How to prepare your child for the arrival a new sibling
For many children the birth of a sibling can be met with mixed emotions and is a time marked by many changes. Preparing your child at a developmentally appropriate level can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety and assist in helping your child adapt to some of the new changes.
Suggested children’s books you can read together:
- The Most Terrible of All – Moun Thi Van (Explores sibling rivalry through the concept of monsters).
- Mia Moves Out – Miranda Paul (Explores the concept of having to share with a new sibling).
- Hello in There – Jo Witek (A story of a sister who can’t wait to meet their new sibling).
Activities to do as a family:
- Mark in the calendar important pregnancy milestones
- Look at baby photos as a family
- Work on an art project for the new baby’s room or a gift for their arrival
- Involve your children in creating a list of possible baby names
- Go shopping as a family for baby toys or clothes – have your children pick out something special for the baby.
Raising Children Network Articles:
Take Home Message
- Adjusting to the new dynamic may take time. Where possible, maintain a sense of routine and predictability during the transition period.
- It’s important to validate their feelings in response to their sibling.
- Prepare your child for you needing to focus on the new baby initially but reassure you are still there for them.
- Involve your child in the process and decision making where possible and appropriate.
Judy is a registered psychologist with a Master’s degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology. She has experience working with young people, their families and extended support networks across educational, clinical and community-based settings. Judy enjoys working creatively and flexibly with children and adolescents to explore their difficult emotions and experiences.