Getting Big Brother or Sister Ready for a New Baby

Helping Your Child Adjust

Although it won't ever be a perfect transition, there are several things you can do to help your child adjust to being a big brother or sister. Some of these tips include:
 
  • Setting aside one-on-one time with your older children on a daily basis, even if it's just 15 minutes of uninterrupted time. Allow your child the choice of something special they want to do with you during this time.
 
  • Taking the time to listen to how your child is feeling about the baby and the changes in the family. If they are frustrated or expressing negative feelings, talk about them. It is important to help your child figure out how to express their feelings into words -- do not discount or judge your child's feelings, whatever they may be.
 
  • Being careful to not suddenly expect your child to become more independent after you bring the baby home. Expecting them to be more independent may cause them to regress more than they normally would. Give your child lots of extra love and cuddles whenever you possibly can.
 
  • Establishing a firm rule that no hurting or aggressive behavior is allowed toward the baby. Help your child find other ways to express their negative feelings, such as drawing or doing some other physical activity.
 
  • Ensuring your older child has his or her own personal, private space. It's important for them to know they have things of their own and they don't always have to share everything with the baby.
 
  • Reminding friends and family to pay attention to the older siblings, rather than just pouring out all their love and attention on the new baby.
 
  • Allowing your older children to participate in as much of the care as they are willing to, such as pushing the stroller, dressing the baby, and giving baths.
 
  • Reinforcing the benefits of being the big brother or sister, such as being able to have friends, choosing what to eat, and being able to go play at the park.
 
Pregnancy and Pain

Pregnancy Info

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