Having a baby, especially if you go away to a hospital to deliver, can be quite a traumatic event for the kids left behind. Not only is Mom gone from the house, but also when she comes back, she is spending most of her time and attention on this newcomer. From a child’s perspective, that can be very upsetting.
It is critically important to make sure you encourage your child’s enthusiasm for the new baby, but never make them feel guilty or bad for being upset about his or her arrival. A new baby means a lot of upheaval in a home, and kids who are used to having all the attention might really feel threatened by the baby.
Make a point to spend individual time with each child as often as possible, and help them to understand that a new baby does not mean they are loved any less. Encouraging your older kids to help out can help them feel important still. My youngest loves to find the binky and put it in the baby’s mouth, while the oldest is just amazed at how his gentle touch on her head can calm her down when she starts to fuss.
Above all, know your kids and don’t try to push them to love the new baby – that will come in its own time.