How to Introduce your Older Child to Their Newborn Sibling
For many parents expecting a new baby, it can be daunting when thinking about how you can introduce your older child or children to their new sibling. For many expecting parents, a number of feelings come about when you’re thinking about introducing your child to a new sibling; excitement, dread, fear about how they will react. We often think it will go a few ways; they could be happy about the new arrival; they may hate them, or they may be completely disinterested. No matter how much you prepare, it can often come down to what happens in the moment but there are some tips on how to make the transition as smooth as possible.
The first steps to introducing your older child to their new sibling begins before birth; just like you are getting to know your growing baby. Looking at ultrasounds together and letting your child talk to and touch your bump can help them to feel closer to their sibling and can comfort them about what is to come. Asking them questions about their sibling and talking about what they are doing inside your tummy can help to make your child feel reassured and help them to understand that it is a person.
The First Meeting
Making the first meeting one to remember for all the right reasons is key. There are a number of ways you can do this; if your child is coming to visit you in the hospital consider what is nearby for them to do. Maybe a friend or family member could take them out for food or to a park before the visit to make them happy and ready to meet their sibling. If you would prefer to introduce them in a more comfortable setting such as at home, there are ways to make that interesting too; your child could get involved by planning a welcome home party. A pretty common step when introducing your child to a new baby is to give the child a gift from their new sibling. It helps your child understand that the baby is a real person and that they love them too. The gift doesn’t have to be anything big; just something to make that bond.
After the Birth
A lot of the time a main concern for parents is that your child will feel left out or threatened by the new baby’s arrival. A good way to combat this is to give your child a lot of attention once the baby is home. Putting down your newborn baby and instead focusing on your older child will know they are loved and shouldn’t be worried. From then it is advisable to include your older child in taking care of their new sibling; they can help entertain them, feed them and soothe them. After all you’ll be thankful for the help.