Helping older siblings adjust with the arrival of a new sibling.
Welcoming a new member of the family can be exciting and stressful for the whole family. Here are some tips to help you make a smooth transition.
Tips to help your older sibling get ready before the baby arrives:
Do something special with your child one on one for a day. Let your child pick what they want to do with you.
Take out baby/family pictures and talk about how your child was once a baby.
Read books about becoming a sibling to your child. Let them talk about their feelings. (see book list below)
Talk about who will be caring for them while you are in the hospital.
Encourage the child to help with some of the baby prep.
Try not to have major changes 2 months before or after the baby comes. (potty training, moving into a new room ect..)
Bring the child to a doctor/midwife appointment with you.
Get a t-shirt that says "big brother or big sister".
Let your child pretend with a doll or stuffed animal (diaper and clothing changes ect..)
Practice good hand washing habits.
Ideas for books to read together:
The New Baby by Fred Rogers
I Am a Big Sister or I Am a Big Brother by Caroline Jayne Church
The New Baby by Mercer Mayer
My New Baby by Rachel Fuller
Waiting for Baby by Rachel Fuller
Babies Don't Eat Pizza by Dianne Danzi
Mommy Breastfeeds My Baby Brother by Mark Repkin
All families are special by Norma Simon (blended families)
Just right family by Silvia Lopez (adoption)
A Most Unusual Day by Sydra Mallery (adoption)
Real Sisters Pretend by Megan Dowd Lambert (adoption)
Ideas of TV shows to watch together:
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Season 5
Arthur Season 1, Episode 11 of
Little Baby Bum Season 2, Episode 192, “New Sibling Song"
Caillou Season 1, Episode 6
Peppa Pig Season 4, Episode 10
Good Luck Charlie Season 3, Episode 7 and 8
During hospital or birth center stay:
Leave your child notes for when you are gone.
Video chat with your child.
Have a small gift for the sibling from the baby to give to them. (It can be a few small items for the dollar store).
Have the baby in the bassinet or being held by someone else when the child arrives to visit so that mom can hold and hug your other children.
Keep the trip to the hospital short (30 mins).
After baby arrives:
Allow them to help with some of the baby care. (Some kids may not want to help. Don't push it, just offer).
Try to schedule one-on-one time with your child. (read a story and cuddle before bedtime)
Have special activities for when the baby needs to feed. (puzzles, flash cards, books, cuddle time together, special toys that only come out during this time.)
Have small gifts for the sibling when visitors bring the baby gifts. (Can be small things from the dollar store.)
Ask visitors to greet and pay attention to the sibling before greeting the baby.
Expect some “acting out ”or regressive behavior. It’s also normal for them to have mixed feelings. It will take time for them to adjust. Reassure them that you love them and the baby is not taking their place. This will pass!
Download free big brother and big sister sibling coloring pages below. Please note the coloring pages are for personal use only. You are welcome to forward our website to anyone interested in downloading their own files.