Are you expecting? Congratulations! It’s a happy time.
And if you have other children, it’s even more exciting, because you get to watch them develop into big brothers and big sisters.
When you add new family members, it is fun and exciting but it can also be challenging for the older children. Afterall, they are used to the family’s status quo and a new baby disrupts that.
But there are ways you can prepare your older children for the new addition. Read on:
Read and watch
One of the best ways to prepare older children for a new sibling is to read books with them and watch age-appropriate shows. There are dozens of books for all ages and shows like Daniel Tiger have episodes that address the issue on a level preschool age kids can understand.
If you are planning to welcome your new baby via a homebirth, we get it. That’s a whole other level of preparedness that needs to happen. Whether or not you want your children present at the birth, talking through the process, making sure there are people available to be with the older siblings full-time and letting older siblings possibly watch a birth video are all good ways to prepare.
Sometimes, it is best to give children just the amount of information they need in a small dose. Otherwise, they can get overwhelmed and not be able to process the news.
So, don’t oversell the new sibling, but be realistic and age-appropriate with what will likely happen when the new baby comes (it will cry, mama and daddy will be tired, there will be diapers etc.).
Simply by letting your older children know you are able and willing to answer all questions will help them process and understand the new family dynamic. They might not have all the questions in the beginning, but by bringing up the new addition periodically and including the children in age-appropriate ways during the pregnancy, you can alleviate stress and fear.
At Everything Birth, we hope you have a safe and healthy 9 months of pregnancy!