Preparing Your Child for a New Sibling

>> May 5, 2019


You already have a child and another one is on its way? Well, good for you! Bringing another person into existence is certainly a joyous occasion. However, you may be wondering how your older child will react. Maybe he or she will have no problems whatsoever with accepting the new sibling. However, as there's no way to be sure of that, you should do what you can to make sure that your child is ready for the arrival of his or her sibling. Preparing your child for a new sibling can be hard, but don't worry, as we've got you covered.

Toddlers


Depending on the age of your child, you can do different things to make sure that the child accepts the upcoming sibling. Naturally, we'll begin with toddlers (children that are one or two-years-old). Children of this age know and understand very little of the world surrounding them. Even the concept of having a sibling will be hard for them to grasp.

Still, if you have a toddler, there are things that you can do in order to prepare your child for a new sibling. The general idea is that you should try to rub off your excitement on your toddler. While the toddler won't really understand what is happening, if it feels your enthusiasm, there's a good chance that it will become enthusiastic itself.

Obviously, one of the ways to do that is to talk about the new baby. You've probably been communicating with your child ever since it was born (by the way, here are some tips on how to communicate with your baby that should prepare you for the arrival of your new child), so you probably already have a good idea on how to talk about the new sibling.

Apart from talking, you can also look at picture books that deal with babies.

Not only will your child learn some important words that are related to families (such as "brother" and "sister"), but he or she will also become excited upon seeing the "heroes" of the book in person. After your new child is born, you can do something nice for the toddler to make sure that it understands that it is still loved. You can, for example, buy a nice gift or create an ultimate game room.

 

Preschoolers


Preschoolers are children between the ages of two and four. These children will understand a lot more than toddlers. That is why they might feel threatened. In all likelihood, they're very attached to you and the fact that the entire family is spending so much time focusing on the new arrival might make them jealous.
Preparing your child for a new sibling might be especially hard when it comes to preschool children
In this case, preparing your child for a new sibling can be much harder. This is especially true if there are currently stressful and time-consuming things happening in your life. Try to get the other members of your family to help you out with these things or find ways to more easily deal with them by yourself. For example, if you're moving, find the best movers that money can buy (if you live in New Jersey, the best moving company in the area is called Ample Moving, so don't think twice and hire assistance when packing your belongings).

 

Some of the things that you can do

 

Having enough time to deal both with the new baby and your older child is very important, as there are many things that you can do when it comes to preparing your child for a new sibling. Firstly, make sure that your older child hears from you about the arrival of the new baby. Otherwise, it may find out that it's going to have a sibling from someone else. That could shake the child's confidence in you, thus making the situation a lot worse.

Then, you can try to make your preschooler excited about the new sibling. Make your older child involved in the preparations for the arrival of the baby. Take him or her with you when you're shopping for baby items. Buy a doll so that your older child can look after its own "baby".
Taking care of a doll will help your older child to understand what's going on between you and their new sibling
After your new baby is born, don't forget to designate a certain amount of time that you will spend focusing on your preschooler. The activities that you do are less important than showing your older child that you don't love it any less now that a new child is born. And try to learn how to recognize stress in children and what you can do to help.

Some other things that you can do

 

As the children of this age can be especially problematic while accepting their new sibling, in this section we will more briefly explain what are some other things that can you do in order to help them out:

·         Explain honestly that having a baby is very time-consuming, so you might not have as much time as you used to have for your older child. Still, emphasize that this won't mean that you no longer love your older child.
·         Make sure that your preschooler won't have any major things to learn at home when the baby arrives. These things include toilet training and sleeping in a bed, and not in a crib. The older child might fail at these tasks, which wouldn't be healthy in such a stressful period.
·         Your preschooler might seemingly regress when it comes to certain areas of life. However, that is normal and it is just a way of asking for attention. Don't punish the child and provide it with the attention that it requires.
·         While mom is busy taking care of the new sibling, dad can spend time with the older child. This is a great opportunity for some father and son bonding.

 

School-aged children

 

If your older child has five or more years, that in all likelihood means that it's attending school. School-aged children will not feel as threatened by the new arrival as preschoolers. In this case, preparing your child for a new sibling will probably not be too hard.
School-aged children will more easily deal with having a new sibling.
Similarly to preschoolers, school-aged children will also benefit from being involved in preparations for the arrival of their new sibling. The difference is that they can do different things during this process. For example, you can have them buy diapers or help with getting the baby's room ready.

Another similarity with preschoolers in this situation is that you should keep spending special time with your school-aged child as well. You can do all sorts of things. Read books together, listen to music or even buy them an instrument and encourage them to practice if they enjoy playing it (if that instrument is a piano and you're moving to or from New Jersey, Ample Moving will help you to transport your precious piano).

To conclude

 

While this can definitely be some very helpful advice, at the end of the day, just using your best judgement could be enough. Show your older child that you still love it and give it all the attention you can. We're confident that everything will work out in the end, and that the new siblings will grow to love and respect each other until the end of their lives.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
Contact me at linalg4@gmail.com

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