Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A New Sibling

Simple Ideas: how will I prepare my son (or daughter) for life with a new sibling?

• When the new baby is settled or sleeping, let the oldest overhear you tell the baby that she needs to be patient and wait while you play with or help big brother with something. Obviously the baby won't have a clue, but the big boy will be pleased that you are putting him first for a change.

• Browse through photos of when big brother was a baby. Point out how much care he needed too (feeding, diaper changing, playing, sleeping, etc.). This way, he realizes that his younger sibling needs some extra attention because of age and nothing else such as "mom must love her more!"

• Get new books from the library about siblings. Reading about other family experiences just might resonate with your own!

• Before baby is born, practice basic care with a doll. The big brother will be an expert when it comes to taking care of his little sister and may show no jealousy at all. Find ways all day long to allow your child to assist so he feels important and responsible.

• Alert family and friends to help ease your oldest child's transition by focusing their attention on "big brother" first, during the first few minutes of a visit before going goo-goo over the new baby.

• Give your child a special present when baby comes home but sign it from "baby sister". See the new baby comes bearing gifts ... can't be all that bad!

• Listen to Sibling Rivalry with Amy McCready. It's never too early to be prepared!

1 comment:

  1. We had our 4th baby this past January, before i had henry, i talked to some friends & relatives and set up some overnights for the kids for AFTER we came home with baby. Not the first day we came home, but a few days later. I thought that after a few days of being around the new baby, and adjusting to the new quiet lifestyle that they might be ready for a special evening out. The two oldest spent the night with different family members, where they recieved lots and lots of attention. The former baby of the family (#3) stayed home with mommy and daddy because he seemed to need us. The older two were ecstatic about their special slumber parties.
    I also did what you said above, and had presents for the kids from the baby. They loved that!
    And because my kids were not allowed to come to the hospital, I warned everyone ahead of time not to tell them anything about the baby's birth until I could call them. I wanted them to hear the big news from mama. I even sent pictures via text right away. Ella thought this was great because her 1st grade teacher showed it to the entire class.
    One more idea...have the kids create things for the baby! Ella painted a picture frame for Henry (at her overnight), it's such a treasure!