Are you expecting a new bundle of joy, yet worried about how your elder one will react to his or her new sibling? Fret not as we have some fun ways to prepare your elder child for his or her new role!
1. Bring him or her with you to gynaecologist checkups
Bring your child along to visits to the gynaecologist where he or she can see the new sibling move during ultrasound scans. Use this time to explain to your child that the baby is still growing in your tummy. This way, your child can see how his or her sibling develops from a small foetus into a baby with each scan.
If you’re feeling artsy, create a scrapbook, let your child decorate it and add in new scan photos along the way!
2. Read books on new siblings
Take your child on a trip to the nearest library and borrow some books focused on introducing new siblings to the family. There are some websites which sell personalised sibling books that you can customise with your elder child’s name. Having themselves as the main character of the book helps them to relate better to the story.
Read up on how to cope with the new baby.
3. Sibling bonding
Encourage your child to talk, kiss or hug the new sibling through your tummy. Foetuses can hear sounds from inside the womb and this will build familiarity between the siblings even before birth. Try singing together with your toddler to your belly.
4. Involve your child in baby preparation
It is natural for elder children to feel mixed emotions about the impending arrival and change in status and not want to help. Gauge their interest level and ask casually if they would like to help you pick a colour for the nursery or choose clothes for the new sibling.
Your elder child can be given the honour of choosing colours for the nursery.
If you have yet to decide on a name for the new baby, you can even let your child have the honour of choosing his or her new sibling’s name from a shortlist?
5. Reminisce about your elder child’s baby moments
Perhaps it is time to cuddle with your child and tell him or her all about how you discovered you were pregnant and show how he or she grew from an embryo into a foetus and then a baby. What did you first notice about your baby? Was it his cute button nose, or her deep dimple? How did you feel when you first carried him or her? Was it on a rainy night or hot afternoon?
Birth stories help your elder child understand that they are just as important as the new addition.
In your third trimester, your elder child will be able to feel distinct movements from your belly!
6. Let your child be the first visitor
It can be confusing for younger children when they see their new sibling who used to be in Mom’s big, round belly. Allowing your elder child to be the very first visitor makes them feel important and there will not be external disruptions by other visitors who will crowd around the infant.
Try the above tips out and let us know if they worked for you! Do you know of other ways to help your elder child prepare for a new sibling? Leave us a comment!