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!
Those are just a few suggestions, and I’m sure all of you have more! I’d love some other ideas on how you’re getting your kids ready for a new sibling!
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6 Comments on How to Prepare Your Older Children for the New Baby
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Love this. We just had our 4th and no jealousy issues. I was worried because my 3rd likes to be near me a bunch. I talked to them a lot while pregnant about how much help they were going to be, how much their new baby sister was going to love them, how they would be so cool to her, how my little one could give her pacifiers. We even did a big sibling class for fun. It does have a lot to do with the family’s attitude and not expecting a problem but expecting love all around.
Thank you for the sweet comment! So good to know that you have been able to nurture that relationship between your kids even before baby was born!
Great suggestions! I was really worried about how my son would react to the birth of our daughter. We didn’t prepare much because he was so young but we did lot of these things once we brought the baby home and he could see her and understand more. There hasn’t been any jealousy at all. He loves her! I think kids reactions have a lot to do
with their temperaments and the temperament of the baby, but a lot also depends on the parents attitude. I think is great that you share your excitement of a new baby with your older children. Hopefully I’ll get more practice at introducing new babies to our family in the years to come :)
Thanks so much for your comment, Katherine! It is tougher to prepare when your older child is at a younger age because there are things they can’t quite comprehend yet. It is so fun to see that your little guy loves his sister :) When they get older it is even more fun to see their reactions to even more siblings!
I myself have 6 kids (youngest is 16 already) and I don’t think there is a great way to prepare kids for a new sibling. Each kid deals with it differently and talking about it before will not remove any jealousy. Real life is never like imagination
I wouldn’t necessarily say this is imagination…we’ve thankfully not had any issues with jealousy and I do think part of that is teaching our children about what having a younger sibling will be like. You can’t avoid everything but preparing ourselves mentally for the challenge and committing the matter to prayer certainly is a great help!