Here are some tips for how you can help your older children adjust to having a new baby around the house!
Thanks for joining me for the pregnancy and baby related posts this week! Check out how I survived horrible morning sickness and how I’m fitting in exercising during this pregnancy if you haven’t already!
Every child reacts differently to getting a younger sibling. My oldest, who was 2 1/2 at the time, completely ignored his new baby sister, seemingly indifferent to her presence in our home.
Eventually, once she started doing more than just eating and sleeping, he warmed up to her and loved making her laugh and coo once she was a few months old. We were so thankful not to have to go through a huge adjustment when he became a big brother.
When baby #3 came (a boy), big sister relished her role, taking it a bit too seriously :) Day and night (yes, sometimes in the middle of the night) she was ready to tend to the new baby’s needs or touch him, kiss him, rub his head and the like!
She really loved (and still loves) her baby brother but the experience with her as the older sibling was definitely much more exhausting.
|Waving “hi” to their new brother in the hospital|
Little J will be just under 2 1/2 when baby number four makes her way into the world! I’m wondering how he’ll react and respond to a new member of the family. I’m actually kind-of nervous because he is such a snuggly boy that I don’t know what he’ll think when mommy has to constantly hold someone else!
With our older kids, we spent a lot of time talking to them and trying to prepare them for the newest member of the family. Now the youngest gets to take part, even if he doesn’t completely understand.
7 Tips for Preparing your Older Child for the New Baby
1) We read books like I’m a Big Sister (and I’m a Big Brother) by Joanna Cole, Berenstain Bears The New Baby (although the way Mama Bear has Sister Bear is a little suspect) and God Gave Us Two by Lisa Tawn Bergren.
2) Read through Psalm 139 a few times and explain to your kids how the baby growing was being formed in a special way, just like they were!
3) Help your child understand how baby grows and how big the baby is at different times. Check out this cute chart I found on Pinterest that compares the size of the baby to different fruits and veggies!
4) Pray together for the baby and talk about what will happen when she comes. (For us, as my stomach grows, it gets more and more exciting to pray!) Our kids have been encouraged to think of names, although I don’t think Princess or Leah Jr. are in the running ;)
5) Assure your children that you will always love them just as much as you love the baby and continue to tell them this after baby arrives. This might seem super obvious, but some children are really affected (threatened) by a new child’s arrival because they can fear that we’ll forget about them or not love them as much!
6) To help our kids anticipate all the work the baby will take, we get them excited about helping with the baby, letting them practice on dolls if they want or just helping us bring out baby clothes and more.
7) Explain that life will be changing and there will be some things that are different but that what remains the same is the truth that God has formed our family and we can all love and help each other in the new adventure!