Congratulations, You’re pregnant! Now I’m guessing you’re here because you’ve hit a new parenting milestone. You are expecting another child and your wondering How To Prepare Your Child For A New Sibling.
From the moment you tell your child you are pregnant and expecting a baby, their life has changed forever.
You may be concerned about how your child will cope with the news of a new baby or another new sibling. How will they feel? Will they feel pushed out? Will they be happy?
But do not worry there are a number of things that you can do to prepare your child for a new sibling.
Having 5 children myself, I have helped my boys prepare for a new sibling 4 times now, so let me pass on what I’ve learnt to help you Prepare Your Child For A New Sibling.
Making The Announcement
This is big life-changing news and you want your child to feel special and secure. Try and make the announcement fun and exciting. Use the opportunity to ‘big up’ and celebrate the idea of your child becoming a big brother or sister. Make sure the announcement is made by you and not another family member or friend.
Plan The Next 12 Months
To make things easier for yourself and less stress on your child, think about the next 12 months. What has your child got going on on top of the birth of a new sibling? Will they be potty training? Starting a nursery or school? Will they be transitioning for a cot to a ‘big’ bed? Try not to make these changes within the first few months after birth as they and yourself will still be adapting to the arrival of your new baby.
PIN ME FOR LATER
Involve Your Child In Your Pregnancy
Involve your child in your pregnancy care. Allow them to attend your prenatal appointments such as scans and midwife appointments. My boys loved to come to my scans to ‘meet’ their baby brothers. Also listening to the baby’s heart beat.
As my pregnancy progressed my boys loved talking to my bump and feeling baby move.
Use Books To Help Explain What Is Happening
Books are a fantastic way for children of all ages to interact, understand and involve them in preparing for a new sibling. Books are a great way to answer questions and for younger children, to learn new words and meanings such as ‘baby’ ‘brother’ and ‘sister’
Here are some lovely books that I recommend
Involve Your Child In The Preparations
Allow your child to help you prepare for the arrival of your new baby. Take your child baby shopping with you. Allow them to choose your new baby and outfit or maybe a baby toy to welcome the baby with. Allow them to help organise your hospital bag or the baby’s room.
Help them pack a little bag for if they are staying with friends or family while you’re in hospital.
Discuss what names your child likes and what you like. Discuss which colours to paint the baby’s room.
Just simple little tasks that will make them feel special and involved in the imminent event of a new baby.
Explain to your child in a way that they will understand what might happen once the baby is here. (Let’s Talk To Mummy’s Tummy is an amazing book for this.) The fact that you will have to go to the hospital (unless you’re having a home birth), who will be looking after them.
Allow Your Child To Have Their Own Baby
This is one of the best things I did for my boys. I invested in some baby dolls, pushchair and accessories so that my boys could learn about caring for babies through their play! Introducing babies through their play made the transition much easier as well as increasing their understanding. It taught them to be caring and gentle. That we have to see to a babies needs by feeding them, bathing them, changing them, putting them to sleep and be patient.
Once baby arrives, make your child feel special by allowing them to be one of the baby’s very first visitors. Keep the visit short and follow your child’s lead. It can be very overwhelming to all of a sudden have a new baby in their mummy’s arms and their lives. You start to experience tantrums. If your child does not welcome the new baby, do not worry. Allow them time to adapt.
Celebrate Their Promotion
To help with the bonding, as babies aren’t that exciting to small children. Maybe offer a gift from the baby to their new big brother or sister. This could be a toy or something as simple as a card, certificate or badge. Or even invest in a Big Brother or Big Sister t-shirts and have your baby have a matching Little Brother or Little Sister babygrow. Plus they will make perfect photo outfits for you to be able to look back on.
I hope that these hints and tips that worked for my boys help you Prepare Your Child For A New Sibling as best as you can before the birth of your new baby.
Is there anything else that you would add to this list? If so please comment below.
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