If you’d like to have a second baby but fear you won’t love it as much as your darling first child, psychotherapist Lesley Steyn has some advice.
‘It’s natural when you have a beloved first child to feel you could not possibly love another as much. It’s also natural to feel guilty about the idea of displacing your first child from his exclusive position. Perhaps it’s the thought of how jealous he will be that makes it even more difficult.
‘These feelings are bound to be influenced by your own childhood. Maybe you were an older child and felt shaken by the birth of a sibling. Or if you were the younger one, you may feel guilty that you took attention away from your sibling.
‘It’s painful to be ousted and your child won’t like it but he can cope. What will help is showing him that you can deal with his feelings, otherwise he may feel he has to hide his hurt at being pushed out because he senses you cannot bear it.
‘In the meantime, make sure you regularly tell him how much you love him and keep showing him there is a secure place for everyone in the family.’