Bringing a new baby into the family is such a special time, and especially when there are toddlers and older children in the mix. More often than not though, we parents tend to over think such situations, and there are often threads in parenting forums asking for advice and help on how to ease the transition for siblings. With the help from our wonderful blogger community, we've put together a few tips that might help you out a little- here's a very quick guide to introducing a new baby to siblings.
Don't over think it
It's so easy to 'over prepare' and to worry about a potential situation that might not occur. Ok, so some children may find the new addition a little difficult, but many won't. It doesn't help matters if you spend the entire pregnancy worrying over something that might or might not happen, so taking a relaxed approach is definitely a good idea.Big brother Toby[/caption]
Sarah at Toby Goes Bananas told us, "Toby wasn’t that fussed about having a new brother and we found it best to let him get used to the idea in his own time, so we would ask if he wanted to hold him, or kiss or cuddle and didn’t push it if he didn’t want to," which seems like perfect advice to us.
Give a small welcome gift[caption id="attachment_4843" align="alignleft" width="225"] Big sister M[/caption]
Gifts are always a lovely idea, and if they come from the new baby they can often cement a new sibling relationship very quickly! This is an approach many families make and it can really help to ease the transition for many children. Kate at Counting to Ten and Rachel at The Little Pip both presented gifts from the new baby to the sibling and Rachel says, "I made sure when my daughter came to the hospital to meet my son that he was in his cot not my arms so I could give her a hug straight away. She was also pleased her brother had brought her a present."
Involve your child in discussions
If you know that your child is going to need lots of reassurance and time to get used to the idea of a new baby, it's a really good idea to keep communication open and involve them as much as you can.[caption id="attachment_4844" align="alignright" width="225"] Big brother Olly[/caption]
Emma at Life According to Mrs Shilts told us: "We involved Olly a lot throughout my pregnancy and spoke to him about his role as a big brother. I'm not sure he grasped the concept until Freddie arrived but he's brilliant with him."
Take your time, and let your child feel as involved as they are comfortable with. It could be a good idea to bring them along to hospital appointments, but do check the policies as sometimes parents are asked to keep children away. Another option could be to ask your child to help with other tasks, such as helping to choose a name, choosing baby essentials and sorting through toys that they're happy to share. As always, you know your child better than anyone so take your lead from them and don't sweat it.
For more tips, take a read of this post from Kerry at Lived With Love, this post from Amy at The Smallest of Things and for those who want to know how it all actually went, Amy has written an update on her toddler's reaction to the new baby too- read this post to find out more.