How to Prepare Your Child for a Sibling

Congratulations! You are expecting another child, this is so exciting and nerve racking at the same time. You might have questions on how to prepare your child for another baby!

Each kid reacts differently to knowing they will be a big brother/sister! Kids who are two years old or under are more likely to mimic what their parents express. If the family is expressing excitement and joy around the pregnancy, the child will most likely express the same feelings. Kids who are older around ages three and four are more likely to express if they want or don’t want a sibling due to their established routine and time spent with their parents. The older the kids are, the easier it will be for them to understand the concept of siblings and babies. We have researched different ways to prepare your little one for a baby brother or sister and what to do once the baby arrives.

Common questions surrounding your first born and the new baby: 

When do I tell my kid about having another baby?
Before or as soon as you tell your family and friends! This will help prevent anyone else from telling them about the baby and prevent your child from being under a lot of pressure. 

How do I introduce the idea of a baby to them?
Storybooks are a useful tool to explain the concept of siblings. Introducing them to other newborns and watching other siblings interact with the baby will be helpful for your child as well. 

BOOKS THAT CAN HELP EXPLAIN A BABY TO YOUR TODDLER:

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: The Baby Is Here (By Angela C. Santomero, Illustrated By Jason Fruchter)

The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby (By Stan & Jan Berenstain)

We Have a Baby by Catheryn Falwell

The New Baby series by Rachel Fuller

How to get my child involved?
Another way to get your child excited about the baby is to get them involved in the process. Have them pick out decor for the nursery, some fun toys, cute clothes, even the baby name!

What to do once my baby arrives?
Once the baby has arrived, ask a family member or friend to bring your child to the hospital and have them hold the precious newborn, giving you a chance to hold your oldest and introduce them to the baby!

What to do when my child is acting out once the baby arrives?
Your oldest might throw tantrums or break rules to seek attention over the baby. Rewarding good behavior will encourage your little one to be happy about their new sibling. 

What do I do if my child wants to play with the baby?
Encourage your child to be gentle around the baby and have them be involved in their activities like changing diapers, feeding, even nap time! 

How to be aware of my child’s feelings?
Acknowledge your little one’s feelings when it comes to the baby. Whether they are angry, happy, or tired of the baby...validate their feelings and let them know that you care. Having some one-on-one time can help them feel special and loved!

Don’t worry mama! You got this! Having little ones running around will bring so much joy and watching them become best friends will be rewarding enough. :)

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