Sibling rivalry can start right before or after the birth of the new baby. Read more to know about preparing siblings for new baby.

Preparing Siblings For New Baby

It’s time for celebration, when you get news that you are expecting a baby! As you prepare over the coming months for your pregnancy, the other important job that awaits you is preparing your older kid for the role of becoming a sibling. There is a lot more to getting older kid ready for the new baby than just asking him, "Would you like to have a brother or a sister?" The arrival of the new baby will bring many changes to your family. Parents spend a lot of time and energy in preparing for the new addition to the family. When the little one is born, their focus shifts on his/her needs. All this change can be difficult for older siblings to handle. It’s natural for them to feel jealous of the newborn child as he/she has stolen the limelight, which exclusively belonged to them, earlier. Sibling rivalry can start right after or before the birth of the new baby. So, it’s important for parents to prepare the older kid for the new addition to the family tree. Making your kid involved in arrangements or activities related to little one can do the trick. If you are expecting your second baby then here are some tips to help you prepare your firstborn for the new baby. 

Preparing Your Child For New Sibling 

During Pregnancy 
  • There is no perfect way or an appropriate time for telling your kid about a new addition in the family tree. When discussing pregnancy with your child, it’s important to take in consideration child’s maturity level. If your kid is a preschooler then he/she might not grasp concept of time. So if you tell him/her that baby will arrive in few months then he/she might not be able to understand. It will be more appropriate to explain him/her that baby will arrive in particular season like winter or summers.
  • To prepare your child about the arrival of new baby, it’s important to engage him/her in certain activities, which will arouse his/her interest in baby. Read to him/her books or stories about babies. Take him/her to visit friends with infants or sit with him/her and think potential baby names. These activities will make him/her establish a bond with the child rather than treating him/her like a rival. 
Planning Baby Birth 
  • As your due date draws near, it’s important to make arrangements for your older kid for the time you will be in hospital. Discuss these plans with your kid so that he/she doesn’t feel ignored.
  • Once the new baby is born, consider bringing your kid to visit the new baby at the hospital. This can be a foundation stone in establishing a bond between the kid and the newborn. 
Bringing The New Baby Home 
  • When the new baby comes home, it’s a celebration time. Cut the cake and celebrate the occasion. It will be a good idea to exchange gifts between your older kid and newborn.
  • When your family members visit, bringing in baby gifts, keep some gifts ready for your older child. This will not crop in the feeling of jealousy in your kid.
  • Encourage family members like grandparents, uncles, aunts to spend more time with the older kid so that he/she doesn’t feel neglected.
  • Every day, find some portion of your time to spend alone with your older kid. This will assure him/her that your love for him/her has not changed.
  • Once the baby is home, include your older kid in as many activities possible involving the baby so that he/she doesn’t feels left out.
  • Many older kids would like to be a part of taking care of their new sibling. Though their help might take a long time in completion of the task but it is surely a good chance for the child to interact with baby. Depending on the age of your child, you can assign him/her tasks like folding cloth diapers, helping in dressing and bathing the baby. 
Dealing With Kid’s Feelings 
  • A new baby brings with him/her a lot of changes, some older kids might find it difficult to adjust to these changes. The key is to be patient and not harsh with them. Slowly, they will come around.
  • Just as important, it is to prepare the kid for a new baby, it is also essential to understand child’s natural feeling of jealousy once the baby is born. Encourage older kid to talk to you about his/her feelings about the new baby.
  • It should not surprise you that older kids tend to act younger, when a newborn joins the family. They may not sleep well, cry more, and be more demanding than they usually are. These all are the signs that your kid wants to spend some time alone with you. So, spend some time with him/her and assure him/her that coming of new baby has not changed your love towards him/her.

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