Helping Big Brothers and Big Sisters Adjust

Welcoming a new baby can be a little bittersweet for your family if you already have a child or two. If your child has been a singleton up to this point, she’s been the center of your universe. And even if your child is the second or third (or more), being the baby of the family is a special and cherished role. Seeing a new baby usurp that position can be upsetting for a young toddler or even an older child.

Use a baby doll.

If your child hasn’t spent much time around infants, she may not really understand what a baby is! Use a baby doll when talking about the new sibling-to-be. It’s a great way to teach big-sibling skills.

Give a big sibling gift “from” the baby.

While you may see diaper cakes and onesies as practical gifts, your child sees the new baby getting dozens of presents! Stop sibling jealousy by giving older siblings a present “from” the baby, like a new toy or a special book.

Include the bigsibling whenever possible.

Involve your child in preparing for the baby to make her feel important. Once the baby arrives, asking her for simple help—like bringing you a burp cloth—will show her you’re on the same side.
“My daughter loves helping pick names, seeing ultrasounds, and getting the nursery ready!” —Victoria

After the baby comes, carve out a little one-on-one time.

A newborn’s mom is always busy! But taking just a few minutes a day to spend one-on-one time with your big kid can nip acting-out in the bud. You don’t need to find the time (or energy!) for fun outings—your child just wants your undivided attention.

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