National Siblings Day – How to Help an Older Sibling Adjust to New Baby
April 10, 2017
In honor of National Siblings Day, we’re sharing five ways to help an older sibling adjust to a new baby.
Read a fun book about the joy of having a sibling.
Reading to your child is already a great time to bond, so why not incorporate a new read to help prep your firstborn to have another sibling? It’s also a time that you can talk to your child and let her express any anxieties, questions or concerns that she may have. The “New Baby” series by Rachel Fuller is a great option, because it takes you from waiting for the baby to arrive to playing with the new baby in four colorful board books.
Pick out some older sibling/younger sibling clothing.
Whether it’s big sister/little sister (or big brother/little brother, or any other combination of the two) coordinating tops or maybe some cute matching pajamas, take your child to select something for themselves and the baby that coordinate with each other. That way your older child can be involved in the activity, and choose something he or she likes.
Plan one-on-one time with your older child.
Even if it’s just to run an errand or go grocery shopping, making the effort to spend one-on-one time with your older child is a great way to show her that she still matters. Kids can feel upended when their schedules change, and so validating their emotions is really important.
Give her special jobs to help with the baby.
Don’t be afraid to let your firstborn help out… you may be surprised at what she can do. Whether it’s helping with the bath by washing your baby’s feet, or helping grab things like diapers and wipes. Help her hold the baby and have her help soothe baby with gentle pats on the back or by talking softly to the baby. Depending on her age, she can also help by reading or telling the baby a story, or making silly faces.
Have baby give her older sibling a gift.
When your older child comes to visit your baby in the hospital for the first time, have a little wrapped gift waiting at the hospital. Explain that the gift is from their new little baby sister or brother because they’re excited to have them as a sibling. This will probably work better if your children are closer in age, but it can be a sweet gesture that could brighten your firstborn’s day.
What are some ways you helped your child adjust to having a new sibling?
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