Getting Big Brother or Sister Ready for a New Baby

Bringing Home Baby

The birth of your child is an amazing moment -- for you, your partner, your family, and your children. Try to involve your older children in this experience, as they may feel isolated if they get pushed aside during the overwhelming moment of a new life being brought into the world. Have someone who will be in charge of your children during this time to make sure that they are involved as much as possible, even if it's simply taking your children to the nursery window to see their new brother or sister for the first time.
 
Also, letting your children hold the new baby will start that sibling bond right away. Don't forget, however, to let others hold your new baby so you can take the time to give your other children lots of hugs and cuddles. You may also think about having a gift for your older children, such as a T-shirt that says "Big Brother" or "Big Sister," to help celebrate the occasion of them becoming an important part of the new baby's life.
 
When it's time for you and your new little bundle to go home, it's time to put the words into action. You may have prepared your older children as best as you could, but once the baby is home, it may not be quite what your children expected. Even though you may have told your children that their new brother or sister will likely cry quite a bit and need to be fed often, it may be a different story once they are experiencing it.
 
This first introduction can be a challenge for many siblings. They may not have been able to fully comprehend how tired you may be, the healing that needs to take place after giving birth, and the amount of time you will need to spend with the new baby. This is basically a time where some siblings don't quite understand that all the new baby will be doing for the next few months is eating, sleeping, pooping, peeing, and crying. It may be difficult for them to understand that it may be a while before their little brother or sister is able to play with them.
 
During this time, you may need all the help you can get from friends and family. They can play a crucial role in helping to give that much-needed attention to your older children. Having your children spend some good quality time with daddy, grandma, grandpa, or other people who are special to them can help to make them still feel important while you are going through those tough few months of adapting as well.
 
Once you recover from childbirth, you may set aside some time for your family or friends to watch the new baby while you take your older children out to a special place. Having that one-on-one time shows them that you value the time alone with them. It can be a special day with just mommy to celebrate.
 
No matter how old your other children are, make sure that they get individual attention from you and other important people in their life. No doubt there will be lots of pictures and videos taken of the new addition; make sure your older children are not excluded from this process. It may also be a good idea to stash away some special gifts to give to your children during those times when friends come to visit with gifts for the baby but nothing for the older kids. Having something special for the other children as well can help to avoid some of that jealousy that may spark from these types of situations.
 
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