New Born

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “How do I prepare my child for a new sibling?”   Welcoming a new baby is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Where will we put the nursery? What will we do about childcare? And how on earth will we prepare our older kids for a new baby?! The thought of adjusting your child to a new sibling can be worrisome, as many kids struggle with the idea of their parents’ love and attention being shared with another person.    So how can parents prepare their kid for a new sibling?     1. Postpone major changes   Adjusting to a new sibling is a major change, so try not to make any other big changes around the time of the baby’s birth. If you need to move your kid to a different bedroom to make way for the nursery, do it well before the baby is born to give them time to adjust. If you planned on potty training soon, consider waiting until the baby is a few months old. Also, know that it’s common for older kids to regress when a new baby arrives by going back to   wetting the bed   or wanting a bottle. This is their way of expressing that they still need you.   2. Get them involved   Involve your child in preparing for the new baby’s arrival. This will make them feel included in your family’s change and help to build excitement for the new addition. Let them help you decorate the nursery and take them shopping for bottles and onesies. Ask them their opinions on baby names and bring them to appointments so they can hear the baby’s heartbeat. When your baby is born, give them jobs to do, such as feeding or singing lullabies. Just don’t overdo it – let them lead on how much responsibility they’d like to take.   3. Manage expectations   Read your child books about babies. Show them their newborn photos or baby book and tell them stories about their infant phase. Ask them about their dreams for things to do with their new sibling – teaching them how to play baseball, walking them in a stroller, reading to them, etc. Encourage their ideas but also let them know that the baby will not be an instant playmate. Share that in the beginning, babies mostly eat, sleep, and poop, but in due time they will be an eager playmate to share adventures with their big brother or sister.   4. Explain the delivery game plan   Explain to your child how they’ll be cared for while you are in the hospital. Let them know who will be picking them up, where they’ll be staying, and when they’ll be able visit you and the new baby. Get them excited about having a few sleepovers at their friend’s or grandparents’ house while mom and dad are away.   5. Amp up attention   It’s important to give your older child lots of attention as they adjust to the adorable new sheriff in town. Hang a photo of your older child by your hospital bed so they see that they’re always on your mind. Make sure to shower them with lots of praise and remind visitors to give them attention when they come to meet the new baby. Make time for one-on-one bonding with your older child, such as   playing with them  ,     going to a park, or watching a movie together.   6. Give a gift from the baby   One way to ensure the new baby is on your firstborn’s good side is to buy a gift for them that’s “from” the baby. Even if your kid is a little older and realizes a newborn can’t order toys on line, they’ll associate this new, awesome gift as a reminder that the baby is a not a threat to their needs.   7. Acknowledge their feelings   If your kid expresses fear, anger, sadness, or jealousy about gaining a sibling, listen and let them know you understand. Never criticize them for having negative feelings – instead, help them label their emotions and talk about   healthy ways to deal with them   .  Let them know it’s ok to feel upset, but it’s never ok to hurt the baby. Give them a few ideas for   how to vent their frustrations  , such as roaring like a lion or drawing an angry picture.   8. Reassure your love   Your child may be scared that you’re trying to replace them by having a new baby. Let them know that the reason you’re having a baby is to give them a sibling that they will be friends with forever. Remind them that you have enough love for both of them to have an endless supply. Schedule alone time that is just for you to give your older child undivided attention. A great time for this is when baby is sleeping and can’t interrupt. Use this time to cuddle, play, or make your child’s favorite food together.   9. Know when to get help   Some children have an especially difficult time adjusting to the arrival of a new sibling. If your child is distressed or   acting out  , we can help.      
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Laule, S. (2017). New Baby Sibling . University of Michigan. C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Michigan Medicine.  Retrieved from https://www.mottchildren.org/posts/your-child/new-baby-sibling  Gary, J. (n.d.) Preparing Your Child for a New Sibling.  Child Mind Institute . Retrieved from https://childmind.org/article/preparing-child-new-sibling/  Preparing Children for the Birth of a Sibling. (n.d.)  Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology Services, Port Melbourne.  Retrieved from https://www.melbournechildpsychology.com.au/blog/preparing-children-for-the-birth-of-a-sibling/  Shinn. M.M. (2018). 5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/5-tips-for-raising-emotionally-intelligent-children     Shinn. M.M. (2019). 8 Tips to Calm Your Kid While Keeping Your Cool.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/8-tips-to-calm-your-kid-while-keeping-your-cool   Shinn. M.M. (2019). My Kid is So Defiant – Is It My Fault?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-kid-is-so-defiant-is-it-my-fault     Shinn. M.M. (2018). My Kid Still Wets the Bed – What Should I Do?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-kid-still-wets-the-bed-what-should-i-do   Shinn. M.M. (2018). The Parents Guide to Play: 9 Tips to Ignite Your Child’s Learning.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-parents-guide-to-play-9-tips-to-ignite-your-childs-learning     Volling B. L. (2012). Family transitions following the birth of a sibling: an empirical review of changes in the firstborn's adjustment.  Psychological bulletin ,  138 (3), 497–528. doi:10.1037/a0026921   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn. M.M. (2019). How Do I Prepare My Child for a New Sibling?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/how-do-i-prepare-my-child-for-a-new-sibling

“How do I prepare my child for a new sibling?”

Finding out you’re having a new baby is exciting – but it can also be scary if you have another kid who would rather watch the news than share their parents with another tiny human! Check out our blog on 8 ways to prepare your kid for a new sibling.