Preparing children for the arrival of a new sibling

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The arrival of a new baby can bring many changes to the home front. You need to prepare your child (children) for their new sibling. It is common for younger siblings to feel a little jealous over a new sibling. Planning and preparing for the new arrivals can make it easier for everyone.

Tracy Martin-Turgeon from The Children’s Workshop gives tips on preparing siblings for the arrival of a new baby.

When to tell your child that a new baby is coming!

• If your child is under 18 months it is better to wait until you start showing.
• If over 18 months, tell your child when you announce it to the world.
• Find a quiet place to let your child know about new sibling and give them time to process and ask questions.

During Pregnancy and Process

• Think about how old your child is, and how much they can understand.
• Younger children do not have the concept of time.
• Get them involved by looking at their baby pictures, enrolling in sibling birthing classes, or letting them listen to the baby’s heartbeat.
• Try to include your child so they don’t feel left out.

Try to focus on keeping things that won’t’ change

• Keeping routines the same as possible.
• If you give afternoon hugs or stories before bed this should continue.
• Don’t push the milestones. If your child is not ready for big kid bed or toilet training, this is okay it will happen in time.

Keep in mind, they’re going to be lots of bumps along the way. This is an exciting time. To minimize stress, keep routines as close to the same as possible, and include your children along the way. By the time baby comes big sister or brother will be ready.

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