Many pregnant mums who already have a child at home are very aware of the change in the family dynamic which is about to happen in their household. Introducing a new baby into the family with a child can be both exciting and nerve-wracking.
As mums, we want to make sure that the child accepts their new sibling with excitement and adjust to life easily. There are ways to prepare your child for this change to make the transition as easy and comfortable as possible:
1. Create a friendship before birth. Your child will most likely notice the growing bump. Start talking about the baby in mummy’s tummy from the early stages, look at the scan photos together and even sing songs to “the baby inside mummy’s tummy”. Letting your child feel the baby kick is a fun part of introducing their sibling to them as well.
2. Present from the baby. This is a well-known and popular way of creating a positive association for the child when they meet their sibling. It helps your child realise that the baby is real and he/she will now have a sibling. For older children, you can give the present from the whole family congratulating on becoming a big brother/sister.
3. Read a special book about becoming a sibling leading up to birth. This is a great way to explain the changes that will happen in the household once the baby arrives. Find a book specifically written about becoming a big brother/sister and read with your child leading up to the birth. Such books explain what is about to happen and how special it is to have a sibling.
4. Get your child involved in helping with the baby. Make sure to give little jobs to your child when looking after the baby. Whether it is to bring a toy or help with getting a bottle, your child will appreciate being involved and helping with their new sibling.