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10 Ways An Older Sibling Can Help With New Baby

Older Siblings: How They Can Help With Babies

Sibling relationships are one of the most important and formative relationships in a person’s life, and building a relationship between an elder sibling and a newborn can play a huge factor in both children’s social dynamics and upbringing. Not all older siblings are immediately receptive to the idea of a new sibling. It can be a difficult transition for children of any age to have a new person suddenly receiving all of their parent’s attention, and helping older siblings cope with the new baby is an important step in preparing the entire family for this next chapter. Thankfully, by using a few tips and tricks before and after the baby arrives –– you can help an older sibling not only cope with a new baby, but even help you out once in a while.


Introducing an Older Sibling to a New Baby

Start Preparing Before Baby Arrives
In learning how to help older siblings with new baby navigation, it’s important to start before your new bundle of joy arrives. During pregnancy, you should begin teaching your child about the pregnancy journey in simple terms that they can understand. You can even try reading them books about childbirth that are age-appropriate. Allow them to ask any questions they may have and respond appropriately.

For some soon-to-be older siblings, it can take a while to become interested in the idea of a new baby sibling. However, once they begin showing signs of curiosity, you can show them photos of themselves when they were a baby –– or photos of you while you were pregnant with them. Other ways you can do to get them excited about a new sibling include picking out baby clothes and toys, and choosing a baby name together.

Bringing New Baby Home
Preparing siblings for a new baby can be delicate. Whether your child meets their new baby sibling in the hospital or at home is completely up to you. The first meeting should ideally include only the parents to reinforce this moment as an intimate family event. Helping older siblings cope with the new baby can mean trying to keep things “normal” around the house, too, if you can believe it. Once their new baby sibling is home, you should attempt to keep the older sibling’s routine as regular as possible, so that the change does not feel as drastic. Although it is normal to want to focus all of your attention on your newborn, it’s still important to spend quality time with your other children. Building relationships between elder siblings and newborns means avoiding jealousy and resentment at all costs, and making everyone feel included and loved often.

Should Older Siblings Help With Younger Siblings?

It has long been debated whether or not big brothers and sisters should be responsible for caring for their younger siblings. The bond between older siblings and a new baby is built delicately, with patience and time, avoiding large shifts in the family dynamic. While it is okay to let your child help with a younger sibling, it should never be forced or seen as an obligation. This can quickly lead to a lot of stress or even resentment from the older sibling. There are however, many healthy ways that older children can help out and even contribute positively to their sibling’s development over time.


10 Ways an Older Sibling Can Help With a New Baby

There are a plethora of simple tasks that older siblings can do in order to help and bond with a new baby sibling. Here are 10 simple and fun ways that kids and even toddlers can help to feel included. With these in mind, learning how to help an older sibling with the new baby will be breezy and full of care.


Getting Ready

  • Combing Hair - Teaches them how to be gentle with baby
  • Choosing an Outfit - Helps them express themselves
  • Putting on Socks - Can be tricky for toddlers but gets easier with practice

Meals

Nap Time/ Bedtime

  • Help Swaddle - Older kids can help put on a velcro swaddle
  • Join In - Take naps together
  • Kiss Goodnight!

Bringing a new baby home should always be a joyful and exciting experience, even if it isn’t your first– and garnering a good relationship between older siblings and new babies is just as important as any other factor in welcoming your little one home. When it comes to big brother or sister, it is important to understand that a little jealousy is completely normal. However, this can be mitigated with the help of these tips and countless other resources available to new parents. Baby Brezza is here to help you navigate the early years of parenting multiple children.

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