5 Tips to Help Older Siblings Adjust
to Your New Baby
Growing the family is such a sweet memory of a time filled with joyful expectation... along with the realization that life is going to be changing. The fun moments of pointing at mommy's tummy and wondering who their new little brother or sister will be soon is replaced with the understanding that newborn babies need lots of time and attention. While some big siblings handle this significant transition well, it is always good to be prepared with some tips to support your older babies as they take on their new role of big brother or big sister!
Tips to Help With the Big Adjustment
- Do your best to make some good, intentional alone time with your bigger kid(s)! This can mean just 5-10 minutes of play time together, really focusing on eye contact and big smiles for them! Try to ensure your newborn is sleeping or with another family member so that this time can be uninterrupted (aka- no leaving to take care of the baby or talking about the new baby, if your older children don't lead the conversation there!) Depending on their age, your older children might not fully understand how much time and attention their new sibling will need, but they will love to feel like they are the only one again, even if just for a short time! Filling up their cup with this special time together can help start off the day on the right foot for them :)
- If gifts are your kid's love language, it could be a good idea to prepare a small gift for your older children from your newborn! Talk to your children about how excited and sweet the new baby is, and how he or she cannot wait to grow up to play with them and be best friends!
- Remember to constantly praise all the sweet, gentle ways your older children respond to your newborn. Rather than only acknowledging and speaking out regarding their loud voices or aggressive hugs, try to give verbal affirmation for the sweet interactions you encounter with them!
- Tell your older children that you need their special help when caring for their new baby brother or sister! Ask them to go grab you a diaper, blanket, or pacifier... then thank them profusely for being so kind ;) Giving them purpose and tasks, and essentially just helping them feel involved can go a long way!
- Lastly, have lots and lots of grace. Remember, through your own experience of being a mom and dad to another sweet baby, your other children are also undergoing a big change. They will probably hug a little too hard sometimes, excitedly squeal *really* loud when the baby has just gone to sleep, or go through a season of not wanting to share their toys or literally anything with their new baby sibling... This is all normal and ok :) As time goes on, they will see their new baby sibling as a fun addition to the family and as long as the bond is nurtured, some great friendships are up ahead!