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5 Ways to Prepare Older Siblings for the New Baby

It’s totally normal for your older children to be jealous of their new baby brother or sister. Mighty Mommy knows because having 8 kids meant having to deal with this scenario 7 different times, so today she shares 5 ways you can help your older kids feel more at ease when they welcome their new baby sibling.

By
Cheryl Butler
6-minute read
Episode #328

Prepare Older Siblings for the New BabyThe world is still buzzing with excitement over the recent arrival of the royal baby, Princess Charlotte, born to Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. The royal bundle of joy arrived on May 2 and joins her big brother, Prince George, who will turn two in July.

While the royal babies certainly have many unique advantages and circumstances that most newborns will never know, one thing that they will have in common with other families is a degree of sibling rivalry. Yes, even Prince George is most likely going to have his adorable and regal nose a bit out of joint when he realizes that his brand-new baby sister is going to be receiving lots and lots of attention from mum, dad, and millions of others across the world.

It’s totally normal for your older children to be jealous of their new baby brother or sister. Mighty Mommy knows because having 8 kids meant having to deal with this scenario 7 different times, so today she shares 5 ways you can help your older kids feel more at ease when they welcome their new baby sibling.

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Tip #1:  Prepare Siblings for Birth of “Our” Baby

Kids all need to feel special and loved, especially in a situation where they might feel threatened that their parents are not going to be able to devote all their attention to them. Introduce your child to the concept that there will be a new baby for the entire family to love as early on in your pregnancy as possible. Even if your older sibling is only a toddler, you can read books to your child about the impending birth on a regular basis, make note of your growing belly, and comment that “our new baby” is growing and getting ready to meet everyone in the family. 

Casually work the new baby into the conversation when the opportunity permits. For example, when you and your child are playing a game together you can say “When our new baby is here, you’ll be able to teach him how to play Candyland too.” Taking him with you to your OB/midwife visits also offers an opportunity for him to hear the baby’s heartbeat, making it more real. If your child is old enough to help make choices, such as picking out a new toy or outfit for the baby, let him get involved with that as well. He’s likely to want to interact with the new baby by proudly sharing some of the things he’s picked out for his younger sibling.

The more you and your spouse talk about the new baby with your older children throughout the pregnancy, the more familiar it will seem when the birth takes place.  

The more you and your spouse talk about the new baby with your older children throughout the pregnancy, the more familiar it will seem when the birth takes place.   

See Also:  8 Things to do During Last Month of Pregnancy

Tip #2:  Affirm His/Her Important Place in the Family

Your little one has been the center of your attention for months now, but when your new baby arrives, she is going to have to share the limelight with this precious, innocent new being.  Take the time to affirm your older tot’s positive qualities that you adore and makes her so special.  Now she’s a “big” kid and can become a great help to you with your new baby.  Specifically point out things that she does to make a difference such as “Annie, you really help mommy when you pick up your toys and put them away. You can teach our baby to do the same when he gets older.”  If your older child is used to helping Grandma take her coat off and get settled when she comes to visit, make sure to keep that routine the same and comment “Thanks for helping Grandma with her things, Maggie. She’s tired after driving here so now she can sit and relax and read a book with you.” Not only will your older kids have to share your attention with the new baby, but grandparents, neighbors, and other friends and family are also going to be dividing their time up as well. Talk often about the fact that each member of the family is important in their own way and makes their own special contribution.

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About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!