The arrival of a new baby into the family can be both joyous and hard on a child’s older siblings. No matter how old your children are, there are some general guidelines that you need to follow when it comes to introducing them to new siblings and preparing them for the upcoming changes in the family dynamic.
No matter how happy you are, your older children may not see the benefits of having a new sibling, who will grow up and want to steal their stuff. It’s not easy raising a child. Older siblings who lash out because they are jealous and it will make the transfer even more difficult.
In order to have a pleasant family life, it is important to prepare older children in advance and let them feel included in the process. By the time the new baby is 14 months old, a positive sibling bond will have formed.
When to tell kids about a new baby
When and how much you inform your children about the impending arrival of a new baby, is entirely up to you. Age is also a factor to consider.
Three to four months before the baby is due, it’s beneficial to bring up the subject of a new baby. In the beginning, you may want to talk generally about babies before mentioning the new baby.
When introducing the impending arrival of a new baby to your children, try to tie it in with an event your child is already familiar with. For instance, you may claim that the new baby would arrive soon after the birthday of a key individual.
Prepare the sibling for the arrival of a newborn
Including the older children in preparing for the arrival of a new baby can be a wonderful way to help the youngsters adjust. The siblings’ stress might worsen due to minor things, such as how the baby will be fed, what the infant will sleep in, and where the baby will sleep.
For example, when it comes to the baby’s sleeping arrangements, it can be good for the parents to know ahead of time if the baby will be sleeping in the parents’ room or the child’s room.
Before the baby arrives, it’s helpful to convey this to them to make them feel ready.
When shopping for baby toys and clothes, it’s good to involve the siblings in the selection process. The older child often enjoys baby toys and clothes (even much older youngsters!).
Preparing for the arrival of a new baby can assist your older kids to feel more connected to the family’s growth and transformation. Some families allow older kids to participate in selecting toys or arranging the nursery for the newborn.
Some 8 helpful tips in preparing children for a new baby
Purchase a newborn doll for your children
Even if your children are over the age of one, you may want to consider acquiring a baby doll that looks like a newborn. Observe your children as they learn how to care for, feed, and change their new baby.
Take it for walks in the stroller, or even place it in a car seat and treat it as genuinely as possible.
Consider both children.
Some children may be ecstatic to have a new sibling and never voice any dissatisfaction. Others might make insensitive remarks. It’s critical that you remain calm and patient as your child learns to cope with the change.
Encourage them to express themselves verbally or with visuals of how they are feeling. The sobbing of a baby can be frustrating for both you and your child, so tell your kids that you understand.
You may sometimes wish to divert attention away from your new baby and back toward your older children. Encourage your guests to chat with your children about something other than the new arrival. Discuss your children’s schoolwork, friends, and other interests.
Dancing and singing for the newborn
- Placing a cuddly toy in the baby’s hands so he can enjoy it
- Using a variety of voices when chatting with the baby
- Providing the baby with a finger to squish
Tell your kids that babies love nothing more than a human face, especially when it belongs to their favorite big children in the entire world.
Rehearse for playtime
In order to avoid creating unrealistic expectations in your children, make sure to portray a realistic picture of what life would be like with a newborn infant. Babies can’t be much of a playmate at first because they can only cry, sleep, feed, pee, or poop.
Explain this to your children. Use a video of your older children as a newborn to demonstrate your point. Consider trying out some simple games they can play with the baby right away.
Keep reminding them that they were babies once, as well.
Remember to pick out baby books and photo albums from when your children were newborns. When going through your attic, you can do this, hunting for baby gear and clothes.
Reminisce about how adorable they were as babies and how much pleasure it will be to welcome a new baby into the family.
Assign your children specific responsibilities
Give your kids a few tasks to help with the baby or the housework so that they can feel more involved. As long as the tasks are age-appropriate and only done by your older kids, they will help your youngster become a more important member of the family.
Spend time together with your children every day
In order to show your children that they are still a priority in your life, spend at least fifteen minutes a day giving them your full attention.
Allow your older children to participate in their favorite pastime while someone else takes care of the infant.
Do not downplay your kids’ sentiments.
Encourage your children to open up about their feelings about having a younger sibling. You can do this by reassuring him that jealousy, anxiety, and other negative emotions are natural and acceptable.
If your children start acting out of character because they are unhappy, first let them know you understand what they are feeling. Then, explain to them why certain behaviors aren’t acceptable.
Even if your child’s activities become increasingly irritating, do not minimize or ignore their experiences.
Helping Older Children Treat the Newborn with Kindness and Compassion
In anticipation of a new playmate, your youngsters may roughhouse with the infant sibling without intending to injure him. During a game of tag, they can cover the baby with a blanket or shove him as if they were playing hide-and-seek.
As a result, it’s critical that you teach your children about the new baby and monitor their first meetings with the new arrival. If possible, begin preparing your children for the first encounter with a newborn within the weeks preceding the birth.
Ask a family member or close friend who just had a baby if they’d be willing to mentor your kids on the proper method to care for a newborn. Use a cuddly animal at home to help your youngsters remember what they learned during the visit.
Allow your youngsters to play with the item until they become proficient at using a soft touch. In order to prevent your children from engaging in strenuous activities with the baby, your children’s expectations must be as realistic as possible.
Scolding and yelling at your children if they accidentally mishandle a newborn is not good. In the long run, disciplining your children (or scolding them) in this way will make them resent the new baby and discourage positive behavior.
Instead of telling your kids to use a softer touch, use “gentle” as a suggestion. If it does not work, show your children how to hold the baby in a hug. Because their motor abilities are still developing, it is common for young children to require numerous such reminders throughout the day.
Your current children may be the ones who are the most off-balanced and stunned by the arrival of a new member of the family. With a little patience, there’s a strong possibility they’ll be eager to be the best big brother or sister they can be.