Four Ways to Prepare Your Older Child for a Newborn

Families grow and change in many ways. Adding a new baby to the family can add joy and excitement, but also stress and anxiety. Being a parent is hard work, and oftentimes surviving the day is quite an accomplishment. As I approach the feat of parenting a new baby, this time with two newborns, I am overwhelmed at the thought of managing a household with two little ones and two older children. Here are some ways I hope to ease the transition and achieve a “new normal” as quickly as possible.

1. Read Books

Reading books about a new baby’s arrival will help young children develop a vocabulary for dealing with the emotions he or she feels when it comes to this new addition. Talk about the new baby often, and allow the child to start thinking about what it might be like to have a new baby around.

2. Be Honest and Realistic

Ask your child, “Is the new baby going to cry?” Let the child know that a new baby is hard work. The baby will need someone to change his diaper, and feed him. Babies can be very loud, and annoying.

3. Keep Things the Same 

Keep bedtime routines, homework routines, and any day-to-day activities as much the same as possible. This won’t be easy, but do everything you can to work the baby’s schedule around an older child’s schedule. This will help the older child navigate his or her new relationship with less stress.

4. Create a “Feeding Basket”

Newborns need to eat a lot. Create a box or basket with special toys or trinkets that can only be played with when you are feeding the baby. This will help distract a toddler or preschooler who wants to climb in your lap while you are feeding, or request a drink or snack the moment you sit down to feed the baby. Even older children will appreciate having something new and exciting to do when feeding time comes.

 

This article was written by Caitlin Browne, Co-Owner at Garage Strength Sports Performance. You can find more from Caitlin @traditionalfoodsmodernlife on Instagram and follow her twin pregnancy journey. 

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