Introducing A New Baby to Siblings
Can you remember the excitement of having your firstborn child? That excitement doesn’t go away with the second, third or fourth (or more) children. But, with that excitement comes some apprehension on how the older sibling(s) will respond to a new baby joining the family. I remember when we told our daughter that I was pregnant; she wasn’t overly thrilled with the news. Naturally, it was a shock at first and she wanted to know why we would even want another child but after some time she was excited about being a big sister.
We told her before anyone else that I was pregnant. She came with us to the first ultrasound and I bought her a t-shirt that said, “Guess who is going to be a big sister?” which she proudly wore when we started to tell others. She also came to the ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. Yes, she was upset when the doctor said it was a boy, but she was eager to help with the reveal party soon thereafter.
During the pregnancy she would often lie on my lap and talk to her brother in my tummy and now and then she would paint my burgeoning belly too 😊
On the day our little man was born we told everyone that his sister would be the first to meet and hold him. She also received a present from her brother and she bought a present for him. Once home, I enjoyed having her climb into bed with us in the mornings for cuddles and I often asked her to help bath, dress and hold him.
She was and still is a great big sister to him and I believe it is because we included her in some decision making, allowing her to help plan the celebrations and letting her know she was needed but also appreciated when she helped.
One of my readers, Natalya said; “Do not wait until the last minute to introduce the new baby…it’s a continuous process in the family 🙂
Start conversations earlier so when the new addition is here, siblings love him/her to the pieces.
Little ones can talk/sing to the baby when the baby is still in mommy’s tummy.”
And other suggestions included:
- Talk, talk and talk some more – ensure that your older child(ren) know that they are being heard and that you understand they may have mixed feelings about having a new sibling.
- Read books about having a new sibling (There’s a great one called “Little Nameless” hint hint)
- Have the sibling read to the baby (in utero and once born)
- Include them in some decision making.
- Ensure that you spend some one-on-one time with them too.
- Take photos of them with the baby and without the baby.
- Ask friends and relatives to bring the siblings some gifts too so they don’t feel left out.
- Talk (again and again), offer praise and give lots of cuddles.
This really is a time of celebration for the entire family, there will be some periods of jealousy or regression for the older sibling(s) which is entirely normal. Allow your child to feel these emotions, it’s ok to have bad feelings, but it’s not ok to hurt someone verbally or physically when you do have them. 😊 Take each day as it comes and enjoy this special family time!
Do you have any other tips on how to introduce a new baby to the family? Share them in the comments below.
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