Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Helping Children Adjust to a New Baby

Bringing home a new baby is a very exciting time, but can also present some challenges. How can parents help make the transition smooth for their older children? Babycenter (http://www.babycenter.com/) offers the following suggestions:

  • Give older siblings special jobs. Depending on age, they can do tasks as simple as grabbing a diaper and wipes or older children can help you give the baby a bath, hold the baby, or even help feed the baby a bottle.

  • Ask for advice and help. Ask older children to help you decide what the baby should wear. Have them help entertain the baby by telling stories or singing songs.

  • Read stories about new babies. Reading stories about this transition will help kids know what to expect. Help them understand that their feelings, good and bad, are natural.

  • Find time to spend alone with older children. This can be very challenging, but older siblings need to know that you as a parent still love them and value your time with them.

  • Let children do their own thing. If they ignore the baby for a while and seem uninvolved, just give them some time. It can take some time to adapt.
Transitions can be challenging, but they also present opportunities for growth. Helping children adjust and adapt is important. How have you made the transition easier on your older children?

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