A new baby brings so much love and joy to a family. You’re delighted to be adding to your family but you may also be anxious about how your older child/children will react to the baby.
The biggest question I have had as an expecting mother is whether or not my daughter will adjust well to having a new sibling. Especially because she is currently an only child and will more than likely struggle with having to share mom and dad. But after months of research and getting advice from a few of my mom friends, I have gathered lots of information to help my eldest child. It will also help other moms looking for some guidance!
Children of all different ages will most definitely react differently to a newborn. By knowing what to expect from different age groups, you can make the transition a lot easier for your older child/children as they adjust to the unavoidable changes coming to your family.
Toddlers: Ages 1-3
Children this young will have difficulty understanding what it means to have a newborn sibling. You definitely want to talk about the new baby often. Let your older child/children join in on the excitement of welcoming someone new to your family. I would recommend purchasing picture books about becoming an older sibling to build the excitement.
Here’s a few good options for toddlers:
How to Be a Big Sister
I Am a Big Brother
Littles: Ages 4-5
Children at this age are very attached to you and are very sensitive as well. Although they may have a better understanding about what it means to become an older brother or sister, they may also feel threatened by a new baby. Help your child understand that a new sibling is a good thing. For example, constant reassurance can help your child understand that you love them just as much as much as you did before baby came around. Setting aside special time for them can also help them feel just as important as the new baby.
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School-Aged Kids: Ages 5 and Up
Kids at this age are usually more supportive and not as threatened by a new baby. In fact, they may even be a bit more helpful when it comes to their younger siblings. However it is still possible for them to feel resentment towards all the attention that the new baby receives. You can avoid this by having your older one help with getting things ready for baby. And when you bring baby home, make sure your older child feels that they have a role to play in caring for their new sibling. Inclusion is key at this age and can help any kid adjust to their growing family.
I hope these tips help as you prepare your family for your new bundle of joy!
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