How Sarah Lahbati prepared Zion in becoming a ‘kuya’
For second-time parents, the arrival of a newborn may be less nerve-wracking than the first, as there is a better idea on what to expect and prepare for. Nevertheless, a new baby still entails a lot of changes, not just for the parents but also for the firstborn.
For Sarah Lahbati, she believes that preparing her eldest kid Zion for the arrival of Kai is a non-negotiable. In a blog post she shared last April 6, Lahbati wrote that although she and partner Richard Gutierrez have the basics down on what to expect in Kai’s first few months, it is a whole different story when it comes to Zion.
“Zion was our only child for four years,” wrote Lahbati on her blog SarahLahbati.com. “Even if he has a lot playmates and cousins, he always had 100% of mom and dad’s time, love, and attention. Now, he’s not going to be the only one anymore.”
Lahbati thinks that sometimes, a firstborn can be excited in the beginning, but start to feel jealous in the first few weeks when the mother is focused on the newborn. She explained, “They alternate between excitement and jealousy depending on the situation. It’s all completely normal.”
As for Lahbati, she and Gutierrez prepared for this by spending time with Zion while they were waiting for Kai’s arrival, to make sure Zion would not feel neglected. One of the things they did was taking a short trip to Hong Kong last year where she had alone time with Zion.
“We made good memories while we were there. Make sure that dad also spends a good amount of time with him as well! Once the baby arrives and you are incredibly busy caring for a newborn, it would be good if your firstborn knows he can get some attention from dad if mom has her hands full.”
Lahbati also advised fellow mothers to manage their time once the new baby is home. She has been sleepless lately for breastfeeding and tending to Kai, and shared that Richard has been spending more time with Zion. “But, I still do my best to spend time with him by reading books to Zion when Kai is asleep, or give him his nightly showers.”
Moreover, Lahbati shared that letting other family members know how to give Zion attention is important, too: “Ask your friends and relatives early on to also give attention to your firstborn. Try to avoid them asking things like ‘how is it being a big brother?’ because depending on the day, it can get really old really fast. Instead, have them spend time playing or telling stories.”
And lastly, she stressed the value of time. “Allow some time for your firstborn to adjust to new routines,” wrote Lahbati. “Try to space changes at home or in your routines so that your firstborn has time to adjust. Kids need time to get used to things, but they will get there. Don’t worry!”
These all may seem like a handful, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Lahbati, however, believes that in making all these early preparations, the goal of it all is to help the firstborn realize that despite the presence of another baby, mom and dad’s love for them is still very much the same. JB
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