Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Adapting to a New Sibling!

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Many children have a hard time adjusting to a new sibling. It is important to help prepare your children for a new child. Usually children will have a more smooth transition if they have been included in the preparations for the little one. Your child needs to have the chance to explore their feelings and anxieties.

The University of Michigan HealthSystem shared some great ideas on how to do this. Here are some of their tips and advice: 

* Tell your child about your pregnancy when you tell your friends. Your child needs to hear about if from you, not from someone else. 

* If you plan to move your child to a new bed and/or bedroom, do so well before the baby arrives, so your older child doesn't feel displaced by the baby. This also goes for any other major changes, like weaning, toilet training, and starting preschool or child care. 

* Check your hospital about sibling preparation classes and hospital tours.

*Give them a realistic idea of what to expect when the baby first arrives. You will be tired, and the baby will take lots of your time. The baby will not be able to do much at first, except eat, sleep, poop, pee and cry. The baby will not be a playmate. 

*Read books about pregnancy, birth, newborns, and baby siblings with your child. Give them a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and vent feelings inspired by the books. 

* Have your child practice holding a doll and supporting the head. Teach them how to touch and hold a baby very gently. 

* Let them participate in preparations in any way possible. Give them choices, such as choosing the baby's come home outfit from two acceptable options. 

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