Parenting Tips: How to PREPARE your older child for a new sibling

A new baby can not only be challenging to the parents but also the older sibling. It’s important to adequately prepare your older kid for a new addition to the family.
Parenting Tips: How to PREPARE your older child for a new sibling

Being pregnant and welcoming a new baby to the family can be terribly exciting and challenging. While parents feel extreme joy, their schedules tend to go out the window as they get busy looking after the new child. This change in family dynamics tends to leave a deep impact on the older child who might be unfamiliar to having a sibling around. Feelings of jealousy, confusion and an increased demand of attention is quite common among kids and they should not be rebuked because of it. Yet these initial days of bonding are also capable of strengthening the bond between two siblings for a lifetime, so it’s crucial to get the older child involved in the well being of their sibling. But this should not happen at the cost of the older sibling feeling neglected. Here are a few easy ways to help your older child get accustomed to sharing their life with a new baby!

1. Take them with you to doctor’s appointment

If your child seems willing, you could take them to your gynecologist with you. They may enjoy accompanying you to ultrasound sessions. Listening to the new baby’s heartbeats, hearing about the growth of their new sibling can be really exciting for them. 

2. Let them help you to choose the baby’s name

Young children love assuming the role of adults. Your child could feel closer to their new sibling if you let them help you in choosing their sibling’s name (or pet name). Thinking of potential baby names will also help your child in bonding with their new sibling when they finally arrive.

3. Let your older child help you in looking after the new baby

Many kids offer to help their parents in taking care of the new baby. This is great as it builds communication between the two siblings. Let them help you in basic tasks such as changing the diaper, pushing the pram, dressing the baby or even singing them to sleep!

4. Set aside time for your older child, too

Set aside time each day for older kids too. They need your attention and must not feel neglected. Help them with schoolwork, play with them and have honest conversations with them. 

5. Encourage the older child to be honest about their feelings

A new baby means that your older child will take some time to adjust. If your child behaves in arude or quiet manner, do not get angry with them. Ask them to tell you what’s bothering them.  Talk to them, acknowledge their feelings and help them cope with the changing situation.

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