takes new parents by surprise.
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