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Tips for Bringing Home a New Sibling

My son was born when my daughter was just.

By
Cherylyn Feierabend
5-minute read
Episode #18

Hey there!  You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting. Today’s Topic:  Bringing Home Baby

Tips for Introducing a New Sibling

My son was born when my daughter was just short of two years old. Although she was excited about the “baby in Mommy’s tummy,” her biggest fears were Mommy being gone for days and the hospital room. I had explained everything that was going to happen. I let her feel the baby kicking, and she would kiss my tummy every day. She loved her baby dolls so I assumed she’d love her new little brother just the same. However, when she came to the hospital to visit me after my son was born, not only would she not speak to me, she also tried to push her brother out of the bed. No matter how much you reassure your child, there is simply no way to predict how your child will react. Since children are individuals, it’s only natural that each will have their own unique reaction to a new sibling. In this show I hope to provide you with some tips to help make the arrival of your new bundle of joy a little more comfortable for everyone involved.

Let’s start with some actions you can take before the baby arrives. Of course, your child will be curious and excited about your new pregnant status. Mommy’s belly is growing and the house around you might be changing to accommodate the new baby. You will definitely want to talk to your child about these changes. Let him know that there will be a baby in the house soon. Tell him that the baby will be very small and will sleep most of the time in the beginning. Give your child some descriptions of what might happen when the baby comes home. It’s important to be honest. Telling your child that you are bringing home a new brother or sister for him to play with might cause him to think that another child his size will be showing up to be an instant playmate.

Now is a great time to tell your child what he was like when he was a baby. Take out pictures and share them with him. Show him how little he was and talk to him about how much he’s grown and all of the great things he can do now. Depending on your child’s age and personality, he may or may not show interest in helping with the new baby. Tell him that he’ll be welcome to help with the baby if he likes, but if he doesn’t seem interested in helping, that’s okay too. If he wants to help you prepare for the baby’s arrival, he can help you with easy, but baby-related, tasks such as folding and sorting baby clothes. If you are preparing a new nursery, you could let your child help pick out something special for the room. Letting him choose a small picture or decoration can help him to feel more involved in the process. You can also find many age-appropriate books at your local library or bookstore to share with your child on the subject of having a new little sibling. Make sure you spend extra time with your child to answer any questions he might have about this new person coming to live with him.

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All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.