Parenting is hard, and preparing elder kids for a new baby is even harder. Balancing an older child’s demands while caring for the newborn is challenging within itself. Here, we will discuss how to prepare older kids for a new sibling, how parents can manage their time between a new baby and an older child, and ways older children can help with the new baby.
How To Prepare Elder Kids For A New Sibling?
Preparing elder kids for a new baby can be very important for the parent and child relationship and the sibling relationship. A kid’s response to a new sibling shall differ at different ages.
Children Aged 1 to 2 Years
Children around or under the age of two will probably not completely understand the concept of a new baby. Still, it’s important to talk about the new baby with them. Parents can read stories with them that include a new baby with a big sister or brother. When the baby is born, parents can give a special title (big sister or big brother) as a gift to the older sibling, making them feel included. Parents can even have the new baby give something to the older sibling.
Children Between Ages 2 & 4
When the older child is preschool age, they may understand more about having a new baby. The key to this age is to be as honest as possible with them. Let the older child know that the new baby may initially require more attention. But assure the older sibling that they are still important and loved. In addition, parents can also include the older child in planning for the new baby. The older child can help pick out items for the new baby’s room and a few toys for the new child.
Children Over The Age of 5
Older children are usually more mature when a new baby comes along. These kids can grasp what is happening and understand that the baby needs a little more attention while they are so young. Parents should be honest and explain what changes may happen once the baby is born to prepare the older kids. The older children can go to the hospital shortly after the baby is born to feel more included. Elder children usually want tasks to provide help. Parents can ask them to assist with getting the baby to bed by reading stories to them, or they can hold the baby with the parent’s permission.
How Parents Can Handle Behavior Issues With Elder Kids?
Children, especially young ones, may go through a few more tantrums than usual once the new baby is around. Parents should make sure they are giving their older children enough positive attention so they will hopefully not feel the need to act out. While the baby is napping, parents can set aside time to spend one-on-one time with their other child.
Many children may relapse with potty training when a new baby comes along. If parents haven’t started potty training by the time baby is about to come, they may want to wait a bit. Children may have a hard time trying a new routine with the new baby around.
How Parents Can Manage Time With Elder Kids & New Baby?
Let Elder Child Help Parents
One way to spend time with the older children and help their relationship with their new sibling is to allow them to work with the parents and help them in taking care of the baby. Small kids can extend help by grabbing diapers during diaper changes. Preschool kids can help by gently playing with their new sibling while on the play mat. Older children may help by holding the baby or helping them sleep during bedtime.