Stop Jealousy Before it Starts: How to Prepare for Your Child to Become an Older Sibling
Being pregnant with your second child is an exciting experience. You likely know most of the ins and outs of pregnancy from the first time around, which can make baby number two feel much easier. However, often the new challenge of including and engaging an older sibling in your new little one’s life can be unexpectedly difficult. We’ve come up with some of the best tips to help you and your little one get ready for the birth of your even littler one. 🤗
Include Your Older Child on Your Due Date
Although you probably don't want your child to be in the room during labour, you can still find ways to make them feel involved in the labour experience. Showing that you will still be thinking of them during that time can help ease their stress around it. You could bring in a photo of them to the delivery room, or better yet, customize a Giftgown with a photo of the two of you together. That way, they’ll know that they’re still on your mind even if the focus is on the baby.
Help Them Embrace the Older Sibling Role
Finding ways for your older child to embrace the role of big brother or big sister is an important step. Try and come up with small ways that they can help out around the house and ways that they can have a special relationship with their younger sibling from the start.
Have Them Give a Gift to their Younger Sibling
Have your older child choose a gift to give to their baby sibling. They could even choose a matching gift for themselves so that the two siblings have brother or sister teddy bears or blankets—something special just for the siblings. By doing this they will feel included in the process.
Change Parental Duties
Changing parental duties in preparation for the new baby is a great way to help prepare your older sibling-to-be. If one parent is expecting to spend more time with the new baby (e.g., a mother who is nursing), it’s important for the other parent to step into the older siblings routine before the baby arrives. Making sure the parent gets involved early means that when by the time the new baby comes, the older sibling will already be comfortable with the routine at hand.
Adjust Bedtime Routines
Adjusting bedtime routines is a key step in preparing your soon-to-be older sibling for the birth of your little one. If both parents are usually present ay bedtime, try switching off, so that when the new baby comes, your child is used to just having one parent at bedtime. If your child is graduating from a crib to a bed, make sure to do this a few months before the baby arrives. That way, they’re less likely to be jealous or feel like the new baby is taking something of theirs.
We hope that this helps make transition from only child to older sibling easier for you and you family! 🥰