5 sweet ways to prepare your child for a new sibling
Ease the transition by building their excitement early
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So, you found out you’re pregnant, but you’re not sure exactly how to prepare your current little one for the arrival of a new sibling. The truth is, it can be quite the challenge to get your children just as excited about the new baby as you are. From lack of understanding, to fear of neglect, there are lots of feelings and emotions going through your child’s mind about adding a new baby into the mix.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to make preparing for a new sibling fun, all while getting the entire family involved. Here are five easy—and fun—ways to get your child excited about having a new sibling.
1. Reminisce over baby photos
Pulling out old baby pictures is never a bad idea. It brings back all those feel good feelings and reminds us of the good ol’ days that came and went in the blink of an eye. This activity can be especially helpful for toddler-aged children who may need help understanding what a newborn baby looks like. Not to mention, it opens the door for you to tell your little one about how they were as a baby.
Giving your child insight on what baby life is like for both baby and mommy will not only give them a glimpse into the future, but it also opens the door to ask any questions they might have.
If your child or children are in the mid-aged or teenage years, this activity may be less informal, but still equally fun.
2. Practice with a baby doll
Like momma always said, ‘practice makes perfect.’ Gifting your little one with a baby doll to practice being a big brother or sister is a positive way to prepare them for the soon-to-be sibling. This can be especially fun if you know the gender and name of the baby, but either way it gives your child time to learn what it may be like having a new addition to the family.
Practice changing diapers, consoling the baby when crying, and even loving on the baby with gentle gestures. Trust us, after nine months of this kind of practice, you’d be surprised how seamless the transition may be.
3. Enlist their help to prepare for baby
The best thing you can do when preparing your children for a new baby is to include them as much as possible when preparing for the new bundle of joy. Keeping them out of the preparation process can not only introduce jealousy or resentment, but it can also make family life feel broken and separated.
If you’re going to add items to your baby registry, bring your kids along. Setting up the nursery? Ask them their opinion on décor and design. This activity can be as little or big as you want it to be, but it's sure to get your entire household excited for the new addition.
4. Have a baby-themed movie night, television marathon, or reading club
Everyone is sure to love a movie night (popcorn included, of course). So, put on a film or TV show centered around the birth of a baby or a family with a younger sibling. If your children are older, you may want to consider a documentary or educational film that goes over pregnancy or taking care of a newborn.
There is also a slew of children’s books centered around pregnancy and new siblings. Some of our favorites include, The New Small Person, My New Baby, and I’m a Big Sister / I’m a Big Brother.
- Watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel” on Amazon
- Watch Babies on Amazon for $3.99 Get The New Small Person at Bookshop for $8.27
- Get My New Baby at Bookshop for $5.51
- Get I’m a Big Sister at Bookshop for $7.35
- Get I’m a Big Brother at Bookshop for $7.35
5. Create a welcome home baby basket
Sure, you can have your child purchase a toy or gift for the new baby, but creating a “Welcome Home” basket can be a full day’s activity. From special drawings and pictures and soft, cozy blankets to family-friendly snacks and a personalized stuffed animal, the possibilities are endless. No matter what you choose to include, the most important thing is to have fun and make it enjoyable for the entire family, young and old.
- Get a Little Giraffe Chenille Baby Blanket on Amazon for $74
- Get a personalized stuffed animal on Etsy starting at $39.99
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.