How to prepare kids for a new baby in the family

Just one of the many things to think about when you find out you're pregnant is how to prepare your other children for the arrival of their new baby sibling. Much of the way you approach the subject will depend on them. How old are they? How mature are they? How interested are they in mummy's growing belly? Is this a situation they have been through before? Unfortunately, there is no one answer that will work for everyone. However, here are a few pointers to consider that may help you make the transition as smooth as possible.

  1. As children's abilities to understanding the concept of time are still developing, it might be easier to start your countdown based on a reference they know. For example, rather than saying their new sibling will arrive in five months, can you tell them that it will be shortly before Santa arrives, when it starts getting colder, or when kindergarten begins?
  2. This will give them a more tangible idea of when to expect this new addition to the family. Another idea is to go back to your photographs, toys and clothes from their own time as a baby. Seeing all of these items and images will give your kids an idea of how small the baby will be, what they might look like and how they will be just like them!
  3. If you've got friends with young babies, this could be a great opportunity to spend some time together and introduce your child to a baby so they can see and meet a wee one before your time comes.
  4. Throughout pregnancy, it's also a good idea to let your children be involved in some way. They might like to touch your stomach (especially when baby starts kicking!), sing to the baby or even help you pick names.

This special time is truly a learn-as-you-go experience, and so long as you're all happy and excited for the new addition and your existing children aren’t feeling replaced, you can't go wrong!