The relationship that your older children and new baby will share is determined by how you prepare your children for the arrival of the new baby.

It is important to find ways to involve your children in the process of preparing for the arrival of the new baby so that the children can adjust to their changing roles in the family and reassure them of your unconditional love even though the new baby will need lots of attention in the beginning.

Before birth

The arrival of a new baby can be a fearful time for the baby’s siblings.

Their greatest worries may be that you may neglect them or love the new baby more. In addition, siblings may worry that they will not know what to do with the new baby. Encourage your children to talk about the fears and concerns they have about the new baby. Help your children adjust by asking them for name ideas and seeking their help when decorating the nursery.

Preparing your home for the arrival of the new baby can help the children adjust and become invested in the new baby.

Try to spend as much time as possible with your older children, especially during the late stages of the pregnancy.

This will help them understand that they will still spend quality time with you even after the arrival of the new baby.

Throughout your pregnancy

Involve your child in all pregnancy-related events from announcing the pregnancy to having the baby shower. This will make your child not feel left out and forgotten.

Explain to the siblings that you may spend significant amounts of time with the new baby once he arrives so that they understand the changes that are likely to occur and become better prepared for your initial preoccupation fulfilling the needs of the new baby. Connect the siblings to the baby during pregnancy by allowing them to talk to the baby and feel your stomach when the baby kicks.

Life after baby

Your children will enjoy getting gifts from you on behalf of the new baby. Gifts like a shirt with prints that say “big sister” or “big brother” can help your children adjust to their new roles as older siblings. They may also enjoy helping prepare a welcome party for you and the new baby.

Ask family members and friends to visit and spend some time with the older children so that they do not feel left out.

Focus on your older children whenever you get the opportunity such as when feeding the new baby. Take every opportunity possible to reinforce their understanding that they are still valuable members of the family.

Having a new baby comes with its own challenges, and older children may feel a bit left out. Such feelings are normal and tend to be short term.

You can help make your older children feel valuable and needed by asking them to fetch nappies or bring the feeding bottle.

If the siblings are struggling to adjust, consider asking a pediatrician to help ease the transition.

Did you do anything special to help your children adjust to a new baby? Please SHARE in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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  • I always made sure that the older child or children were praised. I would sit down to feed the new baby and say things like “Oh gosh….Ive forgotten to bring a burp close with me….could you please get me one?”…..and then of course thank them and say something like “oh goodness im so very lucky to have you to help me. Also let them overhear you talking to someone on the phone and hear you telling them what an awesome big brother/sister they are and how you would be lost without their awesome help.


  • great idea’s and giving attention to older child so importantasbabies need lot of attention. Letting Dadbathbaby sometimes etc soMum free for her firstborn.. it is about not feeling left out. Aseven friends and faily coming as they do to see new baby should be politly asked to include older child. Thing giving little gifrs from baby to bigger child fantastic idea


  • What a wonderful article! Thanks for sharing!


  • Not something I had to worry about sadly, but the pic is really cute


  • if you can try and spend some time alone with the older sibling without the new baby, even a trip to the park or a cafe, so it is your special time together.


  • All the comments are good, and we tried most of them. But our second child, 18 months older than the new baby, literally couldn’t stand her new sibling. Had to watch her all the time as she would try to hurt her if she could, and this lasted all her young life. Now in their 40’s they are as thick as thieves and you’d never believe the problems we had to face with them.


  • Great ideas, thank you for sharing.


  • We bought a wee book for our daughter about a new baby coming with sties and pictures to help understand her what was happening. We also did all activities regarding her new baby brother together. And I was always reading her books or playing games with her during breastfeeding.

    • “sties” must be “stories” :)


  • we got our child a doll and practiced being nice etc to it.


  • My husband and I have 3 boys between us (his two are 13 & 10 and mine is 9), we are expecting a baby girl in April… we fear that his 10 year old in particular is feeling lost with the whole situation but we are unsure… Definitely going to seek some professional help to nut out the issues and the ideal solutions.


  • I think this is great advice. They definitely need to be included


  • Lke hz


  • Thanks for the helpful tips and informative article.


  • We are expecting bub 2 in 5 weeks. Our older child is not yet 2. He doesn’t quite know exactly what’s going on but I think he kind of understands that a baby is coming. We talk about it lots, have practice gentle cuddles with teddies and he’s been involved in choosing some things for the baby. we’ve also started some special mum and son and dad and son activities so he has exclusive parent time.


  • It’s so important indeed that the older child feels a connection with the young one. It could maybe help to let the older child choose a gift for the new one. Involve him in small decisions like how to decorate the baby’s room. And always spend some “alone” time with the old one.

    • I was going to write something similar :)

      • Being inclusive is so important and being an older sibling is a wonderful role.

      • Indeed. Older kids feel often very protective towards the young one and feel proud if they can help! :-)


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