Preparing Your Children for a New Baby
Having a baby is an experience like no other. No matter if this is your first child or an addition to your growing family, there are several things you can do to help your family prepare for the new arrival.
When broaching the subject of the baby-to-be, you don't need to dwell on what a new baby will mean to your family. What you should do, however, is be honest and create an environment where your older children feel comfortable to talk and share their concerns and anxieties about having a newborn in the house.
When younger children find out about the arrival of a new sibling, they will sometimes question your love for them during the pregnancy or wonder if you'll still be their parents, too. One way to help younger children adjust is to give them a doll or stuffed animal they can care for. Talk with them about all that they are doing for their new "baby". Help them understand they'll be an integral part of not only the family, but in helping the family's new baby feel special and welcome in your family. Remind soon-to-be siblings that they can do a lot for the coming baby, whether it is handing you a diaper when Baby needs to be changed or sharing a hug when Baby is crying.
After a new sibling is born, be sure to tell your child often that you love him and that you know that a lot has changed. Make it clear that what hasn't changed is how you feel about him. Every minute you stop to tussle his hair or tickle him is a reminder that he is just as important to you as he was before the birth of his sibling.
Set aside time both now and after Baby's arrival with your older children. It is essential for your kids, but also for you—it reminds you that you've done this before (and you've done a pretty good job so far!).