Preparing your child for the Arrival of a New Baby

Preparing your child for the Arrival of a New Baby

Bringing a new baby into your family is an exciting and joyous time. This is also a life-changing event for the whole family. Your older child may feel excited about the new baby coming home, but once the day-to-day routine starts, he might experience anxiety during this new adjustment period. . By preparing your child for the arrival of a new baby, you can make the transition smooth and positive for everyone.

The following ideas can help you prepare your older child for the arrival of a new sibling. Keep in mind that how you choose to prepare your child will depend on his age, maturity, and needs. Read through the suggestions below to decide which ideas will be most helpful for your family.

Talking about Pregnancy

Pregnancy may be easier to talk about with children when they start seeing your abdomen grow. This will enable the child to associate something visual with the idea of a growing baby. Be honest in answering your child’s questions and try to answer them withsimple answers or explanations.

Getting Ready for the Baby

Look for ways to include your older child in preparations for the new baby’s arrival. Try reading some books about babies and drawing their attention to babies they see in public.  Pull out oldbaby pictures and talk about what things you did together when he or she was a baby. Begin referring to the older sibling as a big brother or sister so that he or she feels like they have a role in the family.

Give your child a special doll to care for. Teach them how to hold the doll, swaddle it in a blanket, feed it, and gently rock it to sleep. If a relative or friend has a new infant ask if you and your child can visit and use soft touches with the baby and reinforce that they are very fragile and must be cared for gently.

Include your older child in the preparation for the new baby by asking them to choose blankets, clothes, room decorations, and even narrowing down sibling names.

These are just a few ways to make your older child feel more secure and also be part of the new babiesarrival.

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