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Helping older siblings accept a new baby can be challenging. Some children may feel that with a new baby coming that you will not have time for them anymore. That was the case with my oldest son when I was pregnant with my 3rd child.
There are many ways that you can help older siblings accept a new baby before and after birth. All these ways I have done with my older 2 and they definitely work!
Before Baby Comes
There are many ways that you can help older siblings accept a new baby before the baby comes. You need to start preparing them now so that when the baby gets here it will be an easier transition for them. This also depends on the age of your other kids. If your child is 2 years old or younger, some of these items may not be appropriate for them for they will not be able to understand. You still need to prepare them for the new baby though or they will have a tough time when they get here. Here is a list of things you can do to prepare older siblings for a new baby:
- Talk with them in advance to prepare them for the new baby.
- Get them involved!
- Your kids will love being involved with helping to get the baby stuff out and set up! Also, have them help sort through the baby clothes.
- Have older siblings pick out a special gift for the new baby.
- This is a great way to get your older kids involved! I had my kids pick out special toys for the baby in addition to a bear security blanket (each of my kids had one when they were infants) that they would give to the baby in the hospital.
- Get older siblings a special big brother/sister gift from the baby.
- I did this with my older kids so they felt special after the baby was born. The baby will be getting a lot of attention from mom and dad plus other relatives that getting a big brother/sister gift makes them feel important too. I bought my son an ITunes gift card and my daughter a special doll that she wanted.
- Assure older siblings that you will still have time for them.
- This is a big fear with most kids when adding a baby to the family. As I mentioned earlier, this was my son’s fear when I was pregnant with my 3rd. I would constantly assure him that his life would not change that much with a new baby in the house. I told him that even though I was going to give birth right before his football season was to start that I wouldn’t miss a game and the baby was going to fit into his schedule (which is exactly what happened!).
After the Baby Comes
Now the baby is here! You have prepared your other children as much as you could for the arrival of their new baby sibling. Here are some suggestions to help older siblings accept a new baby after the baby is born:
- When your older kids get to the hospital to see you and to meet their new baby sibling, have the baby in the basinet. Greet your older kids first then take them over to meet their new brother/sister. This way your kids feel important too and that it’s not all about the baby. My kids were so excited to meet their baby sister when they got to the hospital! It made my heart melt to see how excited they were!
- Have them give the new baby their special gifts.
- Have older siblings gifts ready to give them from the baby.
- Let your older children hold the baby. If they are young, have a boppy to assist them.
- Get them involved!
- This is the most important thing you can do with your older kids! I did this with my kids! You can have them get diapers and wipes if you need them, have them help with bath time, and with feedings (if she was taking a bottle). They can also help get toys for the baby or help to rock them. There are so many ways for you to get your older kids involved!
Keep in mind the ages of your older children. You can modify these suggestions to fit the needs of your child. If your child seems to act out after the baby is born (which is common for younger children) then try to plan some one-on-one time with just the two of you. Your children need to feel as important as their new baby sibling. What ways have you helped your older children accept a new baby? Also, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and follow me on social media!