Are you worried about how your child will react when their new baby brother or sister arrives? How do you prepare them for this change? How do you talk to them,without overwhelming them? Having a newborn sibling is a challenge for children of all different ages. Their life will change, but how can you prepare them for this change? Here are some tips to prepare them for the arrival of their newborn sibling.
Follow these 5 tips to ensure you prepare your child for the arrival of their new sibling
For a child, welcoming a new sibling into the family can be a difficult time. Depending on their age, there might be resentment, jealousy, anger, a feeling of rejection as they begin to adapt to the change in their family. However, with some simple tips, you can help prepare them to welcome the baby with open arms.
1. Make sure you tell your child that you are expecting another baby as soon as you start telling everyone else, as you would hate for them to find out from someone else. Some Preschoolers, for example, may not grasp concepts of time, so it might not mean much if you say that the baby will arrive in a few months. It may be more useful to explain that the baby will arrive in a particular season, such as winter or when it’s cold outside. Once they have been told, try and involve them as much as possible in your pregnancy, for example, show them scan pictures, get them to help rub moisturiser on your tummy, or buy a monitor and get them to listen to your baby’s heartbeat.
2. Its a good idea if dad starts spending extra time with your first child before the baby arrives. Find something special that you can do together on a consistent basis before the new baby arrives. Once the baby arrives, mum will need time to recover and will be spending a lot of time with the newborn, so having this special activity they can do with dad, will lessen the shock when the baby arrives.
3. To prevent jealousy, make sure when the baby arrives, you still dedicate special one-to-onetime to your older child. Make sure you reassure them and tell them you love them. Don’t forget to make sure when guests or family arrive, that they take the time to make a fuss of your older child and make them feel important and not just talk about the new baby. When you take the child to visit the new arrival ,perhaps, you can buy a present to give them and pretend its from the baby.
4. Start reading Reading age appropriate books to prepare siblings for a new baby. You can find recommendations for the top 10 books at the following website: https://www.familiesonline.co.uk/things-to-do/families-bookclub/best-books-to-prepare-siblings-for-the-new-baby
5. Make sure when the newborn arrives, that you allow your eldest to get involved as much as possible, with little tasks like holding the baby under supervision. By letting them help out, you are letting them know you trust them and that they are still an important part of your familythat you trust him, that he can take an active role, that part of being a big brother is taking care of a younger sibling and that you’re all in this together.
These tips will help prepare your child for the changes to their life. If you have any other suggestions, please do comment on this post.
However, please do remember, if your child does act up and misbehaves, think about what they may be feeling – do they need more one-on-one time? Do they need to be included more? Be thoughtful of their feeling, but importantly, make it clear that these feelings have to be expressed in appropriate ways.