For brothers and sisters it’s almost magical. A baby is growing in mommy’s tummy! It’s so hard to imagine for your little one. And he has to wait 9 more months for him to come. 9 months, how long is that? Is that tomorrow? And even though they are looking forward to it, when the baby is finally here he may not even like it. Especially when you’re going to breast feed your baby, he has to ‘give’ a lot of his mommy time to his new baby brother or sister. How can you prepare your kid(s) for this big change? We’re happy to give you some practical tips to prepare a brother or sister for a newborn baby.
- Tell your kid(s) as soon as possible that there is a baby on it’s way. That gives your kid enough time to get used to that idea. And moreover you are going to talk to others about the baby and it’s not fair for your kid if he knows nothing. And because your belly is growing and your probably more tired sometimes, your kid knows there is something changing. For little kids it’s better to wait a little longer before you tell it, because 9 months is long for them.
- Don’t wait too long with big changes. If your kid has to move to another room when the baby arrives, do that as soon as possible. Otherwise your kid can get the idea that he has to make place for the baby and that you think the baby is more important than he is. Don’t tell your kid he has to move because the baby is coming but because he is old enough for a bigger room. Maybe he can even choose his own duvet cover? It gives him time to get used to his new room and you avoid ending up with a newborn baby and a kid that doesn’t want to sleep in his own room. Put the crib aside for a while.
- Always talk possitively about the baby. Don’t say anything like ‘don’t do that in front of the baby because he won’t like you if you’ll do that’.
- Get your kid(s) used to the idea that their daddy will probably spent more time with them when the baby is born. If they’re used to you putting them to bed or making breakfast, it will be a big change when daddy has to do that.
- Involve your kids as much as possible. Let them feel when the baby kicks, choose new clothes or a nursing pillow together en talk about ‘our’ baby, because it’s also a little bit his baby.
- Explain your kid(s) about the baby. Answer all his questions, read books about children getting a baby brother or sister and take your kid(s) to friends who just got a baby to let him experience what is going to happen. Also tell your kid(s) that a little baby sleeps a lot and cannot play with him rightaway. Look at your kids babypictures together so he knows he once was a little baby too.
- Buy a present for your kid(s) as if it’s a present from the baby. Give it to him when the baby is born and he probably likes the baby a lot more instantly. Also ask family members who visit if they can also bring a little something for the oldest kid(s).
- Be aware that you’re not only talking about the baby. For kids it’s not the most important thing and there are a lot of other nice things he likes to talk about.
Preparing a brother or sister for a newborn baby can definitely work out, but you never know how your kid is going to react. You know your own child more than anyone else so you know which tips will work best for your kid. Have fun and good luck!