You are expecting a new addition to your family, which is an exciting time for any family. This transition can cause anxiety in parents about how their preschooler will adjust to having a new sibling. With a few simple actions, you can make this transition to big brother or big sister easier on your preschooler.
Talk about the New Addition
Talk to your preschooler in an age-appropriate manner about what is happening. If you are pregnant with a baby, talk about how the baby is growing and getting ready for his debut. Explain to your preschooler the new baby won’t be a playmate until much later and that he will spend lots of time sleeping, eating, and crying. If you are adopting a baby or older child, explain to your preschooler what to expect from whatever age the child you will be adopting.
Make Adjustments Early
If your preschooler will need to move to a different room or different sleeping situation, try to accomplish this well before the new sibling arrives. This will allow your preschooler to adjust to her new surroundings and not have so many changes happening at once.
Read age-appropriate books with your preschooler in which the main character gets a new sibling. Books are a great tool to open conversations with your preschooler. By reading books about getting a new sibling can also help introduce your child to what he may expect when the new baby comes home.
Include Your Preschooler
Involve your preschooler in preparing for the new sibling and in helping with the new sibling. Take your preschooler shopping to pick out a special outfit for the new baby or a special toy. Your preschooler may even like the idea of wearing coordinating outfits with his new sibling! Once the new baby arrives, continue to involve your preschooler. Your preschooler can do simple tasks, such as collecting diapering supplies or choosing outfits.
Bringing home a new baby is an exciting time for a family. Your preschooler may have a difficult time at first, but she will love her new sibling. They are sure to form an unbreakable bond in no time!
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