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How to Introduce the Idea
Tell your child about the new baby 3 to 4 months before the baby comes. 7 to 8 months is a long time for a young child to wait.
Counter Confusion. Be Clear and Concrete
Simply answer your child's questions with literal and concrete explanations. Avoid complicated detail. Tell your preschooler or toddler that the baby is growing in a special place called the womb. Stay away from the terms tummy or stomach to avoid confusion.
Set Realistic Expectations.
Paint a realistic picture for your child about newborns. Explain that new babies are not playmates at first, and they should be handled carefully. Inform your child that infants usually cry, sleep, and eat.
All About Babies
Talk to your child about babies. Spark discussion by showing your child her own baby pictures. Read books about new babies so your child knows what to expect.
Preparation Programs for Siblings
Consider enrolling your child in a sibling preparation program. Ask your doctor or hospital if they offer any workshops for expecting siblings.
Special Trips, Special Gifts
Make your child feel involved and loved. Take her on special shopping trips for the baby. When you buy supplies for the baby, treat her to a special gift too.
The set is continued below.
Prevent sibling rivalry. Promote comradery. Encourage your child to talk to the baby in the womb. Highlight that the baby belongs to your child too.
Love at First Sight
Create a positive impression the first time your child views her sibling. Avoid potential feelings of jealousy by not holding your newborn the first time your older child visits. Instead, have the baby lay in a cradle or sit next to the parent. Invite the big sister to hold the newborn right away.
Mommy and Me Time
Make sure to spend one-on-one time with your older child when the new baby comes. If one parent takes care of the new baby, the other parent is free to spend alone time with the other child.
Encourage your older child to help with the new baby. Engage your child in diapering, feeding, and burping her new sibling. Remember to praise your older child for being a responsible, big sister!