Parents: How to get Children ready for the Birth of a Sibling

The period before the arrival of a new baby in the family can be confusing for young children, but with the right approach, it can be an entirely positive experience. Preparing your children for the birth of a sibling should include some steps to help them understand what is happening.

Your approach will depend on the age of your children. In many cases, it is easier to explain what is about to happen to older children. Coping with the changes in the family can be confusing and stressful for young children, so it is important that your child knows what to expect.

If you are thinking about ways to help your young children comprehend they will soon have another sibling, I have some helpful tips for you.

It’s important to prepare your child for the changes to come with the birth of another child in the family

Start Early

I always advise parents to start telling their children about pregnancy and the birth of their siblings as soon as they find out about the pregnancy. This approach gives you about six or seven months, at least, to help your children understand a new member(s) of the family is expected.

Expect Many Questions

No worries, you will find it easy to answer all the questions. However, it is important you do not confuse the children with too much information. This is what you can do, stick to answering only the questions they have asked without providing more information than necessary. This way, you are directly addressing ideas they can understand without complicating issues. 

For example, when asked where the baby will come from, a simple answer- the baby is growing in mommy and will come out soon. Your children will actually see the baby growing, as your womb becomes bigger, until it is time.

Parenting Pictures and Videos

You can use the visual content to show young children graphical illustrations of the father, mother children, and the baby. Such videos show happy parents, and young children playing and caring for the baby. These images will help your children understand it is a wonderful event and they should be excited.

Introduce your Children to Babies

Before the new baby comes home, it will help if you can visit friends or family, who have babies, with your children. They can see and interact with the little ones, while you explain they will soon have a baby living in their home. Alternatively, visit the maternity section where hospital visitors can see new-borns through a transparent window. 

Get them Involved in Preparations

It will be fun choosing the décor and colors for the new baby’s room, setting up the crib and buying those cute little clothes. Your children should participate as much as possible. When you choose a name, tell them, so they can start referring to the baby as a real person.

Preventing Anxiety

It is important you explain to the children you will be going away for a few days to the hospital. This way, they know why you are not at home, and there won’t be panic. Also, inform your children you will return with the baby (call its name). 

After giving birth, if you can, make a video call, so your children see their new sibling. Or they can visit the hospital before your return home. 

Yes, there will be more questions, but the hard part is already over. Be prepared for demands from your children to help you carry the baby and other forms of assistance. They are excited and happy.

Overall, during the months leading to your expected delivery date, ensure your children feel free to communicate with you about pregnancy and what happens after.

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Rohini Vij

Rohini is a professional storyteller, educator, listed & certified Jolly Phonics UK trainer, curriculum developer, parenting coach, founder of NutSpace. She is on a mission to raise readers and is actively engaged with curriculum development for schools and her own ed-tech platform - Nutspace Edtech.

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