Helpful Tips for Parents and Professionals

5 Fun Ways to Help a Big Sibling Adjust to a New Baby

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AAheldbybigsistershospHow are you going to handle the change?

When you have a new baby on the way, so many questions go through your mind.  Am I going to be a good parent?  Will my baby be healthy?  Will s/he sleep through the night?  What do I do when…?

When you have a second, third, fourth, etc. baby on the way, the biggest question most parents who have already had at least one child ask is, “How is my older child going to adjust to a new baby?

You’ve probably heard some of the classic ways the big sibling can adjust to the new baby in the house:  have the big kid be the helper, read books about being a big sibling, get big sibling gifts to make the older child feel included, etc.  Here are 5 non-traditional, fun ways to help a big sibling adjust to a new baby.

Taking care of big sister/big brother’s needs:

  1. Have your older child write (or dictate) or draw about what it’s like to live in your family. In addition to helping the big sibling adjust to the new baby, this will “teach” the baby all about Mom, Dad, big siblings, and even pets and you’ll have a great keepsake for years to come.
  2. Make a special BIG SIBLING BOX filled with activities that can be used when the baby is sleeping or when you need to attend to the baby’s needs. This can help your child look forward to times when you need to attend to the baby, rather than resenting those times.
  3. Reminisce with your older child about when she was a baby to help her relate to the new one. “See? Your baby brother is doing what you used to do!”
  4. Have special Mommy and Big Kid time (or Daddy and Big Kid time) at least once a week and put it on the calendar. This should be about spending time, not money.
  5. Say yes instead of no. When your older child asks you to play and you’re changing the baby’s diaper, instead of “I can’t right now”, say “yes, I can play with you- as soon as I am finished.”
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