Preparing Siblings for a New Baby: How to Help Older Children Adjust

by True Mommy Instincts

While welcoming a new member into the family can be an exciting moment, it can also cause major adjustments, particularly for older siblings. Older children may experience a variety of feelings in response to the birth of a new baby, such as curiosity, excitement, and even anxiety. To guarantee that the transition goes well for the whole family, parents must encourage and get ready for their older siblings. In this post, we’ll look at doable tactics and advice for assisting older kids in settling in with a new baby, developing sibling relationships, and maintaining a positive family dynamic.

Start Early and Include Them in the Planning: Including older siblings in the planning process from the start is one of the best ways to get them ready for the arrival of a new baby. Encourage them to ask questions and express their feelings as you involve them in conversations about the impending changes. If at all possible, bring them along to prenatal appointments and involve them in tasks like choosing toys and clothes for the baby or organizing the nursery. You can help them feel important and included while also fostering a sense of ownership and excitement about the new baby by involving them in the preparations.

Teach Them About Babies: A lot of older siblings might not know much about babies or what they need. Spend some time educating them about the new baby’s expected arrival, including diaper changes, feeding schedules, sleep patterns, and communication styles. Make learning about babies entertaining and interesting for them by providing age-appropriate books, movies, and other materials. Assure them that it’s normal to have mixed feelings regarding the new arrival and encourage them to ask questions and voice any concerns they may have.

Encourage Strong Sibling Bonds Before Birth: Creating a solid bond between older siblings and the new baby prior to delivery can facilitate the adjustment and encourage good relationships from the outset. Advise older siblings to engage with the baby bump through talking, singing, and reading to them. They can also rub the baby’s belly gently and feel its movements. Give older siblings the chance to interact with younger children by setting up playdates with friends or family, volunteering at a nearby daycare center, or any combination of these activities. These encounters can better prepare older kids for their role as big brothers or sisters by making them feel more at ease and self-assured around infants.

Realistic Expectations: It’s critical to let older siblings know what to expect in terms of their roles and responsibilities after the new baby is born. Tell them that although their parents will always love and care for them, there will be occasions when the infant will require more assistance. Reassure them that it’s normal to feel a range of emotions, including jealousy or frustration, towards the new baby and emphasize the value of kindness, understanding, and patience. Encourage honest communication and give older siblings a safe space to share their thoughts and worries in front of others without passing judgment.

Give Special Bonding Opportunities: Creating opportunities for older siblings to connect with the newborn can help to improve their relationship and foster a feeling of family belonging. Urge older siblings to assist with simple chores like getting blankets or diapers, rocking the infant gently, or singing lullabies. Establish unique bonding activities, like “sibling snuggle time,” when older siblings can cuddle and play with the baby under supervision, or “sibling storytime,” when they can read to the infant. These times spent together can strengthen older siblings’ sense of responsibility and pride in their role as big brothers or sisters, as well as make them feel appreciated and included in the family dynamic.

Maintain Routines and Structure: Especially in the initial weeks and months following the baby’s arrival, make every effort to preserve consistent routines and structure for older siblings. For older children, consistency and predictability can offer a sense of security and stability amidst the upheaval and changes brought about by a new family member. Allocate specific time for older siblings and you to engage in activities they love, like taking a walk, playing games, or just catching up. Older siblings’ relationship with parents can be strengthened and their sense of importance bolstered by these times of undivided attention.

Seek Assistance and Promote Independence: Lastly, if you’re feeling overburdened or finding it difficult to assist older siblings in acclimating to the new baby, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from friends, family, or professionals. To give older siblings opportunities for personal development apart from their role as siblings, think about enrolling them in classes or activities that they enjoy, like sports, music, or the arts. Give older siblings age-appropriate chores and responsibilities to foster independence and autonomy. Praise their accomplishments and hard work to increase their self-esteem and confidence.


Smooth transitions and family harmony can only be fostered by preparing older siblings for the arrival of a new baby. Parents can help older children transition to their new role as big brother or sister with confidence, compassion, and love by including older siblings in the planning process, educating them about babies, fostering sibling bonds before birth, setting realistic expectations, creating special bonding opportunities, maintaining routines and structure, and asking for help when needed. Older siblings can embrace their new role and build enduring bonds with their younger sibling, enhancing the family dynamic and producing priceless memories that will last a lifetime, with the right amount of time, understanding, and support.

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