Bringing Home Baby: 8 Ways to Prepare Older Siblings

Congratulations! You and your husband must be so excited to bring your little bundle of joy home. Don't be surprised if your older child demands that he be sent back! Children can get nervous about the changes that a new baby brings. Help your child adjust and set the stage for a positive sibling relationship with 8 mom-to-mom strategies from Parent Soupers.

"Our daughter was three when we found out we were having another child. We prepared her by involving her as much as we could. She saw the ultrasound, felt my belly when the baby moved and bought a poster to hang on the wall next to the crib. Whenever I got a present for the baby, I made sure that she too had something to open. Her biggest complaint was that the baby didn't do anything. I think she expected an instant playmate!"

"I encouraged my daughter to ask questions. We spent many nights in her bedroom going over the same questions that had been answered the previous week. I think the consistency of my answers helped to soothe her."

"We got my son a 'Big Brother' T-shirt that he wore for days and days. When it was time to introduce him to his baby sister, he was so excited he couldn't stop looking at her and hugging her. He was, and still is, very loving. We tried to keep him as involved as he wanted to be before the birth. Afterwards, we tried to keep his daily routine as regular as possible. Because of that, they still get along well. I hope it lasts through the teen years!"

"Before going to the hospital, I made special note cards with pictures of each big brother on them. Once our daughter was born, the cards were taped to her hospital bassinet, and when her brothers came to visit for the first time, they felt pretty special because the nurses knew who they were already. When they were ready and interested, we let them hold their little sister and have their picture taken with her. They thought that was pretty neat!"

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