Bringing home a new baby can be an exciting time for parents. However, for older siblings, it can also be overwhelming and scary. It is essential to prepare your older children to welcome a new brother or sister into the family. With the help of Northeast Doula Support, we have compiled a list of tips to help you prepare your older children for the arrival of their new sibling.
1. Involve your older children in the pregnancy process:
From the start of your pregnancy, involve your children in the process. Allow them to feel the baby’s kicks and encourage them to talk or sing to the baby. As your pregnancy progresses, bring your children to doctor’s appointments so they can see and hear the baby’s heartbeat. This experience makes the new arrival real to older children and helps them to bond with the baby before its arrival.
2. Read books about becoming a big sibling:
Reading books about becoming a big sibling to your older children gives them an indication of what to expect with a baby around the house. When choosing these books, select age-appropriate books that your children can understand. Reading together and answering the questions they ask is key to preparing them for the arrival of their new sibling.
3. Utilize Dolls and Toys:
Using dolls, TEDDY Bears, or baby toys to demonstrate how to hold a newborn or to feed an infant is an excellent hands-on approach for preparing older children. Encourage your older kids to care for their dolls as if they were their younger siblings. By doing this, they learn to handle and care for the newborn.
4. Offer Comforting Words:
It is essential to use comforting words to alleviate any fears older children may have during the birth. Words like “Mommy and daddy love you very much,” “You are important to us,” and “Your routine will not change,” can give a sense of safety and comfort to your child. Reassure your older children regularly to help ease the transition of having a new sibling in the home.
5. Have a Birth Plan:
Formulating a birth plan before the big delivery is a stressful but necessary step. When preparing your delivery plan, ensure that you have someone drop off and pick up the older sibling(s). This aspect of the plan ensures that your child is comfortable and well-cared for during the upcoming chaotic period.
Preparing your older child for the arrival of a new sibling is vital in setting the foundation for forming a strong and secure bond in the future. By involving your children in the pregnancy process, reading books to them, participating in simulated childcare with toys, offering comforting words, and having a birth plan, you show them that their new sibling is not a threat, but a new addition to the loving family. With these tips, your older child will feel secure and comfortable throughout the transition of welcoming a new baby into the family.
So instead of being stressed, you can now brace yourself for double the cute and twice the fun!