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.

older sibling and new baby

Before Birth

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.

10 Rules For Introducing Your Toddler To Your New Baby

Having a baby is an exciting time, however, as a parent you are likely to feel apprehensive when it comes to introducing your new addition to your toddler. While there is no one rule fits all approach to this there are a few basic rules which can help guide you to make the first meeting run as smoothly as possible.

  1. Gradually talk to your toddler about the concept of been a big brother or sister.
  2. Read a book about new babies to encourage your toddlers understanding about what it means to have a new baby in the family.
  3. Get them involved in your pregnancy. Don’t hide been pregnant as it will shock them when the new addition arrives.
  4. Encourage your toddler to interact with other babies before the birth. Hold your friend’s babies within sight of your toddler, if they seem jealous don’t panic, support your toddler’s reaction and praise them when appropriate.
  5. The first meeting should be relaxed. Most toddlers don’t like change so ensure you are in an environment which makes your toddler happy.
  6. Although the first meeting is a big moment for you try not to make it feel like that for your toddler.
  7. Involve your toddler in the basic care of your new baby. Simple tasks like getting you a clean nappy or wipes can help toddlers feel important in their new role.
  8. Keep to existing routines as best you can. Continue to send them to nursery as usual and keep bath time and bed time routines consistent where possible.
  9. Expect your toddlers behaviour to regress, from sleep to potty training, this is all completely normal and can happen a few weeks after the arrival of baby.
  10. Never stop your toddler interacting with the new baby. While toddlers can be heavy handed it is important they establish a bond, ensure your toddler understands to be gentle and always supervise.

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