Preparing Older Siblings for Baby (Part 2)

You prepared your child/children!

You have welcomed your newborn in your arms!

You are all going home!

Now what?

Is there anything else you should do for your other child/children?

Sometimes after bringing the baby home it helps to continue to think about the older sibling(s) and what you can do to continue making an easier transition for them. It can take some time after the baby is home until older siblings feel loved and secure with his or her needs being met with the family change. 

Here are a few ideas to help you along the way as you care and nurture your new baby. 

A Gift - Provide a gift for the older child that is from the new baby. You could give them a new Big Brother/Sister outfit or even put together a basket of fun play goodies. This gift can be given in the hospital or upon arrival at home with the baby. 

A Party - When you arrive home make it a fun little party for the older siblings. Dad usually carries in the baby so mom is open to lots of hugs from the older children. Having a little cake to celebrate the big brother(s)/big sister(s) never hurts. 

Noise - Your older siblings should not have to stay quiet during nap time. Babies will adapt to the noise and your child's life won't be as disrupted. 

Privileges - Now that your older child is an older sibling sometimes it can be helpful to give them a new special privilege  like extended play times with certain activities or maybe a later bedtime. 

No Blame - some older siblings will resent the baby. To try and avoid this don't blame the baby if certain activities can't be done because of nap time or other issues. Saying it is not a good time or maybe later is better. 

Wait - when baby cries while you are in the middle of an activity with the older child/children, wait a minute or two to respond to your baby. This can show the importance of what you have been doing with them and that your connection to them is still important. 

Regression - you can expect some regressive behavior with older siblings or just some acting out. This is normal and it can last a while or it may not. You can do all the preparing with your older child/children and yet there is still some of this. Don't worry this is normal.

 Adding a new baby can come with mixed emotions for everyone in the household, but with time each family member will be comfortable with change after a period of adjustment.