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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Smith

How to Prepare Siblings For a New Baby

Having a newborn in the house will bring huge changes for everyone in your family. You’ll have less time for your older kids and the new baby might even do things that upset their siblings. That’s why you have to make a plan and explain what is going on before you bring your baby home!

My best advice is to keep your kids in the loop and let them stay involved with any baby preparation. You can also take other steps to explain what it means to be an older sibling. Of course, welcoming your newborn home is an exciting moment! Still, you need to remember that this will impact your older kids.

Sometimes kids will be thrilled learning they are going to be an older sibling. My kids were excited to learn about our new baby and can’t wait to meet their new sibling. Other times, kids might get jealous or confused, which is also completely normal.

Knowing what to do with your kids in this situation isn’t an easy thing. Luckily, I’ll go over some simple and straightforward ways you can prepare siblings for a new baby below.

Best Way to Prepare Your Kids For The New Baby:

1. Have Them Help Get Things Ready For The New Baby

There are a few different ways you can prepare your kids for this big change! However, if I had one piece of advice, I would suggest letting your kids help you with the baby preparation process. It’s stressful planning and baby-proofing your home, but you don’t have to do this alone.

Instead, have your whole family get involved, especially your kids. They can help you pick out baby clothes, decorate the baby's room, choose baby toys, and even help pick out a name for the new baby. In my experience, doing this is a great way to bring your family closer, and it can help your older kid feel important and show them that they are going to have a big role as an older sibling.

2. Talk to Them in a Way That They Will Understand and Use Positive Words

You’ll have to break the news to your kids somehow. I know it’s hard trying to find the perfect explanation. The sooner you tell your kids about the baby, the more time they will have to get used to the idea of being an older sibling.

Start by explaining the situation in a way they will understand. For younger kids, it’s best to keep things simple and not get too detailed about delivery dates. What I did instead is tell my kids about all the good and exciting things that will happen when the baby is born. For example, they will have someone else to play with, they will have a new family member to love, and they can teach their sibling about the world. In short, explain that there will be changes in your home and family, but always emphasize that the change will be positive.

3. Prepare Your Child With Books and Other Useful Educational Tools

It’s definitely good to explain things in your own words but don’t be afraid to look for educational resources. There are tons of amazing books and online tools that will better explain what it means to be a sibling. You can show your kids exactly what to expect when you bring your newborn home. This will put them at ease and help them see the new baby as a good thing!

Some kids do get nervous when a new sibling is brought home, which is perfectly natural. Kids might even worry that they will be forgotten or loved less. Thankfully, if you talk to them and show them there is nothing to be afraid of, things will go a lot more smoothly.

Books and YouTube videos are great ways to start this conversation. Also consider hands-on learning tools like baby dolls. You can have your older child take care of the baby doll to really get them ready for their new sibling.

4. Spend Time With Your Child to Reassure Them

While making sure you are prepared for the new baby is important, don’t forget that your older kids will need emotional support. Again, this change will affect everyone in your house, including your kids. What this means is that they might need some alone time with you.

I know, you’re already stressed out and busy during your pregnancy. As mothers, we can’t forget that our kids need reassurance and a sense of security right before their new sibling is born. Try to keep a routine with your kids and spend time reading, talking, or playing with them. This way they know that they are still loved.

5. Be Patient and Keeps Your Child In A Routine

Finally, be patient with your older kids. Your kids could get nervous with such a big change. They could be moodier, act younger, and even misbehave. This is because some kids might feel like they are being replaced or that you won’t pay attention to them anymore.

The best thing you can do in this situation is to listen to them and take their thoughts and feelings seriously. Take things slow and don’t push them into other huge changes like potty training, a new schedule, and other activities they are unfamiliar with. Just keep things consistent and structured.

Final Thoughts on Preparing Your Kids For A New Baby

As parents, there is so much we have to plan for when we bring a new baby home. This includes preparing our older children for their new siblings. While the path forward isn’t always clear, there are some ways you can make this transition easier for your family. I shared some of my most helpful tips to make this whole process less stressful. Feel free to share your stories and experiences below in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

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