9 Ways to Help An Older Sibling Adjust to A New Baby

Chiomah Momah

Even if big brother or sister was excited about the arrival of a new baby, it becomes tough on them when they realize they are no more the baby of the house and sole centre of attraction. Most times, older siblings, especially those below 4, experience developmental regression. To prevent this and help them adjust, here are a few steps to help your older child cope with the arrival of a new sibling.

1. Prepare Their Mind: Prepare your older child’s mind carrying your child along.Tell him he will be having a little brother or sister.Let him feel the baby when all the squirming and kicking in the womb begins. Soon, he will start planting huge kisses on your belly! Let daddy capture some of these moments in pictures.

2. Shop for Baby Together: When shopping for the baby, invite the older siblingto help chose what he thinks baby would like.

READ ALSO: 8 Ways to Curb Sibling Rivalry in Your Home

3. Assign Chores: When baby finally arrives, involve the older sibling in executing little tasks centredaround the newcomer like bringing diapers, and selecting baby’s outfits. Participation in the process will help your older childdevelop a sense of responsibility towards the family’s new addition too.

4. Alone Time: While it may be impossible to spend lots of time with anyone other than your new baby, you must make time to bond with your older child who still needs you and also to curb feelings of being sidelined. Also, introduce fun activities that will involve the whole family.

5. Story Time: Find stories that can help the older sibling understand what he is going through. Gender specific stories like I’m a Big Sister and I’m a Big Brother by Joanna Cole come highly recommended. You can even try ordering books that are custom made and have your children’s names included. Your older child will be tickled to hear a story that has him and the baby as lead characters.

READ ALSO: 5 Ways To Help Your Children Get Along With Each Other

6. Outfits to Match: Everyone loves having a ‘mini me.’ Try ordering matching outfits that have words like ‘I love my baby brother’ or ‘Baby sisters are cool.’ If you don’t find anything in shops, you can always buy plain outfits and have the designs printed by a graphic artist.

7. I love you: Always give your older child lots of reassurance so that she feels the love. With plenty hugs, kisses and ‘I love you’s,’ you can never go wrong.

8. Everyone’s Baby: Remind your older child that the new baby is his baby as well. If he has started playgroup or nursery, take baby to pick him up one day so he can show off his baby to his friends. Also, share the many benefits of having siblings with him.

READ ALSO: Preparing Your Home For A New Baby: 10 Things To Do

9. Memories: Do fun things with your older child before baby arrives and record the moments. You can also take your older child with you for an ultrasound so she can see the baby thriving in mama’s womb – tell him he was right there too only some years ago. You can also do a pregnancy shoot and make big sister or brother a part of it. Reliving these later on makes a huge positive impact.

The list is definitely not exhaustive, discover more, and make sure that in all that you do, your older child(ren) never feel neglected or less loved.

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