Pregnancy Home > Getting Big Brother or Sister Ready for a New Baby

Is your child ready to become a big brother or sister? Even if they are thrilled about having a new sibling, it's wise to be prepared for some adjustments. For example, many children feel left out once they see how much attention the baby is getting and may even act out to get your attention. Giving reassurance and making sure they get special one-on-one time can help them feel more involved.

Preparing Your Children for a New Addition

Your family is expanding! It's an exciting time, but if you have other children already, you may have some concerns about how your new bundle of joy is going to affect your family dynamic. When you brought home your first child, your focus was solely on your baby. Now, you may have one or more children already at home. How will your children react to a new baby brother or sister?
There are some ways to help ease the transition of bringing a new addition into your family. There are also some easy tips you can follow to help relieve your worries about how you can meet all of their needs, as well as your own. These tips focus on how to prepare your older children, introduce the new baby, and encourage a healthy bond between the siblings.

Getting Ready to Announce the Big News

The first challenge -- how do you tell your children that they are going to have a baby brother or a sister? In preparing for the "big talk," there are a number of factors that might come into play. Each situation is different and how you decide to tell your child will vary, depending on things such as your child's age, how far along into the pregnancy you want to wait before telling your children, and what you think the response might be.
If you can plan some steps ahead of time, it may help your child accept the news and even be excited about it. Some of the things to consider when preparing to talk to your child may include the following:
  • Think about telling your child about your pregnancy before, or at least at the same time, you tell your friends. It may be more difficult if your child hears the news from someone else.
  • Some women find that it's easier to wait to tell their children until after there is an evident "baby bump." This may help you to explain why your tummy is growing.
  • You may look into whether there are any sibling preparation classes available at a local hospital.
  • Think ahead of time about how you might need to rearrange the rooms, such as if your child will need to change rooms or share one. You can help ease the transition by letting your child help in making his or her own special room and one for the new baby brother or sister.
  • Try to anticipate any major changes that may need to take place for your older children, such as weaning, toilet training, or starting preschool. Getting them into a good routine for these changes before the baby arrives can help ease the transition as well.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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