How to Prepare Your Child for When the New Baby Comes
Pregnancy is an exciting time for you as a parent, but it can also be a
confusing time for your current children. As you begin to prepare for
your new baby, it’s important to also prepare your children for
their new roles as “big brothers” or “big sisters”.
Sibling preparation can help your older children adjust to the idea of
sharing mommy and daddy with a brother or sister and help them take ownership
of caring for and loving the new baby.
Southeast Georgia Health System is here to help you lay a loving foundation
for your growing family. We provide sibling preparation
classes for children ages 3-8. We are passionate about helping all members of
your family adjust to the changes brought on by the new baby. We believe
your pregnancy isn’t just a time to prepare but an opportunity to
create stronger bonds within your whole family!
Take a look at the following ideas that may help in sibling preparation:
Communicate with Your Child
- Toddlers and preschoolers don’t have a good understanding of time.
Make sure you don’t start talking about the baby too soon.
- Share pictures with your children of when they were babies..
- Tell your children stories about their birth and baby days.
- Get books or DVDs that show pictures of babies and baby care routines.
- Get books that explain the baby’s growth and development during pregnancy.
- Talk about how you will care for the new baby. Show where and how it will
- Use stories and DVDs to help the children understand the baby won’t
be an instant playmate.
Involve Your Child in Your Pregnancy
- Arrange supplies and identify safe ways the older child can help with baby care.
- Share the “kicks” and any baby movement inside of mom.
- Encourage children to talk to, kiss and touch the baby through mom’s tummy.
- Let the older child “give” the new baby any hand-me-down items.
This lets the older child have ownership of the process and not feel displaced
by any of the changes.
- Make a big deal of your older child as an older brother or sister. Give
them new privileges that come with the status.
- Encourage your child to help you pack for the hospital. Ask them for a
special drawing to bring to the hospital with you.
Practice Caring for a Baby Together
- If friends have a new baby, try to show your children what a baby is like,
how it acts, etc.
- Have your child care for a favorite teddy bear or doll as you care for
Continue Quality Time & Gift Giving
- Have someone other than mom carry the baby in the house so that mom can
give out hugs.
- Wrap several small gifts to give to your older child if they are overlooked
by friends or family bringing gifts for the baby.
- When you come home from the hospital, bring a gift or two for older siblings
“from the baby.”
For more information about sibling preparation or to sign up for our
expectant parent class, contact our maternity department today!