October is here! (How is that even possible??) The days are becoming shorter and hints of color are popping up in the trees. On our driveway, the oak pollen of spring and summer has given way to dozens of acorns. Squirrels are busy gathering nuts and other critters are making preparations for colder weather.
Some of you are busy making preparations of your own. In addition to the change in weather, you are expecting baby #2 (or #3, or maybe even #4). The addition of a new baby to a family is cause for celebration to be sure, but if you already have a toddler or older sibling, there might also be concerns about how they will adapt to the change.
You've probably already been talking to your child about the upcoming birth, and your hospital might even have a sibling night, which is great for answering questions about what is going on. But, what do you do once the baby arrives?
5 Ways to Ease the Transition of Becoming an Older Sibling
Give them a baby of their own. While you are caring or the new baby, they can take care of their own baby. Perhaps it could even come in the form of a gift FROM the new baby to their older sibling.
Fill a tiny photo album of pictures of the new baby with their older sibling and let it become THEIR own personal album. They will take pride in taking it to school and church to show their friends and teachers.
Involve them in the process. Let your child become your big helper by bringing diapers, helping to pick out their clothes and shaking a rattle for the new baby.
Fill a basket or tote bag with activities. Sett up a special activity area next to where you will be nursing or feeding the baby. Reserve those activities for only that time so that they are special times that big brother/sister look forward to enjoying.
“Siblings that say they never fight are most definitely hiding something.”
- Lemony Snicket
No matter what you've done to prepare both your home and your child for the new birth, there are always surprises. It is completely normal for older siblings to be jealous of a new addition and your calm responses to their insecurities can make all the difference in the world. Above all else, reassure your child that they will always be your baby, too, and that no one can ever take their place.
As always, feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments.
Until next time,