Is your family expanding? New babies need a lot of attention and this can be a difficult change for older children.
Here are a few helpful tips to help you with the transition.
Talk about baby often; how the body changes and baby grows during pregnancy.
Involve them in preparing for baby; take them with you to your prenatal appointments, let them pick out potential baby names or help decorate the nursery.
Talk about how a baby communicates, their needs, what they eat, and how they play.
You could even get them a ‘baby’ of their own, either a new doll or a favorite stuffed animal. Teach them how to change a diaper, feed, carry, and lay down their new ‘baby’.
Have them pack their own “baby is coming” bag. Talk with them about where and what they will be doing when baby is coming.
Have your child make a card or pick out a birthday gift for the new baby. (Maybe, the baby (a.k.a. parent(s) will also have a sweet card or gift for their older sibling?)
Pack a photo of older sibling(s) to place on the outside of baby’s bassinet so they can “see” their big sibling before they meet them.
When your older sibling(s) arrive to meet baby, greet them individually and meet baby together.
Bringing baby home…
Let them give baby a tour; show them their room, baby’s room, and where the family spends time together.
Having a busy activity or new toy that can provide a distraction and is only used when you are busy with baby. This can be especially beneficial for those frequent feeding sessions.
Plan to have one-on-one time with your older sibling(s) and encourage them to talk about their feelings.