Making room for baby

8 tips for helping your children adjust to a new sibling

Making room for baby

There’s nothing more exciting than finding out that you are expecting … again. Thoughts of tiny toes and sweet baby breath flood your mind, and your world is all of a sudden in total bliss. Along with another baby, though, come worries of, “How will I possibly love this baby like I love my first?” or “How will my child adjust to having a new baby in the house? Will he still know that I love him just the same?”

Having another baby, whether it’s your second, third or fourth, can be an exciting and overwhelming time. There are lots of things to consider, including how everyone’s life is going to change once your due date has arrived.

Here are eight effective tips on how to make a smooth transition from one baby to two, or more.

1. Belly banter

Prepare your child for the upcoming arrival of his baby sibling. Let your child touch and kiss your belly while you are still pregnant. Having a hands-on experience will help them make the connection that there is something special inside of your belly and you want your child to be a part of it.

2. Gift giving

Pick out a gift from your unborn baby to “give” to your older child after he/she is born. If you are allowing your older child to visit you at the hospital, give the gift to them and tell them it’s from the baby. This will make your child feel extra special during a time that may be a little scary for him/her.

3. Hold on tight

Help your older child hold your newborn. Let him/her sit in an adult’s lap (or yours, if you feel up to it) and let him/her “hold” the baby with help. Once your child sees that this baby is a living, breathing person, he/she will start to take on that roll of big brother/sister.

4. Nursing/bottle basket

Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding, fill a basket, bin or bucket with special toys that your older child has never seen before (think dollar store toys). Only take the basket out when you are feeding the new baby. Your older children can play with their new toys and feel like they are still a part of what you’re doing.

READ MORE: Prepare your kids for a new sibling

5. Make a date

Have your husband watch the baby while you and your older child go on a date. Take them to their favorite restaurant or stop by the park to push them on the swing. It’s important that you continue to take time just for you two so that your child gets that one-on-one attention with you.

6. Tummy time

Have your older child help you with the baby’s tummy time by letting them pick out which toys to put in front of the baby. This small act of helping out will make your older child feel like they are taking an active role in the baby’s life. Bonus: you’ll all get a laugh out of watching the baby try and reach for the toys.

7. Special play time

Newborns tend to sleep for most of the day. In between catching up on your naps, make a point of having special play time with your older child. Whether it’s rolling out play dough or baking brownies, this time at home with ythem will make both of you appreciate the special bond that you have had from the beginning.

8. Spread the love

Be sure to hug and kiss your husband in front of the kids. When they see mom and dad are happy, they too will be happy. This public affection will reassure your other children that they are safe and loved by two happy parents.

Meagan Ruffing is a freelance parenting writer and stay-at-home mom with three children. She and her husband remember what it was like as they started to prepare for their 3rd addition.