Introducing a new baby into your home is a special experience–especially if your new baby will have an older sibling there. Although most children who are old enough to understand what bringing a newborn into the picture really means, some children aren’t too thrilled with the idea of sharing the throne. To ease your mind and get the soon-to-be older sibling(s) excited, here are some fun ways to let your kids know that another addition to the family is a wonderful thing:
1. Let you son/daughter know that your love for them will remain the same
Some kids immediately feel left out at the news of a new baby coming into the family. This is perfectly natural for their little minds to think/feel this way, so reassure them just how truly special they will always be no matter what. If your child is feeling the older sibling-to-be blues let them know that Mommy’s heart will just get bigger to love the new baby, and nothing will ever change between the two of you. Reinforcing your love or going a little heavier on the affection is never a bad thing!
2. Talk to your kids as your belly grows
This one may be easier if your children are old enough to comprehend the situation ahead. If an older sibling is only going to be a few years apart in age, point to your growing tummy to remind them of baby-to-be and make them feel special about becoming a big brother or sister.
3. Let you child come to a doctor’s appointment with you
I practice this with my 3 year old and she really enjoys it. This way your child will develop the connection and you get to see their eyes light up when they watch the baby on the ultrasound monitor. Something simple that works to keep her from looking with her eyes and not her hands while at the doctor’s office, is that I reward my daughter afterwards with a treat from the gift shop of the office building for good girl behavior. Works like a charm every time!
4. Although the names might be silly, hear their ideas on what to name new baby
Yes, kids really do say the darnedest things. You will learn the true meaning of this age-old phrase if you ask sibling-to-be what their thoughts are on naming the new baby. When asked, my oldest daughter came up with Porcupine as a middle name for my future son. Don’t think that one will be making the final cut, but by implementing this idea it is a fun way to incorporate your child/children in the process… and maybe even get some cool (and very unique) nicknames out of it.
5. Allow your child to help you decorate the nursery
When it’s time to do the decorating, allow your child to help you design the digs for baby’s new room. Many children are very particular about certain toys that are “theirs” and you will be pleasantly surprised to see your soon-to-be sibling naturally want to give some of their things to the new baby. This sweet gesture will definitely fall into that “proud parent moment” category.
6. When the baby is kicking, let big brother/sister feel it!
This one is really fun and when they wrap their curious minds around what is actually going on in there, the look in their eyes is nothing shy of amazement. Chances are they will want to repeat this one again and again once they feel those first few punches and kicks. It’s fun to tell your kids to talk to your tummy, or even sing, and let them know that baby can hear their voice!
7. Answer all their questions–yes, all!
Everybody knows that kids have lots of questions, and this just might be the right time to debunk the stork theory. Keep it PG, but if your kid wants to know about where babies come from now might be the appropriate time to answer. Kids love to ask questions, especially toddlers, so be prepared to try and keep a straight face when answering some truly off-the-wall inquiries.