Preparing Your Older Child For a New Sibling

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Preparing Your Older Child For a New Sibling

Preparing For Another Child

Telling your older child your pregnant can be a daunting task. Say it the wrong way and all hell can break loose but say it the right way and they will be anxiously counting down the days.

Sharing the Good News

Tell your older child that you are are going to have a new baby early in your pregnancy. You don’t want them to overhear the news accidentally and start the journey on a bad note. However, try not to talk too much about the baby, at first,  because most children’s first reaction is jealousy. You don’t want them to think “mom is having another baby and she doesn’t need me anymore”. The “baby” topic definitely shouldn’t be the only thing you are discussing at home. That can get old real quick.

Pregnancy Isn’t An Excuse

If you are having a hard pregnancy and feel sick or are too tired play with your older child, don’t ever say it’s because of the baby. That will quickly make your older child feel resentment towards the younger one even before it’s born. If you feel sick, tell the child that you are tired and you need some rest. This is also a good time for your husband to have some one on one time with your older child. If you normally do everything for your child make the switch to daddy as fun as possible. You want the change to feel like a reward, not as a punishment.

Questions About Your Pregnancy

If your child asks where babies come from, be as brief as possible. If they are still young say something like the baby is growing in mommy’s tummy and when it is large enough it will come out so you can hold it. Do not explain more than you have been asked. So, in this sense – if the child is not asking any questions, don’t start explaining anything. Do not lie. Use simple words and do not go into any details.

Your Older Child Hates The Idea Of A New Baby

older child

Sometimes children hate the idea of a new baby. They will tell you they don’t want it or even try to convince you that YOU don’t need it. This reaction is pretty normal and natural for young children.

If your child has a negative reaction, tell them that they don’t have to love or take care of the baby. Be prepared to live through your own little piece of hell, if the older child starts to act hostile. Don’t be mad. Instead, try to understand that they are acting this way because they are scared and confused.

Can’t Wait To Be A Big Brother Or Sister

Children are very intuitive. Many will react positively about the good news just to make you happy. And still, remember that no matter how happy the older child seems to be, they need to be reassured that mom and dad will always be mom and dad. No matter what. Play with your child, go out together and only talk about the baby if they bring it up.

Disclosure

Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.

Comments

  1. Some great advice here, it is something I think that can be overlooked, and some parents just take it for granted that their older child will love the new baby but it is not always the case. My oldest Kathy resented her baby sister Jessica from the time she was born right up till only a few years ago. It was hard seeing how much Kathy seemed to hate Jessica when they were children.

    • Aww I’m sorry to hear that. My oldest doesn’t like that his little brother always copies him and annoys him. Funny thing is that the little one has learn most of the bad habits the older one does and uses them on him. Ugh.

  2. Great suggesstions. It is so important to prepare your child for the new sibling.

  3. This is fantastic, July! As I have two girlfriends at work who are expecting and have an older child. I like listening to the stories they share about how they and their husbands discuss this with the older child. Both have very excited children about the upcoming new baby 🙂

  4. Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) says:

    Great tips. I’s seeing this play out a little bit now with my nephew and his wife. Their second child arrived about a year ago, but she’d had a tough pregnancy and without thinking always attributed her tiredness and not feeling well to the baby in her belly. I’m not so sure my great-nephew is over that yet. Hopefully it will pass…………..

  5. Susan Cooper says:

    These are such wonderful tips for a parent trying to help an older sibling get use to the idea of a new brother or sister. It can be hard for the child to understand that though there is a new baby that doesn’t mean they are less loved. 😉

  6. Great advice, though in my case it would be more appropriate to prepare the dog/fur child for a new sibling 🙂

    • Animals can be resentful too so preparing them as much as possible is probably a good idea. Maybe by brining the new animals in at short amounts of time would help.

  7. Great advice. When my daughter was born we had “her” give my then three year old son a welcome gift. He still remembers getting it from her and he’ll be 16 soon.

  8. Pamela Heady says:

    I think any kind of change to a family unit can be challenging for kids. I don’t have children so I can’t speak from experience but I’ve seen it in friend’s families. And when I married my second husband, his three boys were all very prepared for the change and that’s helped my relationship with them. I totally agree too, that animals need adjustment time when a new fur-person is brought in to a home. Great advice for moms and moms-to-be!

    • Yes, it is def a challenging time for kids. Change is difficult for anyone. As with most things time and being prepared helps.

  9. Darcy Koch says:

    I only had one child so didn’t personally have to go through this. My daughter has 3 sons each 5 yrs. apart so she did do her best to prepare them for the new baby by letting them know it would be “their” baby and she would need their help.

    • It’s always great when parents let kids be a part. Letting them know they’ll be needed makes them feel like it’s an important task for them to take on instead of be left out of. Good for your daughter!

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