Bringing home a new baby is an adjustment for every family member. Although an exciting time, integrating a new baby into the family can often feel overwhelming. You may be asking yourself, how will my older children react to having a baby in the house? This is an entirely normal feeling that many parents have when extending their family. Today, we offer three tips to help older kids welcome a new baby.
Talk about the transition before the baby’s arrival.
This one is huge! It is so important to talk about the arrival of a new sibling or family member before their arrival. While toddlers may not grasp the whole concept of what precisely a new sibling means, children are intelligent, and having conversations while you are pregnant will help. If you are unsure how to do this, you can consider reading big sibling books to your little one. One of our favorites is linked here.
Consider hiring a postpartum doula
Many families feel like there are not enough hands or energy to go around in the first couple of months postpartum. Over time parents, children, and babies adjust to this new family dynamic, but it is no secret that the first months with a newborn take a lot of our energy and care. Having an additional set of hands during this time, specifically from a trained expert, can make a difference. Postpartum doulas support families as a whole, which extends to care and connection with older siblings! To learn more about our postpartum doula services, visit our website.
Consider outside activities
Your older child or children may find comfort and a sense of self by having a particular activity or two for them during the integration of a new sibling! If your child is going to start new activities or preschool, we recommend starting a month or two before your new baby is home. This will ensure that there are not too many adjustments happening in their lives! Many kids and toddlers do well with having an activity of their own during this time. That may be preschool, a weekly play date, or swim lessons. Keeping these activities regular during the big transition can help them to notice that the routines in their lives that they love have not changed.
We like to remind our clients, friends, and family that while integrating a new sibling can be an exciting time, children adjust! Children are more adaptable than just about anyone. If you have a two-year-old, six months down the line, they will have had a baby brother or sister for a fifth of their lives! While the tips above can help, so does time! You’ve got this.
Thank you for reading this week’s blog, ” Three tips to help older siblings welcome a new baby.” For more helpful tips on all things pregnnacy, postpartum, and parenthood visit our weekly blog.