Introducing Your Newborn Baby to Their Siblings

Feeding Friend

There is so much beauty to be celebrated in a growing family. The miracle of childbirth is one that is so mysterious and exciting. Let us set the scene: you are about to introduce your latest family addition to their sibling(s). Encouraging a healthy sibling bond is imperative in the integration process of growing your family.

With your first bubba, you were focused on figuring out how to navigate parenthood. With the baby #2, your biggest worry is how your older child will react to having a new sibling.

Here is are some things to consider:

Before the birth: When should I tell them?

It is definitely important to tell your child or children that they are about to be a big sister or big brother. The recommended time period is usually 3-4 months before your set due date. Make this an fun-filled time for them and encourage them to get excited about their new role as the older sibling.

Make the first introduction happen in the hospital 

When little bubs arrives, ask a close member of the family or even a friend to bring your elder children to the hospital for a brief visit.  Ensure this time is evenly distributed with the introduction and then plenty of kisses and cuddles with the elder child.  This will highlight the fact that nothing is going to change – mummy and daddy still love you dearly. An excellent bonus tip is to give your older child a present from little bubs – this encourages and fosters positivity between the elder and younger child.

Dedicate one on one time with the elder child/children

When it is time to bring little bubs home, allow for another moment where the elder and the new bond. After this, it is a great idea for one parent to take your older child to a fond and favourite place— such as a park or your nearest fro-yo joint. Make this occasion about celebrating the new baby’s arrival, while simultaneously highlighting that they are part of the process.

What should I do if my older child begins acting out?

When children want attention – they break the rules. This might be a pattern you initially witness with your older child. They don’t care to be punished as their primary goal is to shift the attention back on to them. To stop this behavior, praise your older child when he or she is behaving well. If you have a sneaking suspicion your child is misbehaving to get attention, consider ignoring the behavior. This might encourage your child to look for a more positive means to catch your eye. It is important to note that often times children act younger than their age after the arrival of a new baby, such as having toilet training accidents. These are both common and normal reactions to the adjustment and subsequent stress of a new sibling. This therefore needs to be handled with tolerance rather than punishment. Give your older child love and assurance during these moments.
Check in and ask: “How do you feel about your new sibling?” Don’t forget to take this time to calmly listen.
This is an exciting time for the whole family and when planned properly – will be an exciting time for your other children too!

 

Welcome!

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