Bringing a newborn baby home may be a little different the second time around.1
A new sibling may have a big impact on your family.1 The relationship between your older children and your new baby is very important.2
By helping your older child prepare for the new baby will encourage a healthy sibling bond.1
Ways to Prepare your older child for the new baby1,2
- Ask them to help you set up the baby crib.
- Try and explain to your older child that the new baby won’t play with them right away; they will eat, sleep and cry most of the time.
- Reassure your older child that you will go away briefly and return when you are at the hospital for delivery.
- When the new baby arrives, arrange a relative or friend to bring your child to the hospital for a brief visit.
- Constantly talk to your child about what their new sibling will be like with the help of books, show pictures of babies and discuss what babies can and cannot do.
- Ask your older child to pick out a special gift for the baby.
- Ask your friends and relatives to greet your older child before seeing the new baby.
- Involve your child in caring for the baby.
- Treat your older child as a senior by making them do special jobs at home.
- Spend quality time with your older child throughout the day, especially at bedtime.
What can I do to help my older child adjust to having a new sibling?1
Children between the ages of 2 to 4 are still quite attached to their parents. They are bound to feel jealous when you shower your attention on the newborn. Patiently explain to them that the new baby will need lots of attention. Encourage your older child to read about babies, brothers and sisters. Look at your older child's baby pictures together and tell the story of their birth.
Your older child might seek your attention by breaking the rules. To stop this behaviour, always praise your older child when they are behaving well. Talk to your older child to know how they feel to have a new sibling. Give your older child love and assurance during regressive episodes.
- New sibling: Preparing your older child [Internet]. Available from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/new-sibling/art-20044270. Accessed on 27th February 2020.
- Preparing Siblings for Baby's Arrival [Internet]. Available from https://www.webmd.com/women/prepare-children#1. Accessed on 27th February 2020.