Adapting to a New Baby

A new baby means an additional member in your family that you have to take care of. A baby entails changes in everything in your family: schedules, attention, etc. A baby can be threatening to your spouse, especially if it’s a couple’s first baby.

A baby can mean less attention to your spouse. And they might feel a little bit jealous about the attention a mother gives to the baby. So for couples with a new baby, here are some tips to help couples stay connected. First, couples should not let a baby hinder partners to spend time together. Allot couples’ time, you can hire a baby sitter or exchange childcare with another parent during your couple’s time.

Couples should solve problems together. If one of you has a problem with the other it becomes a problem for both of you. Thus, couples should find ways to work out problems respectfully. They should also be nice to each and not take for granted their marriage. They should continue taking care of each other and not just the baby: be respectful, appreciative and helpful


Also, couples should talk about other things other than the baby: current events, classes, community activities, future, etc. Most importantly, spouses should continue demonstrating their love for each other and not just the baby. Everyone needs a hug, a kiss and hearing “I love you.”

For couples with an older child, the arrival of a new baby can also cause emotional upset for the first child. A new baby means that the older child’s role expands to that of a big brother or sister. Thus, couples should also help their first child adapt to the newborn.

To help an older child adapt to a new baby, parents can assign baby related chores to the older child. This will help the child feel included in his or her sibling’s new life. Depending on the age of the baby, the older child can be responsible for bringing diapers when the baby needs a change or answering the phone and taking messages while the mother is breastfeeding. This will help the child feel needed.

Another way to keep the older child feel included is to ask for his or her opinion when the new baby is fussy. This will help the child understand a baby’s needs and can put them at ease with the baby.

Parents should also find time for the older child. Families should find time to get together: watch television, read or eat breakfast together. Parents also need to talk to their child about his feelings towards the baby. This will encourage him to express his emotions and share ideas for overcoming feelings of jealousy. And lastly, parents should exercise patience when small disruption arises. Getting angry with your older child can reinforce negative behavior and increase feelings of jealousy. Showing tolerance and understanding will promote a peaceful adapting period. These are some of the things a family needs to do to cope with a new baby.

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