Welcoming a New Sibling

January 3, 2019
Welcoming a New Sibling

Adjusting to life with a new baby isn’t just a concern for parents!  Preparing for a new sibling can be full of stress and fear for your children. Here are our favorite tips to help make this transition smoother for BIG brothers and sisters.

Before the new baby arrives

  • Keep routines as normal as possible.  Your child feels safe when they can predict what is going to happen next.
  • Talk about when your child was a baby and what that experience was like.  Show baby photos and tell stories about their birth and what they did/liked as a baby.
  • Make a plan for your older child to visit you in the hospital if possible – this is a family event, and everyone should feel included.

After the baby is born

  • Have a special gift for the new big brother/big sister waiting.  It doesn’t need to be anything large or expensive, but will go a long way in making that first introduction a happy occasion.
  • Don’t put too much pressure on toddlers to show interest in the baby.  They have a lifetime to build a special relationship and won’t know exactly how they feel at first!
  • Make sure visitors talk and pay attention to BOTH children.  Feeling ignored isn’t pleasant for anyone.
  • Avoid using the baby as an excuse for things you or loved ones can’t do.  For example, “Mommy can’t take you to school because she has to feed your sister.”  This puts blame on the new sibling and can cause strain.  Instead, try saying “Mommy is still in her pajamas!  She is going to see you as soon as you come home from school and hear all about your day.”
  • Find lots of opportunities to teach big brothers and sisters about their new role.  Learning how to help with new jobs and take on new responsibilities can make an older child feel empowered and important.

For more information on adjusting to a new sibling, click here.  And for information on building strong sibling relationships moving forward, visit us here.

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