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How to avoid sibling rivalry with arrival of another baby

Most parents dread the idea of sibling rivalry as they await the arrival of a new baby. It is an interesting and inevitable phase, the challenges of which can be mitigated by ensuring that older children have been prepped to handle the unavoidable change in family dynamics.

The measures parents need to take to address the likelihood of sibling rivalry differ for each child, depending on their age, family dynamics and other such factors. Largely, though, it is all about educating the child about the way babies function, involving them in the routine of the new baby in any way they can help and to ensure they are not neglected.

Here are a few tips to do this.

Breaking the news on the new arrival

It makes sense to talk about the possibility of a younger sibling right when you are planning the child. Picture books on the topic can be a helpful device in initiating the conversation.  Even if you decide to wait until conception or later, make sure the news comes from both the parents together rather than someone else. Depending on the child’s age and maturity, choose the right language to reassure their position as the elder sibling, and that they will still have your love and attention after the baby’s arrival.

Get the elder child involved

There would be a lot of changes around the house and in your routines even before the baby’s birth. Involve the older child in the entire process, make them feel like they are a part of the decision-making process. You can ask the elder sibling to choose some colours or patterns for the new nursery or to pick out the outfits and toys for the youngling. In case you plan to use some of their older stuff for the baby, talk about doing so in advance. You can also discuss ways in which the older sibling can help in your subsequent childcare routine.

Forge emotional connection

Try to make them emotionally connected to the baby. They can be prepared for a caregiver role with the help of dolls that they can ‘parent’. You can also share age-appropriate details about the baby’s growth, letting them touch your tummy and talk to the baby. If possible, take them to one of the ultrasound appointments or show them the ‘picture’ of their younger sibling. You can also use the elder one’s baby pictures to get a mental image of what to expect.

Check expectations

Often while telling older kids about the arrival of new babies, parents use the rhetoric of getting them a new playmate. This might make the elder one have very unrealistic expectations from the baby. Before the birth, discuss with the older child about the baby needing some time to become big and strong to play with them. Let them know that for several months the newborn would only sleep, eat and cry.

Explain and educate

Since it would be a new experience for them, the kid may have all sorts of questions about how the baby got into mommy’s tummy and how it would get out. Answer all these queries patiently. Again, their own baby pictures can help a lot in this regard. Prepare them for your absence during the hospital admission and immediately after birth. Explain that mommy will need to provide extra care and attention to the baby, just like she did when the older kid was a newborn.

Reassure

Even when you explain and involve the child in every step of the process, they might still need some reassurance about the parents still loving them after the new baby comes home. If they raise questions to that effect, give them reassuring replies. Make sure to show plenty of physical love to the child in the form of cuddles and kisses. During the pregnancy, continue spending quality time with the older child like by telling them bedtime stories, discussing their day after they come back from school and such. If the mother is not up to it, the father should take over the routine or make new ones that would assure the child they still have your time and attention.

Let slip-ups slide

Even after you take all necessary steps to avoid any negative feelings, there is still a chance that the older child might feel some insecurity. This can lead to them acting out to get your attention. This may come in the form of bathroom accidents in potty-trained childrenor wanting to take the bottle or even asking you to nurse them along with the baby or demanding to let them sleep in the crib. At such times, be patient with the child and use positive reinforcement and rewarding good behaviour rather than telling them they should not or cannot do something.

Now that you know how to prepare your older child for the arrival of a newborn in the house, the task might seem quite a handful. However, you will have several months to do it. If you time it right, the elder one would be well-adjusted with the idea of sharing the parents and the house with the baby. This will also help them be a good elder sibling with hardly any semblance of sibling rivalry!

For women in the reproductive age group, one of the most common endocrine disorders is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). While the numbers say anywhere between 5 to 12% of women in a community suffer from it, the actual prevalence can be as high as 26%.

Most of the outcomes of PCOS – irregular periods, acne, excessive hair growth and weight gain – can be a little more than minor inconveniences. However, the one effect that has a deeper impact on all aspects of life of a person is infertility. It is well known that women with the condition take much longer to conceive a child, and many of them struggle with the issue for years.

The good thing is that like all other symptoms of the disorder, infertility can also be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. It is not impossible for women with PCOS to overcome the problem and become pregnant. Read on to know a few simple lifestyle tips that can help you manage PCOS.

Watch your weight

For most women, PCOS causes extreme weight gain. Changing this is often the first step towards increasing one’s chances of getting pregnant. Hormonal imbalance can make this difficult. Getting your BMI (body mass index) checked in order to understand how much excess weight there is to lose and your muscle-fat ratio is a good start. Once the goalpost is ready, you can work towards improving the quality of your diet while also increasing the amount of physical exercise you get. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, a weight loss between 5 and 15% vastly improves the condition of anyone with hormonal imbalances.

Focus on ovulation

Irregular or no ovulation that is caused by the hormonal imbalance is usually the direct cause of difficulty in conception, especially for women with PCOS. Ovulation cycles can be tracked with the help of apps or simply by keeping a record of the periods. There are ovulation testing kits to help ascertain that a woman is ovulating. This helps determine the window when the chances of pregnancy are high. Regular ovulation is not enough, though. The eggs released also need to be considerably healthy to get fertilised. Doctors could prescribe medicines or injections for this.

Keep blood sugar in check

PCOS often messes with hormones other than the reproductive ones, especially insulin. This also makes a woman with the condition more likely to develop diabetes or insulin resistance. This imbalance is closely associated with the obesity often accompanying the syndrome. In fact, lowering insulin resistance is one of the primary ways of managing the condition. This can be done with the help of medicines, though some of them would be contraindications for a woman looking to get pregnant. A diet consisting of a lot of fiber and healthy fats may help keep the insulin levels in check as well. Monitoring the blood sugar levels more closely during the time you are trying to get pregnant is advisable.

Don’t sweat it

A stressed out individual has higher chances of producing a lot of hormones associated with reducing the chances of pregnancy. Therefore, it is all the more important to focus on one’s mental health while trying to conceive a child. A lot of the exercise you may be undertaking in order to lose weight, though, would help release happy hormones. You could also decrease stress through yoga and meditation. Additionally, you could indulge in activities that help you relax and destress on a more regular basis.

Keep in mind that a pregnancy in a woman having PCOS is high risk. It increases the chances of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, pregnancy induced blood pressure and several other issues. However, don’t get discouraged by the side effects. Like for conception, you can work with your fertility expert to work on ensuring that you enjoy a healthy and happy pregnancy. And there is overwhelming evidence women with PCOS giving birth to perfectly healthy, full-term babies. Some of them do need to take help of assisted reproductive technologies like in-vitro fertilisation.

When you hold your precious bundle of joy after all this hard work, you can relish the realisation that it was all worth it!

Interested in finding out more about cord blood banking in  Singapore? Contact us now through the form on this page or WhatsApp us on +65- 83398482 and let our customer service consultants address your queries. 

More articles on Pregnancy & Maternity Tips:

  1. Balanced pregnancy diet: nutrition is the key
  2. Pre-natal exercises to reduce stress and lower back pain
  3. The hope and scope of cord blood banking
  4. Second trimester of pregnancy: do’s and don’ts

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