Whenever my daughter and I go to activities, the park, or playdates with her baby brother, there is one question on the lips of the expecting mamas: How is she adjusting to her new baby brother?
And I can answer, “She is a super big sister!”
She’s a very caring little girl and we also did a few key things to prepare her for the new baby’s arrival…
|1. Read Books About Being a Big Sibling: Toddlers and Preschoolers like to rehearse everything in their minds again and again. Relating to characters in a story allows kids a chance to work out their emotions in a safe way. I love the Change is Strange series and my daughter constantly requested readings while I was pregnant. I’m a Big Sister (there is also I’m a Big Brother) is another hit at our house. Books like this also give the parents ideas about how to answer your child’s questions and involve the big sibling once the baby arrives.|
|2. Role Play With a Baby of Their Own: Little mimics, young children will copy everything mom and dad do. Get a baby doll and help your child take care of his or her own little infant. Teach your child how babies need lots of love and care and that you must be very gentle with the new baby. Not only does this help get ready for the new arrival, role playing helps build a sense of compassion. Corolle makes a gorgeous Bebe Do Doll that comes with a bottle, cuddly bunny, and a book about how to care for her. (full review) You can even get an entire nursery of accessories with your doll. If you don’t want to spring for a nursery for the baby doll, even a box can become the doll’s bed and the bottom of an outgrown t-shirt can be a doll baby sling.|
|4. Recognize your child’s growth and accomplishments. Provide your child with plenty of positive feedback about being a big kid. Make a “Big Sis/Bro” t-shirt. Talk about all the fun and exciting things big kids can do that little babies cannot–like run, talk, and get dessert!|
|5. Most importantly, reassure your child of your love. Pregnancy and the months following a birth are a very busy time. Do not forget to set aside some special time for your older child. Pick an activity you both enjoy and schedule that into your week. Even if it is just reading his favorite story every night before bed, he’ll appreciate the one-on-one bonding.|