Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...


Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...


Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...


The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Introducing your firstborn to your newborn baby

intro babyThank goodness for a long gestation, it gives us plenty of time to prepare our older children for the arrival of a new baby.

Having another baby can be both exciting and daunting; there will be many changes in routines and relationships. Some planning and preparation can go a long way towards a smooth transition to these new routines and relationships.

Firstborns have been the sole object of their parent's affection and they are now going to have to share this attention which may be problematic for them. They are often too young to understand and verbalise the emotional turmoil they may be experiencing. They can intuitively pick up on the mothers shift in the focus of attention during the pregnancy. If they are old enough to understand the idea of the baby they may experience the mutual joy and excitement as well as fearfulness at being pushed aside.

Some practical planning:
Having to use the older child's cot for the new baby is a very common situation. Move older child into their new bed well in advance.
If you are still breastfeeding, you may need to wean the older child. You can still breastfeed both children, but the baby will take precedence.
Try and continue with your toddler's routine as much as possible before and after babies arrival.
Do not try start playgroup or nursery school for the first time as the new baby arrives, the older one may feel as if they are being sent off somewhere whilst mom devotes time to new baby. Start the new routine of playgroup or school whilst still pregnant.
Discuss and involve older child in preparing for new baby as much as possible. Let them feel kicking movements, take them to Drs appointments, show them the printed out scans of baby.
Explain how the new baby will need more of your attention. They will need carrying, feeding, holding when they cry. Older children also need to understand that the little baby is not going to be an immediate playmate and that they need to grow a bit first.
Plan ahead for the time when you will be in hospital. Find out if older child can visit you in hospital or if they need to wait till you get home.
When baby does arrive and the first visit takes place, swop gifts between the siblings.

Dealing with difficult behaviour:
An older child may resent the time and attention being spent on the new baby and as a result may display negative behaviour. They can often be rough and boisterous, they can withdraw, they may also exhibit good or bad behaviour in order to get your attention.
Be patient, nurturing and understanding of emotions rather than behaviour. Let older child know what they are and are not allowed to do with the baby. Providing structure and limits helps the older child adjust as well as feel safe and secure within their own roles.
Feeding can be a difficult time as your attention can be divided. Let older sibling sit next to you and read a book, or set up an activity that doesn't need your supervision and explain that you will have time together after the feed.
Remember to notice and point out good behaviour-"I was so pleased that you played quietly whilst I was busy with baby, would you like to do something special with Mommy now?" this follows the strategy of ignoring bad and rewarding good.
Thank them if they are being helpful in any way and involve them in small tasks when dealing with baby.
If baby needs a lot of carrying, use a sling or pouch as this will allow you to hold hands with your firstborn.

As a parent one also needs to remember that the time spent with the new baby is not going to exactly the same as with the first. The dynamics have changed and the time spent with new baby may not be as intense or focused. There will, however, be many magical moments as you witness the fascinating dynamics between siblings.