How to Prepare Your Only Child for a New Sibling

Having a new baby in the home can be rather difficult for everyone, not to mention the only child who’s not used to sharing the house or their parents with anyone. If you’re about to bring home a new sibling and want some tips to help prepare your only child for a new sibling, then continue reading for some of my best tips yet!

How to Prepare Your Only Child for a New Sibling

Read Books About New Babies
There are many children’s books available that will help your only child start to learn about a new baby. From the arrival date to the things that may happen and feelings that your only child may have, there’s a child’s book for each of those topics. These children’s books will help your only child start to develop a general idea of what having a new sibling means.

Talk About The Hospital Stay
An only child may not know what to expect when their mom or dad is gone for long periods of time at the hospital during the birth and arrival of their new baby sibling. That’s why it’s very important to talk about this earlier on in the pregnancy. Allow your only child to ask questions and answer them in an age-appropriate way so that they can be prepared for the time when their parents have to leave to stay at the hospital.

If your only child will stay at the hospital with you, some hospitals allow this, then you’ll want to prepare them for what to expect during this sleepover at the hospital with mommy and daddy.

Expect Regression
While some only children embrace their new sibling with open arms and have very minimal issues, other children may regress a bit. It’s very common for your only child to start having feelings of jealousy because a new baby requires a lot more attention. As a parent, you should be prepared for any regression in your only child during this transition of having not one, but two children.

You may want to prepare for this with a plan on how to spend some quality time each day with your only child during those first few months of having a baby in the home. This will help your only child realize that they’re still just as important as their new sibling and minimize the risks of any regressive behavior.

sibling preparationPIN IT!

Have Your Child Help
Your only child can help with various preparations for a new sibling. You can have them pick out a new blanket or toy for the new sibling, have your only child work with you to prepare the nursery and be a part of the process of getting the home prepared for a new baby.

sibling preparationPIN IT!

Getting your only child involved in the preparation for a new sibling will help them feel important during this change in their life. An only child that helps with the process of getting the home ready for their new sibling will feel like they have a role in the family unit, even if there’s a new child in the mix.

Bringing a new sibling home to an only child is difficult for everyone. A new baby will change the family unit and how the family runs forever. The transition of going from an only child to a big brother doesn’t have to be scary though if you use the tips I shared today you should be able to help your only child transition from only child to big brother in no time.

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  • Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    Yyyeeeaaahhhhh….bringing a new child in the family is a double-edged sword, definitely. So much of us; not even just the kids alone struggle with keeping up to this new fact. Children do need all the support they can get. I usually say we have to “wing it”.

  • Jill Nunn

    This is such a great read! It takes me back to when my kids were newborns….gosh I miss those days!

  • Sarah Bailey

    These sound like some great ways to get your child ready for a sibling – I am sure it can come as a big shock going from only child to not any more! But so worth it as well I am sure.

  • Emman Damian

    Explain to the older sibling the situation. Keep it fun and don’t be too serious. Give them some excitement or something to look forward to.

  • Matt Taylor

    Thanks for the tips. I don’t have any kids yet. Hopefully someday. 🙂

  • Lisa Joy Thompson

    I’ve found that every time you add a new child to a family there’s a time of transition…even when going from 4 to 5 kids. I think as a parent, there’s less transition with the more kids you have, but the kids still feel it with every new addition.

  • Laura

    Some great ideas for how to help children welcome a new sibling, especially as it can be a tricky road to navigate x

  • Stephen

    Shared this with my friend who is expecting her second, I know she was worried about this

  • littlemisadvencha

    this one is very useful especially for those who have a child who is solo for so long… great post! 🙂

  • Lashunta

    Fantastic tips for those who are getting ready or have future plans for a new family addition. Explaining things to kids ie hospital stays is so important.

  • Subhashish Roy

    This is so important these days when after the initial happiness the first born child often starts feeling neglected when attention shifts to the younger sibling from mothers specifically. A must read for expecting mothers preparing for a second or third child.

  • Janet Robertson-Peverley

    I was quite surprised at how easy it was when I had my children. I was ready for the big changes and the differences, but it all seemed to fit in to place quite well. Having said that, I have friends that had quite the opposite and struggled. I love the idea of books introducing the baby, it is a lovely thing to do together and so easy to absorb and understand.

  • Lilinha

    Great tips. We got little man as involved as possible when we found out that he would be a big brother and they are now very close!

  • Rhian Westbury

    I think getting them involved is so important to make sure they don’t feel left out during the process x

  • Cleange Harrison

    Lovely and educative post.

    It’s good to prepare one’s only child for a new baby. This will be helpful to the child, the baby as well as the parents.

  • Melanie williams

    There is some really good advice here. It is important to find the right balance so that a smooth transition happens xx

  • Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    Encouraging them to be part of the preparation for a new baby can help them understand the new arrival

  • Melanie

    This is a great article, so many parents will have this dilemma so tips are always important x

  • Jess Howliston

    These are all great tips. I remember when my second child came along I was so worried about how my son would adapt to a new sibling. We found trying to find time away from the baby just for him, be it story time, a trip to the park with dad or something really helped as he still had that bit of one on one time with us too!

  • Lily

    He looks like an amazing big brother already. Such a cute growing family.

  • Bookale Donovan

    Great read for people like us who hope to have kids someday. Thank you! Looking forward to more of your articles.