Introducing a new baby to older children can be another stressful part of parenting. With baby #1, you and your partner get to know the baby one on one. You can take the time to learn who they are as a baby and give them what they need the moment they cry.
When have an older child at home, especially a young child, your attention and mothering is pulled in two directions. It is easy to feel that this is a make or break point in life when your children meet for the first time. However, there are ways to make the transition easier on everyone.
Introducing a New Baby to the Family
One of the best things we did when we found out we were pregnant for the second time was find a cute shirt that said Big Sister. Luckily my older daughter loves clothes and loved that shirt. We made it special whenever she wore it. We also made a big deal of her being a great big sister when she held the baby.
I also tried to include her when I was doing things for the baby, like asking her to get me diapers or the baby's pacifier. I didn't want her to feel like life was all about the new baby anymore and she was left out. You can read more about my experience becoming a mom of two here.
What other things can make this transition easier?
Advice and Stories from Real Moms
Read to your child about having a sibling
Talk a lot about the baby coming long before the baby is here. Talk about how great it is to be a big sister/brother. All the special things they will get to do and help with. I also found it helpful to read picture books to my oldest to get her excited about the baby coming. - Brittany from Pennies Into Pearls
Set aside special time for the older child
When my second daughter was born, my oldest daughter disliked her from the beginning. She wanted all the attention and she was not having it. It was a major struggle to transition our first daughter. One major thing that helped was to schedule special time with our first child and take her on a special outing. Doing this made her feel like we hadn't forgotten how special she was and that even though our days were busy with a new baby, we loved her and enjoyed our one on one time. - Michelle Lepak from Dandelion Patina
It's easier when the baby isn't mobile
My daughter was 26 months old when the new baby was born, at first is was easy - that was until the littlest was mobile, now is the time we have to watch. Most times she tried to hug her little brother...by his throat. When he first came home we would encourage her to hold him and help with diapers. I breastfed both of them when he was first born so I think sharing that experience really helped them to bond. - Trista from Mamas Little Minions
Meeting the baby for the first time
When my daughter came to see me and her new brother in the hospital and got to hold him for the first time she asked me if we get to keep him. I said yeah. then when he started crying she looked at me and said "can we pick out a different baby?" - Rikki from OMG Mommy Momments
Have the baby give your older child a gift
My 5 year old still remembers that her baby sister, who is now 3, gave her a Belle barbie doll when she was born. It clearly made an impact on her to receive a gift from her baby sister. - Ginger from Gingerly Made
Try modeling behavior with a doll
Our kids are close. Not they love each other type of close but 14 months type of close. Introducing big sister to the baby was a challenge. We did many things like, “here is a baby, we are soft with the baby doll.” We played games with the baby dolls and tried to reinforce the fact that something was coming. When baby came? It was quite the opposite. She thought it was her new toy to drag and love on in her bed. Reinforcing soft hands is a constant in our home. - Tahnee from Sincerely Rose
Let the baby cry a little
Always tend to the older child first. Let the baby cry for a moment so that your older child knows he or she comes first sometimes too! - Krista from The Quinntessential Mommy
Thank you Moms!
As with much of parenting, there is no right way to do anything. We have to learn as we go and every child learns and reacts differently.
Leave your tips for introducing a new baby or suggestions for a parenting problem you need help with in the comments.
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