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It’s so exciting to be pregnant for the second time. With all the excitement, there’s also a worry  – how my older child will react to the new baby? Will he be jealous, will he be looking for more attention?

Preparing your first child for the new baby’s arrival can be tricky as you still don’t know how he will react to the new baby.

When I was pregnant with my second child I used these tips to prepare my elder child for the new sibling.

 

How to prepare your child for the new baby

 

 

 

1. Use books that talk about new babies

I’ve bought ‘There’s a house inside my mummy’ book and me and my son would read it in the evenings. Its a lovely rhyming story that explains why mummy’s tummy is getting bigger, how she likes to eat lots of strange food and other things that relate to pregnancy. We’ve also later bought a book about becoming a big brother in the hope, that it will help him understand more about the imminent arrival of his new sibling.

 

 

 

2. Talk about the new baby joining your family

Talking about the arrival of a new baby sibling is so important. It is a good idea to talk about babies in general.  Maybe there’s a new baby sibling in your friends family that you can talk about. Explain how babies are different – that they are fragile, can’t talk, cry a lot because that can’t say what they need and they like to be fed often.

Also, its good to tell your older child that you will feel tired more often now and that you maybe won’t manage to play as much as you used to as you will need to slow down a bit. Discuss about who will look after them when you will be in labour in hospital.

 

 

3. Let your child see other babies

If you have friends or family who have little babies at the moment, try to see them often and when you meet pick up the baby for a little cuddle. Your child might be a bit upset, especially if he’s younger, however, it will help him to get used to the idea of his mummy holding another child.

 

4. Take your child to hospital appointments

Seeing baby on screen or hearing heart beat can make it a little more real for your older child. They also might feel more involved this way and therefore feel special.

 

5. Get a present from baby to your older child

It is a lovely idea to give a little gift from a new baby to your first child, perhaps a little gift bag containing a soft toy, a book, a sticker/colouring book or a little car. Matching t-shirts ‘big brother’ and ‘little sister’ could be an idea too!

 

 

6. Discuss baby names

If your child is older, you could probably ask him if he has any name suggestions for their new sibling, although that could end up being a funny story! If you have decided on baby’s name, let your child hear it and familiarise.

 

7. Go baby clothes shopping together with your child

Get your child involved in the baby clothes and other baby related items shopping. He will feel that his opinion is valued and it will be nice for him to get used to the idea of a new person and his belongings in the house.

 

8. Follow the routine

Hopefully by now you’ll be in a good routine with your older child of your normal daily activities, meal times and bed time. It is usually not advisable to start new big changes close to the birth of a new baby, so it could be a good idea to potty train your child well ahead of your bay’s arrival.

 

So these were a few ideas to help in the preparation of a child meeting his new sibling.  If you have more than one child, what has worked for you?