We all know it can be hard to adjust to new surroundings and situations and this is no exception for young children who find themselves having to ‘share’ the attention of the parents with the arrival of a new baby. To make the adjustment as smooth and easy as possible, from before the baby is born to when the baby has settled in, we have put together with 15 useful tips on how to prepare your children for a new sibling.
Before the baby arrives there are several things that you and your partner can do to help your child understand that there will be a new addition to the family:
- Spend some quality time with your child sharing your experience with them of when they were a baby. You can share pictures and videos and tell them stories of how good they were and precious moments you spent together.
- Buy your child a stuffed toy or baby doll that your child can look after and nurture much like you will be doing with your new baby.
- Get the nursery room set up as early as possible and let your child enter the room freely so that they don’t feel unwelcome when the baby arrives.
- It’s important to remind your child that the new baby will be just that, a baby! They won’t be quite ready for sibling mud throwing and silly noises. Show pictures and videos of babies so your child can get a sense of what babies can and can’t do.
- You wouldn’t want your child to feel left out even in the months leading to the birth of their new sibling, so invite your child to go along with you to antenatal classes or stocking up the nursery and let you child help you with the fun things like picking names and choosing the outfit the baby will come home in!
When it’s time to come home from the hospital, the excitement will be felt and instead of finding yourself overwhelmed, this is a great opportunity to make it a special event.
- When you arrive home your child will be feeling very excited to greet you and meet your new bundle of joy. You could hand your partner the baby and make sure your arms are free to greet your child with a hug.
- Let your child know how excited you are for them to meet and allow them to meet each other in a peaceful, relaxed environment.
- Get some help from your family and friends to help organise a small birthday party. Ask your friends to make sure they greet your child before meeting the new addition.
- A nice idea is to get your child a present from the baby and vice versa. This will really help in creating a bond between your two children.
- Your child can create a painting which introduces the baby’s arrival. You can share this with your friends and family on social media.
Once you’re settled in, you’ll be very busy parenting and caring for your new-born and your child can help too!
- You can help your child understand how the new baby is feeling by reassuring them that certain noises and expressions are okay and the baby is happy.
- Allow your child to hold the baby when supervised and make sure they are aware that they can only do this when there is an adult present.
- If your child wants to, you can bathe both children together and your child can help clean the baby in the bath. Encourage your children to have fun with any bath bubbles or bath toys together.
- When you are changing nappies (and there will be a lot!) you can get some handy help from your mini me who can pass you nappies.
- Bedtime can be a great time for the little ones to cuddle up and enjoy a book together.
Maintain a strong relationship with your child so they don’t become detached and feel left out in all the excitement of a new child. Following our 15 tips will really help to make a difference and before you know it your baby will be loved as much as this child is adored by his eldest sister: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84DLT4yRcy4 !!
Do you have any more helpful tips that could help parents introduce their children to their new siblings?