Preparing your family for a new baby is both fun, but a little worrisome as well. We don’t really know how the kids will adjust to their new roles. Our kids have been pretty close in age, so the transition for them was not dramatic. However, now with our fifth, we have an age gap of 5.5 years between our youngest and the newborn. He is used to being the baby in the family and it’s all about to change. We’ve been researching how to best prepare him for his transition from baby brother to BIG brother. Here is some advice we’ve found:
Before the baby is born:
· Tell him how special he is as a big brother. Explain how he’ll be able to teach his little brother how to draw rocket ships, build Lego’s, play soccer, make paper airplanes, etc.!
· When the baby is born, have a gift prepared for each older sibling that is “from” the baby. We will be purchasing Lego sets and stuffed animals for each one. Also, have the kids give a “birthday gift” to the baby. Make sure to pack it ahead of time so the kids can bring it with them when they come to meet the baby for the first time. Make sure to have the camera ready to capture the moment they present the gift as well.
· Have your child make a drawing to frame and hang in the baby’s room. I especially love this one!
After the baby is born:
· Make sure to take pictures of both the new baby and the older siblings. Also take plenty of individual pictures of each child as well.
· Have a few small gifts prepared for the older children when the baby receives gifts from friends/family.
· Make sure to continue to snuggle with your older children and give them individual attention when you have the opportunity.
· Invite the kids to sit next to you when nursing. Remind the kids how good they were at eating. Also, open up the photo album of when the older kids were born. They love seeing what they looked like as babies.
We’ll see how our youngest transitions. So far, he’s pretty excited. In fact, all the kids are pretty excited. For that, we are thankful.