Preparing for a new baby is such an exciting time for parents. At Busy Bees, we understand that the arrival of a new baby can be both an exciting and anxious time, which are both perfectly normal feelings to have when going through a big milestone.
If you are a first-time parent, you’ll be figuring out how to best care for your little one. However, if you are a second-time parent, you may be thinking about how your firstborn is going to feel and react to their new brother or sister.
To mark National Sibling Day (10 April), a day that recognises brothers and sisters, we’re sharing our tips and advice on how to help older siblings with new baby arrivals to make the transition from one to two children as smooth as possible!
You may find that your firstborn struggles to accept that there will be a new arrival soon. Whilst it’s common for them to feel upset or act out, it’s important to discuss what changes having a new baby will bring. It’s a good idea when preparing for a new sibling to explain that you may need time away to feed or rest, but also that they will play a big part in helping to take care of their baby brother or sister, such as having cuddles or singing to them.
Before the new baby arrives, it’s a great idea to get your child involved. Even if it’s something simple like picking some clothes for their new brother or sister or letting them choose a special cuddly toy or blanket. You could even get them to help decorate the nursery or pick out some books that you will read together when the baby arrives.
It’s a great idea to practice before the baby arrives. Why not try giving your older child a doll or teddy to look after? You can practice things such as using gentle hands, holding the baby, talking softly and playing calmly when the baby is sleeping. This will help your child feel more involved and know what to expect when their baby brother or sister arrives.
We all know children thrive on routine! Where possible, try to stick to your older child’s routine to make the transition less disruptive in day-to-day life. From mealtimes together to your child’s bedtime routine, their daily routine will help them feel secure, loved, and supported.
One of the most difficult changes for an older sibling is the shift of attention from being solely on them, to the needs of the baby. You may find that this can make it hard for them to manage their feelings.
While we understand how busy life with a newborn baby is, we suggest making time to chat, play, or read a book with your firstborn each day.
It may also be a good idea to buy your firstborn a small gift, or a new toy to play with once the new baby arrives. This can be beneficial as it can keep them occupied while you deal with a demanding new baby and also acts as a reward for becoming a big brother or sister!
The most important thing to remember is that you are doing everything you can for your family. Each day will bring challenges and different emotions so take one day at a time. Reassuring your child that you are still there for them and that the love you have for them hasn’t changed will make such a difference and create a positive experience for the whole family.
Explore our other blogs for tips on topics such as healthy eating and choosing a nursery . Are you a Busy Bees parent? Make sure you have downloaded our UP! App , full of useful resources, activities, and information.