Preparing Kids for a New Baby
Preparing Your Kids for a New Baby
“A baby is a blessing, a gift from Heaven above. A precious little angel, to cherish and to love”
You simply can’t wait to meet your new baby! To hold her safely in your arms, to feel her soft skin, and to play with and kiss her tiny little fingers and toes. She’s everything you’ve been waiting for and you can’t wait to introduce her to the rest of your family.
But, there’s one thought that has been hanging on you: How will your other kids react to a new baby in the house?
Of course, your children will love their new sibling, but their reactions may be mixed. Some will be extremely excited to be a big sister or brother and welcome the new baby with open arms.
Others, however, may look at the new baby, look up at you, and ask when she’s being returned to the hospital (if you have younger siblings of your own, maybe this was you as a child!).
Either way, it’s important to be ready for any reaction your kids may throw your way. After all, it isn’t always easy adapting to a new addition in the household. Here are some tips on how to prepare your kids for a new baby.
When to Tell Your Kids You’re Pregnant
Telling your kids you’re pregnant is no easy task. You might be wondering if you should tell them right away or if you should wait a while until you figure out a creative way to break the news.
It is often recommended you tell your children after the first trimester because they can start to see your baby bump. That way, they’ll be able to actually see your body changing and you’ll be able to point out where the baby is. If you’ve got an active baby growing inside of you, they may even be able to feel the baby’s movements!
It’s also best to tell your children before you tell other people. You don’t want your kids to hear about it from your friends or other family members because that may cause some conflict and confusion. And don’t expect your kids to keep a secret like this to the rest of the world. Be prepared to tell the rest of your family and friends closely after you break the news to your kids.
Dealing with Jealousy and Fears
Some children may react strongly to having a new younger brother or sister on the way. Even if a child seems excited at first, they may realize that having a new brother or sister is a bigger deal than they originally thought. They might become envious when they hear adults talk about the new baby or when seeing all the new things the baby will have.
Feeling jealous and becoming worried that a new sibling will take their place is completely normal, especially for toddlers and young kids. These feelings will subside quickly as long as you get ahead of it and provide your kids with the attention they need.
Here’s some tips in the case that your kids have a hard time accepting the news about a new sibling:
- Communicate with them. Kids communicate in unique ways. If they start throwing tantrums or aren’t as cheerful and talkative as they used to be, there’s probably something bothering them. Pull them aside for some quality one-on-one time or use bedtime to chat with them if you can’t during the day. Let your child tell you how they’re feeling. This is a tough time for them, so show empathy and learn how they’re feeling from their point of view.
- Comfort them. You know how hard change can be. Give your child a big hug and kiss to show that they still belong. Explain what’s going on in an easy-to-understand way, and make sure you’re still providing them with a proper amount of attention to make sure they don’t feel like you’re leaving them behind.
- Tell your kids you love them. They might be afraid mommy is not going to love them anymore once the new baby arrives. As silly as this might sound, it’s important to ease your kids’ concerns and tell them you love them. Remind them as many times as it takes and continue playing with them and taking them to fun places to show that nothing has changed.
Educate Your Kids about a New Sibling
Children might be afraid of having a new sibling because they don’t know what it will be like. It can be intimidating to get a new family member and they may be afraid of change. That’s why it’s important to educate your children about what to expect when a new family member comes into the household.
Here are a few ways you can teach your children about having a new sibling:
- Oh, how kids love story time! Reading books to your children about having a new brother or sister can help ease their minds and help them become excited for their new sibling. Make sure to review and check out books you think your children will be able to connect to the best.
- Television programs. Find television programs where there are multiple children or episodes that deal with a new baby. Kids often learn in a visual way and might be able to relate to the characters on TV.
When the Baby Arrives
When the day finally comes and your baby arrives, make sure your kids are a big part of the special event. Have your partner or another family member bring your kids to the hospital to meet the baby. If you can, spend some quality alone time with your kids and the new baby, so they can experience their new sibling and see that you love both them and the new baby the same.
When you and the baby finally come home, it’s important to prepare your kids for what they can expect. Try to keep their schedules as normal as possible and remind them about being gentle and quiet around the baby and encourage them to help you take care of their new sibling. Getting your kids involved will help them feel more connected to the baby and prevent them from feeling like they don’t matter.
One tactic you could also try is giving your kids their own baby doll to take care of. Kids love to pretend and imitate, so taking care of a baby doll will help them feel “just like mommy.” This can also help your children grasp what is going on because they have the opportunity to do it themselves.
Prepare for Your New Bundle of Joy with King’s Daughters’ Health Obstetrician Providers
If you’re pregnant, there’s no better place to schedule an appointment than King’s Daughters’ Health. Our family-centered obstetricians are there for you every step of the way through your pregnancy and will help you and your family prepare for a new baby.
CALL TODAY: 812.801.0856