Is a new addition coming to your family in the future? Parents often worry about how to tell an older sibling that another child is on the way and whether or not the children will get along. Here are some tips to make the transition smooth for your older child and ensure that they and the new baby feel welcomed and loved.
- Keep in mind the age of your first child. If you tell a toddler too early they may forget or become confused.
- If your other child is older, tell them a few months prior to the babies arrival. Let them help you prepare the nursery by folding clothes, stacking diapers or even picking out an old toy they want to share with their new sibling.
- Take your son or daughter to the store to pick out a gift they can wrap and give to the new baby.
- Get a baby doll for you child to take care of. When you feed the baby have her feed her doll beside you. He can take the doll for walks or even change its diaper when you change the baby's. This helps teach them how to help care for their own sibling in addition to feeling included.
- Spend a lot of time with your toddler or child before and after the new addition arrives. Make sure they still feel loved and that mom and dad still have time for them.
- Let your other children help feed the baby once they are comfortable. This gives them responsibility and helps them feel included.
- Reassure your older child that having a sibling is fun! There might be lots of crying now, but once the baby is older they can play, read and have lots of fun.
- Listen to their concerns and try to answer any questions they may have. It is normal for siblings to be apprehensive or scared about changes.
- You can find some more helpful hints about birth order and sibling rivalry at Parenting.com. The Mayo Clinic also offers some advice on how to introduce a new sibling.
Do you have any tips for making the transition to big brother or big sister? Let us know what you did to prepare your kids for a younger sibling.