Are you expecting a new baby soon? Congratulations! One of the things you may be wondering is how to prepare your other children for the arrival of the new baby. It can be tricky to predict how kids will react, but some general tips can help make the transition smoother for everyone. As YOUR Washington D.C. newborn photographer, I am sharing some advice on preparing siblings for the arrival of a new baby.
Share The News Early On
As soon as you know you’re expecting, sit down with your other children and tell them the good news. It’s essential to involve them in the process from the start so they don’t feel left out or like the new baby is a surprise. Depending on the age, you may not need to include many details. For younger kids, simply telling them that a baby is coming and will be living with you is usually sufficient. Older kids may want to know more about the pregnancy and what to expect when the baby arrives.
Let Them Help With The Nursery
If your kids are old enough, involve them in decorating the nursery and picking out baby items. This will help them feel invested in the new arrival and get them excited about becoming big brothers or sisters. You can also ask them to help with things like folding laundry and collecting burp cloths, so they feel like they’re contributing.
Read Books About Siblings
There are lots of great books out there that can help kids understand what it’s like to have a brother or sister (like this adorable book called “Mommy’s Big Heart“). Reading these stories together can start some great conversations about the ups and downs of siblinghood. Try to find books with characters that your child can relate to, so they can see themselves in the story, or create a customized book where their names are used throughout the story.
Let Them Express Their Feelings
It’s normal for kids to feel a range of emotions when a new baby is on the way, from excitement to jealousy to anxiety. Give them the space to express whatever they’re feeling, and provide reassurance as needed. If your child is worried about not being the center of attention anymore, assure them that they will always be special to you and that you’ll still have one-on-one time together. You can also point out all of the things they’ll be able to do that the baby won’t be able to do, like go to school or ride a bike.
Talk Through Your Hospital Plans
If you’re planning on having a hospital birth, talk to your kids about what that will entail. Explain that you’ll be going to the hospital to have the baby and that they can visit once the baby is born. Make sure they understand who will be there watching them while you’re giving birth and what will happen afterward.
Include Siblings In Your Newborn Photoshoot
Most parents choose to have newborn family photos taken within the first few weeks of their baby’s life. If you’re planning on doing this, why not include your other children in the shoot? As a Northern Virginia newborn photographer, I’ve witnessed many families include a few shots with the whole family when they plan their photoshoots. This gives older siblings a sense of pride and ownership over the new baby. Plus, it’s a great way to document this special time in your family’s life.
These are a few of my favorite tips to help prepare siblings for the arrival of a new baby. While it may be a challenging adjustment at first, with a bit of patience and understanding, it can be a really fun and rewarding experience for the whole family.
If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments below! And if you’re looking for a Northern Virginia or Washington D.C. newborn photographer, I would love to chat with you about your upcoming session. Contact me today to get started!
I just adore this post, important information for those moms who are transitioning from one baby to two 😍
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