Preparing your baby’s siblings

If your baby is joining a family that already has other tiny members, it might be a good idea to start preparing your other children for his arrival. If you’re a first-time parent, this would be a good article to keep for the next time! Each child is different and according to their age they tend to react in a certain way. Below you’ll find tips on how to prepare toddlers and preschoolers. You may find that some tips help your children regardless of their age, mix and match until you find what works best for you and your family.

Toddlers (12-36 months)
• Talk constantly about babies, get your children thinking about them.
• Talk about the new baby, act excited and get them onboard with having another family member.
• Include books with babies and siblings into their bedtime stories.
• Use the words “sister” and “brother” in everyday conversations.
• Get your children involved when shopping for your baby’s clothes, items, preparing the nursery, etc.
• Let them feel your baby kicking and moving in your belly.
• If you can, visit relatives or friends with babies, that will get your children used to seeing you carry other babies and get a better sense of how to interact with them.

Pre-schoolers (2-5 years):
• At this age, children can be very attached to their mothers and be sensitive to change. Tread carefully and make sure you’re aware of their feelings and any signs of stress, discomfort or unhappiness.
• Include books regarding pregnancy or siblings.
• Talk to them about the responsibility that entails being an older sibling.
• Describe baby behaviors and make them a part of it, explain what babies can and can’t do, what to expect and how you will need their help caring for the baby.
• Before you pass on any of your children’s old things to the baby, talk to them first, let them play with it again. They should ultimately agree to pass it on. Don’t let any resentment start to build up.

Avoid any big-life transitions happening at the time of birth. Start potty-training or changing bedrooms beforehand. The more involved your children feel, the more they’ll ease into the transition. It’s easy for them to feel sidelined or left out, so reassure them by making them a part of the process!

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