Sibling jealousy is one of the most common concerns of moms with more than one child. I know in my experience, as soon as I saw the plus sign on my pregnancy test with my second baby I had a mix of feelings. To start, I was elated. However, alongside the glee, I had one little worry in the back of my head that nothing to do with lack of sleep or how busy our lives would become, but a concern with how my firstborn son would adjust to a new baby and us bringing home the new baby.
As my pregnancy progressed, I asked my friends with more than one child how they helped their siblings adjust to the new baby. Of course the answer is different for every child and every family, with a big factor being the age of your bigger sibling(s). I’d love to share some of the good tips people shared with me to help smooth your transition as your family grows and how we adjust to a new baby:
How To Adjust To A New Baby
|Max playing with his new gift from
his brand new baby sister.
- Look at pictures of when your bigger kid was a baby. Talk about their birth and what they acted like during their first months on this Earth. Tell them how excited you were when they were born and how much you enjoyed looking at them and holding them.
- Let your children practice with baby dolls. Act out how to gently hug, kiss and say kind words to a baby. Teach them how to do the same. My older child (who was just 19 months when our second was born) was familiar with baby dolls and he was excited to meet his new sister for the first time, even at such a young age.
- Let them participate in the preparations for the new baby’s arrival. Give them choices such as three options for the baby’s coming home from the hospital outfit.
- Read books about babies, pregnancy and anything related to having a new baby brother or sister. Let them ask any questions they have about what will happen when the new baby is born.
- If your baby is already home, and your bigger kids are struggling with new baby jealousy, here are some ways to help them adjust:
- Set aside time designated specifically for the older children. One-on-one time every single day is very important. Even just 10 minutes of uninterrupted time with the older children every day means so much to them, and you’ll probably see an improvement in behavior. This one definitely proved true for our family.
- Listen when your child wants to talk to you about how they feel. A new baby means a lot of changes for everyone in the family. Acknowledge their feelings.
- Encourage your bigger kids to help with the baby’s care. Let them get diapers, help with a bath, push the stroller and so on. Enjoy family time together and let your bigger kids feel like they’re part of it all.
- Point out all the awesome benefits of being the big kid, such as choosing what they like to eat, swinging on big swings at the park and having friends to play with.
to you. Tell them that you love them. Always remember that new baby jealousy is totally normal.
How did you helping siblings adjust to a new baby?
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