Are you getting ready to add a new baby to your family? If so, you’ll want to start preparing your child for the new baby.
By being prepared and knowing what to expect, you’ll make this transition as smooth as possible.
Here are ten ways to help your child prepare for a new baby brother or sister.
Preparing Your Child for the New Baby
One of the best things about having a baby is introducing them to your old friends and family.
You can’t help but want to share your new bundle of joy with everyone you know. But what about the people who are already a big part of your life, like your child?
How do you prepare them for the new baby?
Give them a special job.
Assign your child a special job to help with the baby’s arrival.
This could be anything from helping to pick out clothes for the baby to decorating the nursery. It will make them feel important and involved in the process.
Reading stories about babies together is a great way to help your child understand what to expect.
Try to find books with age-appropriate illustrations so they can really visualize what a new baby looks like.
Show them pictures of babies.
In addition to reading books, show your child pictures of babies. This could be from magazines, websites, or even photos you have taken yourself.
Point out all the different features of a baby and explain how they look different than an adult.
Explain the changes in your body.
As your due date approaches, your body will start to change. Explain to your child how your tummy will get larger and why you may be more tired than usual.
If they are old enough, you can even show them what happens when a baby is born by watching childbirth videos together (there are some great ones on YouTube).
Let them help with the nursery.
Give your child the opportunity to help you set up the nursery. They can pick out paint colors, arrange furniture, or even help put together the crib.
This will get them excited about the new arrival and make them feel like they are a part of the process.
Take them to prenatal appointments.
If you feel comfortable, take your child with you to some of your prenatal appointments.
This will give them a chance to see the baby on the ultrasound and hear their heartbeat.
After that, they may even want to ask the doctor questions about what to expect when the baby is born.
Have a “practice” baby in the house.
If you have a younger child, consider getting them a baby doll to help them prepare for the new baby.
They can practice feeding, diapering, and rocking the doll. This will help them get used to the idea of taking care of a real baby.
Include them in your shopping trips.
As you start to stock up on supplies for the new baby, bring your child with you on some of your shopping trips.
Let them pick out a special outfit or toy for the baby. They will love feeling like they are helping to get everything ready.
Talk about their feelings.
Throughout the process, it’s important to talk to your child about their feelings. Ask them how they are feeling about the new baby and if they have any questions or concerns.
This will help you gauge their level of excitement and anxiety so you can address any issues that come up.
Have a special “sibling” day.
Once the baby is born, plan to have a special day just for your older child.
This could be something as simple as going out for ice cream or taking a trip to the park.
It will help them feel important and loved, and remind them that they are still an important part of your life.
In short, preparing your child for the new baby doesn’t have to be difficult. By involving them in the process and talking to them about their feelings, you can help them adjust to the new arrival and get excited about becoming a big brother or sister.
We hope these ideas for preparing your child for the new baby have helped you start that conversation and given you some ideas on how to make this exciting time even better for everyone involved.