Welcoming a new sibling is an exciting time, but it comes with some big adjustments. Here are a few strategies to get your preschooler ready to welcome a new sibling.
- Before the baby is born, lay the foundation for some of the changes that are coming. If your child will need to change bedrooms or make other adjustments in order to allow space for the new baby, start that transition sooner rather than later. Allow your preschooler to be involved in setting up the nursery or shopping for new baby items. Help him feel like part of the team even before the baby arrives.
- You can also prepare your child by giving her realistic expectations. A newborn does a lot of crying, eating, and sleeping. Many preschoolers envision an instant playmate, but that is not the case. Get out pictures of when the older sibling was a newborn and talk about what it was like when she was a baby. Getting your preschooler a doll that she can practice holding, feeding, or changing diapers is helpful in understanding what it will be like to take care of a baby. Many hospitals offer sibling classes designed for parents and children to practice and learn what it means to become an older sibling.
- Once the baby arrives, schedule a time for a friend or family member to bring your preschooler to the hospital to meet his new sibling. When your preschooler arrives, have your hands free to give him an enthusiastic welcome and then introduce him to his new sibling. Consider bringing a gift from the new baby for your older child. It helps the child feel important and gives him something to do, because he may lose interest in the new baby rather quickly.
- When you are all home together again, look for ways to involve the older sibling by having them bring needed items like wipes. There may be some squabbles and bouts of jealousy as your preschooler adjusts to the new baby. Continue to show love and empathy towards your preschooler and encourage ways for the older and younger sibling to bond during tummy time or family walks.
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Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Greatwood located in Richmond, Texas? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family.