How to Prepare a Sibling for The New Baby
Posted on August 06 2018
Are you expecting your second baby and worried about how to prep your first for the newest addition? First, don’t stress, and if you are stressing, know that it’s totally normal! So many second-time moms worry about introducing another member to the family. Whether you are worried about jealousy or how you will divide your time between two kids, I get it, there’s a lot to stress about. But, know that most kids adjust much better than we expect, so take a deep breath and know that all will be ok. Plus, know that having a sibling to grow up with can be so much fun and being a parent to more than one can be so rewarding. You can help your little ones learn how to share with one another and enjoy special sibling moments you and your kiddos will cherish forever.
So, to make the transition a little easier on both you and your first baby, here are some tips.
#1 Relax: The most important thing you can do is relax! If you’re totally stressed about bringing baby number two home, your first may sense the tension. Take some deep breaths and know that while it will be an adjustment for everyone, it will be ok, so try not to stress too much.
#2 Include Your First as Much as You Can: Ok so now that you took some deep breaths, it’s time to get to work on preparing your first born for their sibling’s arrival. This will all depend on your babies age, but if they are old enough, you can get them involved. Kids love being involved and helping mom out, so ask them to bring you a diaper for baby, or to help you pick out an outfit. By including them, it will make them feel important and help set aside any feelings of jealousy.
#3 Set Aside Time for Your First: Once the second baby arrives, it can be easy to get caught up in the balancing act of having two kids. However, try to set aside just 15-20 minutes a day where you can dedicate 100% of your attention to your first baby. This will do wonders for any kind of jealousy that may be going on and can be a great time to check in with your little one about how they are handling the adjustment to being a big brother or sister.
#4 Buy Sibling Books: There are so many great books available today and they are wonderful for helping prepare your first baby for the arrival of your second. Depending on how old your first is, you can start reading books about becoming a big brother or sister and get them excited about bringing another addition to the family home.
#5 Let Them Feel Special: Letting your oldest feel special is so important when the baby is born. Buy your first a special shirt that says “big brother” or “big sister” or give them a gift and let them know the gift is from the baby. This will make them feel really special and that their little sibling loves them already!
#6 Do Things Together: While the first couple of weeks adjusting to having two instead of one will be a little chaotic, once you get into a routine, try to make an effort to do lots of things together. Take both baby number one and number two for a walk together, go on outings together, or even just cuddle up on the couch and read a story. Doing things as a family will help to strengthen the sibling bond and make everyone feel included.
#7 Accept the Good & Bad Days: Ok, so this one is more for you momma, but necessary nonetheless. Remember that there will always be good and bad days. Some days you may feel like supermom, and other days you may be totally exhausted by the time bedtime comes around. Having one child is tiring, but two can be quite demanding, especially at first. Try to accept the good and the bad days and know that there is beauty in both. You are raising two amazing humans that will grow up to love one another. Give yourself lots of grace on the hard days and know that tomorrow is another day.
If you are expecting your second baby, it’s an incredibly exciting time! However, if you are stressed out about how your first is going to handle the adjustment, I totally get it. Try to relax and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and spending as much quality time with your first as you can now. Remember that babies and kids are resilient and with a little thoughtfulness and a little prep work, the transition can be much smoother than you anticipated. Plus, just think about all of the amazing things your little ones will do together. They will have each other to grow up with and experience life together, and there’s nothing quite as special as that.