So here are some top tips to introduce your new arrival to their older siblings, so everyone stays as settled and happy as possible.
Though your new baby maybe a complete bundle of joy to you, your kids may become emotional and a bit jealous of their new sibling, and that’s completely normal. Though many kids will be overjoyed with a new addition, don’t presume that they will be. Try to keep an eye on their behaviour and feelings, and make sure you give them time, love, and reassurance.
Try and involve your child with the new baby as soon as you tell them you’re pregnant and talk to them about what’s going to happen. You can do this by showing them ultrasound images and telling them that it’s their new baby in the pictures, talk to your bump with your little one/ let them feel the baby move so they feel like they have a connection to the baby when it arrives, and talk to them about what they did when they were little and what you’re going to do as a family.
Think about getting them to choose a new toy to give their new sibling, and maybe buy them a little something from the baby, or from you, as a treat for becoming a big brother or sister. To make sure your older child doesn’t feel left out, make sure you either put the baby down, or cuddle/ sit your older child on your lap so they’re getting some attention too. Also, try not to introduce them when they’re tired, hungry, or upset to avoid added stress.
It can be easy to let routines go to pot when you’re tired and busy with the new baby, but it’s important to make sure you still send older kids to their usual playgroups, childminder, or nursery to keep some stability and normality in their life as disturbance in both their home and personal life can be upsetting. Also make sure you still spend as much quality time with them as you usually would, whether it’s giving them a bath, reading their bedtime story, or playing their favourite game with them.
Involving your children and getting them to help you look after the baby may help make them feel important and included. Get them to fetch nappies and pass you the wipes when it’s time for a bottom change, get them to sing lullabies/ count to help baby get to sleep or to ‘teach’ them things. If your toddler gets jealous when it’s feeding time, maybe get them to feed their own baby doll so they’re just like mummy or daddy.
Try not to make any other big changes around the time of the baby being born such as potty training, a change of bed, or a change of daycare. It’s all about making them feel secure and safe.
Bringing a new baby into the family can be a huge change for little ones and it may take them a little time to get used to it. Just try and remember to stay calm and make sure you’re separating your time fairly.