Devin and I are planning to try to grow our family this fall after our wedding. As excited as I am, I’m also really nervous.
For the past 20 months Alexa has had me and her daddy all to herself. We love this little girl more than anything in the world.
How is she going to react when we have to share that love? What should we be doing to prepare her?
I didn’t know the answers to these questions.
But if I have learned one thing in my six months of blogging, its that the mom blogging community is filled with the most caring, helpful, supportive women I have ever known.
When I reached out to these women, most being complete strangers to me, they were more than willing to offer up their best advice on how to prepare siblings for a new baby.
I hope you get as much from their tips as I have. Please do click through to their blogs as well, these ladies have so much more valuable information to share with you!
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How To Prepare Siblings For A New Baby
Carly | A Modern Mom Blog
It’s essential to get older siblings involved in caring for the new baby. Toddler siblings can fetch diapers, shake bottles, and show the baby a rattle. Older siblings can hold and play with the new baby. By inviting the older siblings help taking care of the baby, moms can promote sibling bonding from day one.
See more from Carly : 10 Ways To Soothe A Fussy Baby Without Holding Them
Brandi | Chicken Scratch Diaries
Before the baby arrives, find a book that you can read together which discusses what it’s like to have a new baby in the family. Our favorite is “God Gave Us Two“. Books are a great teaching tool for younger kids especially.
Make a list of baby-related “chores” your child can help with once the baby arrives, and talk about these chores ahead of time. For instance: bringing Mom a pacifier (show them how to hold it by the handle!), finding burp cloths or a special toy to entertain baby during playtime. Older kids can pick out the baby’s outfit, take pictures, refill mom’s water bottle – and it really is a huge help in those newborn days! Having responsibilities that only “big kids” get to do can help soften the blow of having to share mom’s attention. 🙂
Have a dedicated one-on-one time with your older child each day. My four-year-old loves made-up bedtime stories. These stories provided a great way to connect with him each night before bed – because some days are hectic when you have a preschooler and a newborn.
See more from Brandi: Why Discipline Is So Important For Children- And Why Parents Hesitate
Nikki | Mommy My Way
I’ve been preparing my 3.5 year old for his baby sister since the day I found out I was pregnant. I’ve included him in the process as much as possible by bringing him to doctor’s appointments, showing him pictures and videos of her weekly growth and talking about her daily. We discuss the ways he will help (feeding her, keeping his toys picked up, watching her while I cook) and that gets him excited. By involving him, I’m making him feel special and important so once she arrives it’s less about what he’s not getting anymore and more about how he’s needed.
See more from Nikki: Preparing For A Newborn
Emily | Happy Mom Blog
I prepared my daughter by reading a book called “Big Sister” which talked about what it’s like to be a big sister and what to expect. It showed how the new baby will need a lot of help with feeding and diaper changing and that the older sibling can help out. It also talked about the different ways the older sibling can help by being more independent, helping with diaper changes and by pushing the stroller. I read the book over and over again to prepare my daughter and when the new baby came she wasn’t too surprised by the new routine.
See more from Emily: 20 Things To Do Before The Baby Arrives
Audrey | Mommy Enlightened
When I was pregnant with my second child, I was sick to my stomach when I thought of what it would do to my first. She was the most important thing in the world to me, and it made my heart hurt to think that she would have to share my love. Before my second was born, we talked with everyone who planned to visit the new baby and let them know that they needed to greet our oldest daughter when they first arrived and that our first daughter would be introducing the baby to everyone. This can help your first child feel included and important, and I will say it made the transition much easier!
My oldest was two when we had our second child, so she was not accustomed to babies or having to share mommy and daddy. A couple of months before we had our second child, we bought our oldest a couple of baby dolls as well as her own diapers, bottles, and clothes. Once our second was born, our first daughter was able to feel included in the daily menial tasks of taking care of a baby since she had her own baby to take care of. We changed diapers and fed bottles together, and my daughter loved the pretend play.
See more from Audrey: How To Eliminate Toddler Tantrums From Your Relationship
Liz | Blue And Hazel
My best tip is to let the older kids fall in love too by holding the baby (with help), which is hard to do when you are fearful of your precious newborn getting whacked! Anytime my toddler asked to “hold baby”, I’d drop what I was doing if possible to make it happen, since that was rare and important. And it usually only lasted about 30 seconds.
I also found it so helpful to constantly give my older kids credit for things that made the baby happy. For instance, if the baby smiled while my toddler was spinning, I said, “He loved it when you twirled like that, you made him smile!” Or if they brought the baby a blanket I’d say, “What a good helper you are, mama loves how much you help the baby!”. This makes them feel warmer towards the baby and I think they feel that having the baby around gives them new positive attention.
Lastly, I tried to let them be around me and chat as much as they wanted while nursing. While it’s tricky, I didn’t want my older kids to feel jaded and pushed away. They could learn to be quiet if needed, or still if they wanted to snuggle next to me while I nursed on the couch. And once sitting by mom nursing got a little boring they often would go off and play across the room anyway.
See more from Liz: Ways To Teach Your Toddler To Love A New Baby
Devon | Army Wife With Daughters
See more from Devon: Advice A New Mom Needs But Rarely Gets
Jenny | Home After Three
See more from Jenny: Helping Kids Deal With Change
Nicole | 3 Kids And A Husband
I think that children understand best from tangible evidence around them. When I was pregnant with my third child, I invited my older children (then 5 and 2 years old) to help prepare for baby’s arrival by decorating and organizing the nursery. This was not only a fun bonding task for all of us but also a means for them to gain understanding about a new member of the family that would be joining them soon.
See more from Nicole: Lay Doubt Aside & Trust In Yourself
Meagan | Far From Fabulous Blog
See more from Meagan: Daily Routine Tips For Moms
Michele | Mommy With A Chance Of Showers
Here’s a simple but powerful idea to set the stage for a positive first meeting. When your older child comes to the hospital to meet their new sibling, make sure that the baby is in the bassinet beside the bed when they walk in the room. This way your child doesn’t immediately feel jealous and your arms are free to give them a big hug!
See more from Michele: 3 Must Do’s For Your Toddler When Preparing For Baby #2
That’s how you prepare siblings for a new baby!
I definitely feel ready for preparing my little girl for the day we welcome a new baby to our family now! If you found these tips helpful please share them with your friends, and subscribe to these wonderful mom bloggers!