Preparing Your Child for a Sibling
Preparing my children for the addition of a sibling really wasn’t something that I thought about, and luckily we didn’t have a lot of problems with bringing a new baby into the family.
The biggest event happened when I brought my second child home from the hospital and my (then) three year old daughter ran to meet us in the driveway. I bent down and she peered into the blankets eagerly.
She looked at her baby brother, she looked at me, back to her brother, and then glared at me.
“I wanted a doggie that barked!”
She got over it pretty fast and now, 27 years later, they are the best of friends. I don’t know if the easy transition of a new baby into the family was something I did or pure dumb luck. I just know that we never experienced some of the problems that others have.
The first thing is that I am pretty good about giving all of my kids an equal amount of attention. When I was feeding the baby I would have my daughter curl up next to me and we would read her favorite books.
Sometimes when he fell asleep in my arms, she and I would cuddle and watch her favorite cartoons (in the days before DVDs and VCRs). When the baby was napping, she and I had tea, colored, or dusted the living room together. We were a team.
I let my friends know that when they visited, I expected that they greet her as always and not make a huge deal about the baby and push her aside. She was proud to show off her baby to our friends.
Finally, and maybe mostly, I expected the baby to fit into our lives; I didn’t change our entire routine because he had been born. The focus was on us, as a family, not the baby.
For the record, I don’t think it’s wise to start “preparing” your young child months ahead of time. Just be matter of fact and deal with issues as they come up.
What are ways you have brought the new baby into the house successfully?