Adding a new baby to the family can be so overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be difficult, and it’s helpful to know what you’re walking into. Here are some tips on helping older siblings cope with a new baby.
One of the most common questions I see in moms groups on Facebook is “how do I help my kids cope with a new baby?” Adding a new baby to the scene can be so hard on everyone. When my twins were born, my kids were 3 and 6. My 6 year old had no issues and adjusted very well. My 3 year old, on the other hand, was not having it. A few days in, she asked if we could return them to the hospital!
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Signs your toddler is jealous of the new baby
Your toddler can show signs of jealousy and still be gentle and kind with the baby. It can manifest in other ways so it’s important to look out for all signs. One time when my husband and I were busy with the babies, my daughter took marker to the white trim on our back door. Actually, markers were her go-to for the first few months until we figure out where she was stashing them all. If you see these signs, it might be time for helping the older siblings cope with a new baby.
- Acting out while you’re spending time with the baby.
- Hitting or being physical with the new baby.
- Requiring/requesting for more time around you.
- Refusing to take his nap.
- Acting like a baby (ie, wanting a pacifier, regressing with potty training, baby talk, seeming extra sensitive and emotional).
Preparing your child for a new baby
- Get a baby doll for your kiddos. Show them that the baby will need to be changed, fed, etc. We love Baby Stella!
- Call the baby “our baby,” not “my baby” or “the baby.”
- Involve them in prepping for the baby. Let them pick out the nursery theme.
- Grab some big brother and big sister books from the library or Amazon.
- Ask your hospital or park district if they offer big brother or big sister classes.
- Give your child some “me space.” Set up sensory bins, a book/reading center, get them a super busy toy (like a train set). Let them know that this is their space. So when the baby starts to be overwhelming, they can “hide away.”
Anything I missed? If you have any tips, please let me know in the comments!