Welcoming a new sibling
Is your only child about to become an older sibling? Here are some tips to make it easier.

How is your angel going to react to no longer being the ‘king pin’ in the home anymore? Will she suddenly regress and demand a bottle or dummy or insist on wearing nappies? Or will she embrace her sibling with love and acceptance?

Read more: New baby? Help siblings cope
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You aren’t really going to know until the day you bring your newborn home, but here are some tips to help make the transition from being an only child to a big brother/sister slightly easier.

  • If you have to move your child out the cot and into a bed, make this move at least 2 months before the baby is born and make a big deal about her new bed.
  • Let her go shopping with you to choose the duvet set because she is now a ‘big girl’, and only ‘big girls’ sleep in beds.
  • Tell her that you will need her help with the baby and make her feel important and needed.
  • When in hospital allow her to hold the newborn, include her immediately.
  • Let her give the newborn a small gift to welcome the baby into the family, and vice versa.
  • At home ask her to bring the nappy/bottle/dummy, again include her as much and as soon as possible.
  • Buy a doll so that when you are changing the newborn’s nappy or feeding, she can do the same with her baby.
  • Praise her for helping you – praise positive behavior as that is what you want her to repeat.
  • When guests arrive to visit, they should first ignore the newborn, make a fuss over her and then move over to the baby.
  • Ensure you make time to spend quality one-on-one time with her.
  • If family bring gifts for the newborn, see if they won’t be willing to bring something small for her too so that she doesn’t feel excluded.
  • If you plan on sending your child to crèche when the newborn arrives, plan it so that she goes to crèche at least 2 months before the baby is born.

By ensuring enough time lapses between your child being moved from cot to bed and going to crèche and the newborn coming home, you will hopefully lessen the risk of any feelings of resentment your child may have towards her sibling.

Remain consistent with the way you treat your child, this will only help to reinforce security in her little life and this will in itself make accepting a sibling a little easier.

How did you prepare your little one for a new sibling?

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