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Happy Pregnancy

How to Prepare Children For the Arrival of a New Sibling

by Sherry Lee 28 Mar 2023

The arrival of a new sibling can be an exciting time for a family but it can also bring some big changes. This is especially true if the older child has been an only child up to now.

During this time, it is normal for them to act out their feelings about the new baby. This can include clinging to mom, waking up in the middle of the night, having potty accidents and becoming fussy or withdrawn.

Read Books

sibling reading books

Books can be a great way to help your child prepare for the arrival of a new sibling. Not only are they a fun way to learn about what to expect from the birth of a new baby, but they can also provide kids with a safe space to ask questions.

One of the most common questions children have when they find out that they are going to be a big brother or sister is where babies come from. Thankfully, there are lots of books out there to answer this question in a gentle and age-appropriate manner.

In The Baby Tree, Sophie Blackall takes a simple question and answers it in a very imaginative way. The book focuses on the fact that babies grow on trees, like flowers or hatch from eggs like birds. The rhyming text is gentle and the illustrations are gorgeous, making this a perfect read-aloud for a new big brother or sister to prepare them for their role in the family.

Another good option is Hello Baby by Lizzy Rockwell, which covers all the essential information your child needs to know about a new sibling. It aims to make the transition as seamless as possible and includes parent notes for continued discussions.

There are many different books on this topic, so you’ll want to choose one that is appropriate for your child and your family. You can also look for books that address common sibling issues such as jealousy and teasing.

Finally, if you have an older child, they may be able to fill out their own personalized journal, which is also a great way to document their thoughts and feelings about the arrival of a new sibling. This is a good way to keep track of how your child has been affected by their new role as a big brother or sister, and it can become a treasured keepsake.

Talk to Your Baby Bump

sibling talk to baby bump

One of the best ways to prepare children for the arrival of a new sibling is to talk to them about it. It can be hard for kids to understand why you are excited about having a baby, but talking with them about your pregnancy will help them to feel connected to you and will help them to prepare for the new arrival.

Babies hear sound and feel movement in the womb during pregnancy, so it's natural for them to respond when you talk. They can also sense your touch.

It might take a while for your baby to recognise your voice, but you will eventually be able to communicate with them using words. If you're struggling to talk, try reading a book or listening to a favourite song.

A good way to start is to talk about your day and tell your baby how much you love them. This will give them a feeling of being wanted and loved, which will make them feel secure and safe, even before they are born.

Another way to bond is to sing or play music together, says Jojo Lander, a music therapist in Australia. She recommends classical music, gentle lullabies and soothing melodies as they are all very comforting for babies.

Interestingly, when mothers sang to their babies in the womb, their foetal heart rates decreased. It's thought that this could be because the sound was calming to the mother and helped them relax.

If you're not sure how to talk to your baby bump, don't be afraid to ask for advice from a health professional or ask other parents for tips. You can also find parenting communities online, or in your local area.

Get Involved

The arrival of a new sibling can be a big deal to many children, and they will likely need a little help in adjusting. Getting children involved in activities that will prepare them for the arrival of their sibling can be a great way to ease their feelings and ensure they are ready for the big day.

For younger children, you can read books about new babies and show them pictures of the baby. This will get them used to the idea that there will be a new baby in the family and help them get excited about the idea of having a brother or sister.

If your child is old enough, they may want to play with a real baby - or at least a doll that looks just like a baby. This can help them get a feel for what it will be like to hold a real baby and make the transition to having a new sibling a bit easier.

It can also be a good idea to have them help out with the baby's preparations - choosing a name, painting the nursery or choosing a special outfit or toy for the baby. Being involved in the process will make them feel more special and valued as a part of your family.

Some older children may be jealous of their new sibling, so it is important to help them understand that this will not last forever. By staying sensitive to their needs, you can help them adjust and prevent them from becoming aggressive or acting out in front of the new baby.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to help your child adjust to the arrival of their new sibling, speak to your pediatrician or a counselor who specializes in working with children. They will be able to offer you guidance and suggestions on how to best support your child during this time.

Encourage Questions

encourage questions about new born sibling

Throughout their lives, children encounter new experiences, ideas and phenomena that spark an abundance of curiosity. It’s our job as teachers to encourage this innate desire to learn and seek answers.

One key element of an inquiry-based classroom is the practice of student-generated questions. These well-formulated and logical questions are shaped by students’ individual curiosity and background knowledge.

If students are encouraged to ask their own questions, they often learn more from the process of questioning than they do from simply learning information.

However, if students are discouraged from asking questions, they’re less likely to explore subjects that interest them or engage in class discussions that challenge their pre-conceived notions. This can create a frustrating learning environment for both students and teachers.

To avoid this, it’s important to set reasonable time gaps in your teaching schedule for students to think and formulate their own questions. It’s also important to explain that people who ask questions are typically entering new territory, and should be treated with respect.

In addition, teachers can help students build their confidence in asking good questions by recognizing them for their efforts. For example, they can praise a student for a new question or refer to a previous question that was answered well.

Finally, teachers can give students a chance to ask questions anonymously through a “Wonder Wall” or an empty shoebox. These tools will allow students to feel confident about sharing their thoughts without worrying about being called out.

By encouraging students to ask their own questions, you can foster a love of learning that can last a lifetime. With these seven quick tips, you can make sure your students are able to express their questions in class and learn more from you and each other.

Keep It Simple

Bringing a new sibling into the family can be both exciting and challenging. Depending on your child’s age, you may need to make special efforts to help them prepare for the arrival of their new baby brother or sister.

One of the most important things you can do to prepare your children for a new sibling is to keep it simple. This is especially true if your children are young and may not understand all the implications of having a new sibling in the house.

You should let your child know that their new sibling will be coming home soon, but it will take a little time for them to adjust to the changes. You can talk about what will happen, but it’s also a good idea to have some fun with them.

Be sure to tell them that the baby will need a lot of attention, and that they might be tired or worn out when the baby comes home. Reassure them that this won’t change how much they love their sibling, and that there are still plenty of ways for them to spend time together (see below).

Even if your child has been toilet trained, you should expect them to have accidents or want to use diapers again. This is a normal part of their development and it’s a sign that they are still relying on you to take care of them.

If you have a toilet-trained child, it might be helpful to buy them a new set of clothes that are the same size as their old ones. This will help them transition back to the way they were before they had a baby.

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