With a new baby, comes excitement, joy and new challenges for a growing family. Parents will be happy to welcome a new addition, but they may also be facing concerns about how their older children will react to the news of a new sibling. It is important that parents focus on positive ways to tell their children that they are going to be a big sister or big brother and to be prepared if the reception of this news isn’t as positive as they were hoping.
HELPING KIDS PREPARE FOR A NEW BABY
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BE REASSURING AND HONEST
It is important that you be honest right out of the gate. The truth is that your love for your child will not change, but there will be other things that will. Explain to your child that a new baby is a lot of work and will require a lot of time and attention, but that doesn’t mean that you will not be sure to make special time for your first born. It is also important to explain that there are ways that your child can be involved in the childcare and that caring for their new sibling is something you can do together.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
When you feel as though you are ready to tell your child they are going to have a new sibling, it is a good idea to ensure that you are past the first trimester. This ensures that you know that all is well with your pregnancy, but you may also be showing by this time. If you wait until you are showing, it may be easier to explain to a younger child that you have a baby growing in your belly.
INVOLVE YOUR CHILD IN IMPORTANT DECISIONS
Allowing your child to be involved in important decisions is a great way to get your firstborn excited about the arrival of a new sibling. Allow your child to participate in things like choosing baby names, decorating the nursery and even important doctor’s appointments if you feel comfortable doing so.
There are some great books you can read to and with your child to help prepare them for their new sibling:
There are many ways that you can help your kids to prepare for a new baby, being honest and reassuring is a very important factor in your announcement. Make sure your children are very well aware that a new sibling doesn’t mean less love for them, but in fact means more love as now there will be someone else in the house who will love them as much as you do.
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