It's hard being an older sibling! For kids who are used to getting all of mama and papa's attention at all times, the arrival of a sibling can really put a damper on things. Preparing your little one for a new baby can set the tone for the next phase in their development, as well as their relationship with their new sibling. While jealousy and sibling rivalry are totally normal emotions, there are ways you as a parent can help alleviate some of those negative feelings. Here, some top tips on paving the way for baby number two (or three! or four!) and building a strong, happy and nurturing family.
Prepare Your Child for a New Sibling During Pregnancy
The best time to start preparing your older child for a new sibling is during your pregnancy. By making your older child feel included throughout your pregnancy, you're making them a part of the process. So when do you spill the beans that new baby is on the way? Experts suggest waiting until the second trimester, when your belly is starting to show and your child can actually see there is indeed a baby in there.
How to Announce a New Baby is Coming
If your child is old enough, you and your partner can get creative in how you want to share the news. Gifting your child with an 'Older Brother' or 'Older Sister' t-shirt is a fun way to get them excited. Or bake a pre-birthday cake for the baby-to-be. Because...cake! But however you decide to break the news, make sure your older one feels included and knows that the new baby will be a big part of their life, too.
How to Include Older Sister or Brother Before Baby is Born
More ways to make sure your kids feel included in the process are:
- Bring them to your doctor's appointments so they can hear the baby's heartbeat.
- Read them age-appropriate books about birth and new siblings.
- Ask them to help you think of potential baby names.
- Visit friends who have babies.
- Ask them to help you pack your hospital bag.
Family Matters: Bringing Baby Home
After you and baby are back home from the hospital, you can ask your older one to "help" mummy out. Have your big sib entertain baby by talking to them, tickling their feet or making funny faces. Ask your big guy or gal to accompany you on pram walks with the baby. This can give the two of you time to talk while baby is in their pram. You can also have your older child hang out in their Grand DockATot nearby while you feed the baby.
DockATot: The Perfect Gear for Family Bonding
The DockATot Deluxe was created for co-sleeping families, which makes it easier for older siblings to also get in on the act of family snuggle time. DockATot has protective sides that help prevent any other family members from rolling over onto the baby while cuddling. Snuggling is worry-free with DockATot!
DockATot is also the ideal spot for baby to chill out in so they can seamlessly be a part of the rest of the family's activities. Older kids can eat their breakfast or do homework with their new little sibling comfortably hanging out within arm's reach. Not only does this make bonding easier, but it lets mum and dad keep an eye on all their little ones at the same time! DockATot's multi-functional aspects make it a must have newborn essential for growing, busy families.