I remember when I was pregnant with my middle child, I felt a little bit guilty and sad that my oldest would not get 100% of my attention anymore.
It’s all a natural part of life but I couldn’t help but worry about how it might affect her in a negative way. I knew I wanted her to feel the same amount of love as she always had.
My daughter just barely turned three years old when my middle child was born. She knew something was going on because of my ginormous belly. I kept telling her she was going to be a big sister.
She would light up when I would tell her how awesome she was going to be and how she would be my big helper. She totally was, by the way.
Getting Ready For Baby
It was definitely a process to get my daughter open to the idea of being a big sister. Every day, I would tell her that baby brother is in my tummy and she would feel my belly when he would move around.
To get your child ready for baby, maybe get them involved in the process. Let them help you pick out room decor, clothes, blankets, all the things.
This step will help get them excited for what is to come.
Another thing I am sure will help prepare your child for a new baby is getting them a toy baby that they need to care for. This gives them the responsibility of “caring” for a baby so they know how important it is to be so nice to the new baby.
They can be shown how to change diapers, feed the baby, and put the baby down for a nap.
I’ve heard too many stories of older siblings pulling babies hair or biting baby because they are acting out.
Just do everything you need to do to get your child ready for the baby so you won’t have any traumatic experiences. Luckily, my children never did try to hurt the new baby.
Giving Siblings Attention
During your pregnancy, your child will know something is brewing. They are smarter than you think. The most important thing to do during your pregnancy is, give your child the most attention and love as you can find humanly possible.
They need to feel that they are loved so when the new baby comes along, they will not doubt the love you have for them.
Even after having your baby is born, it is important to take some time out and give your older child some one on one time so they still know and understand that you still love them.
It can be hard sometimes but this is just going to be your new normal.
Trust me, I know how hard it is. I have three kids and try to spread the love evenly between all of them. I try and tell each one of them that I love them frequently.
Let older siblings be around the new sibling and interact with them. Allow them to “help” change the diapers. They can bring you the wipes and diapers. Your older children need to have a role in this new situation so they can feel as though they still belong.
After New Baby Is Born
My mom had the greatest idea for me. She told me to get a tiny gift that could be given to my daughter “from” the new baby.
I bought her a cute little bracelet that said, “big sister” on it. When the new baby was born, I gave it to her in a tiny little bag and said it was from her baby brother who loves her so much that he wanted to bring her a special gift.
Her excitement was so adorable! She could not wait to see the gift and when she did see it, she wore it all the time and never took it off.
This definitely helped break the ice a bit for her and she was instantly in love with her brother.
I’m telling you, this tactic helped so much and I think all parents should implement this to help big sister/brother during this transition.
Getting The Hang Of Things
My daughter was the best helper for me. She would run around getting me diapers, wipes, pacifiers, etc. I don’t know what I would have done without her help.
The only real issue we had when the new baby was born was some regressing. She was potty trained for a few months before the baby was born but she did regress when he arrived.
She would pee her pants or pee on the floor which made things a bit difficult. She, however, got over this within a week. During the regressing stage, it’s even more important to show older siblings your love and attention so they can get over that quickly.
I had to remind her that she is a big sister now and she can’t wet her pants anymore.
No need to worry though. Most kids go through the regressing stages when a new baby comes around. Some parents are lucky enough to not have to deal with that. It is very normal though, just inconvenient.
At times when I needed to take a shower or wash the dishes, I would have her sit down with the baby in her arms. She could keep an eye on him while I did my work around the house.
This gave her purpose as a big sister. She loved to hold her baby brother and take care of him any chance she got.
Have you ever dealt with a new baby and an older sibling? How did you handle it? What tips and tricks would you give? I would love to hear your thoughts below.