I remember that when I was due with baby #4 my son, our 3rd child, would go around the house, with arms crossed, saying “Don’t want a brother.” Yet, most of the time he lovingly kissed my huge belly and said “I love you baby” and he couldn't resist wanting to hold other little babies that we met. I wasn't not too worried about this behavior, mostly because I had seen child #1 and child #2 in our family follow a similar behavior pattern before the next baby arrived.
As a matter of fact, many of the mothers that I have spoken to about this topic agree that most older siblings go through an adjustment period when a newborn sibling arrives. The family spends time preparing for the new baby and once the baby arrives so much time is dedicated to just meeting baby's needs. That’s a lot of change taking place!
I asked some of my friends and other moms what advice seemed to work best when helping older siblings adjust to a new baby in the house. The suggestions are most helpful for children up to the pre-teen years.
Tip 1: Discuss Pregnancy In Terms That Makes Sense To Kids
- Read books about pregnancy, birth and newborns with your child. Check out your local library or bookstore for age-appropriate books you may enjoy with your child.
- Take out your child’s ultrasound and newborn pictures – they will love looking at them! Tell them about their birth – how excited you were and how everyone wanted to hold them.
- Tell your child about the pregnancy when you tell your friends. You want them to hear the good news from you.
- Young children may not grasp when the baby will arrive, so it may be useful to explain that baby will arrive in a particular season (when it’s cold outside) or after a major holiday.
Tip 2: Include Children In Baby Preparations
- Allow your child to help you pack your hospital bag.
- Visit friends who have infants.
- You may or not want to take your child for your doctor visits, but consider taking them to hear the baby’s heartbeat and see the ultrasound.
- Check with your local hospital for sibling preparation classes.
- Perhaps they can help you pick out a special coming outfit (from two you’ve preselected, of course).
- You may want to buy your toddler age child a baby doll and have them practice holding and gently touching the doll, just like they would with their newborn sibling.
- Allow your child to pick out a small toy or other gift that they can give to their newborn sibling when they meet for the first time.
Tip 3: Make Arrangements To Meet Older Sibling's Needs
- Make sure that major changes – weaning, toilet training, a new room – happen well before the baby arrives.
- For older children, explain to them that the baby will not be able to do much at first, that you may feel tired and the baby will require a lot of your time.
- Arrange for play dates outside your home for your child with close friends or relatives, if possible, soon after the baby arrives.
- Try to keep routines as normal as possible in the weeks around baby’s arrival.
- Try to have your child meet the new baby as soon as possible after the big arrival. It’s best to do this when only the immediate family is at the hospital.
- Let your child “help” with age appropriate tasks once the baby arrives – like getting diapers, feeding, helping dress the baby, or pushing the stroller.
- If possible, arrange for some one-on-one time with your child once baby arrives where you talk about things besides the new baby.
- It’s ok for your child to need time to take adjust the new baby. You can encourage older children to talk about their feelings about their new sibling.
- Younger children who may not be able to articulate their feelings may act up or test the rules, but stand firm – just understand the feelings behind their behavior. Make it clear that you understand their feelings, but that their feelings must be expressed in appropriate ways.
- You may want to consider having a small present for your young child when they come to meet the baby for the 1st time – a small gift from the baby to the child.
As a mom of three children (soon to be 4!), I am constantly on the lookout for unique baby products. I enjoy coming across items that make caring for my baby easier and are stylish too. That’s why I am excited to tell you about Cutie Covers!
These adorable baby blankets serve as infant seat covers which simply and securely attach to the handle. How convenient, simple and innovative!
I can’t tell you how many times I have been out running errands with my baby and just want to place something over the car seat, so as not to wake her, protect her from germs or the weather; but the blankets I have used won’t stay in place. There have also been occasions when my baby has fallen asleep in her car seat (at a restaurant, at my in-law’s home) and I don’t want her to be disturbed, after all sleep is precious and sometimes hard to come by in a baby! Cutie Covers solve these problems because they use Velcro straps to attach to the baby’s car seat – genius!
Cutie Covers are not only practical, but they are stylish too. The blankets come in a variety of chic, vibrant colors and posh patterns. Keeping convenience in mind, every blanket is machine washable. They are currently available in three collections: Classic Cutie, Posh Pumpkin and Boutique Baby. Cutie Covers will impress the stylish new moms in your life!
And at Vidacoco, we love that Cutie Covers Inc. is owned and operated by two experts – moms Eileen Mihalsky and Aimee Palosi. The two women are a Mother-Daughter team who created a fashion forward approach to reinventing the modern day baby blanket.
Where to buy:
Cutie Covers are currently available for purchase online. Vidacoco fans may use promo code VIDACOCO to receive 20% off your order. The promotion is only good online and good through December 31, 2010! Southern California residents may also purchase Cutie Covers at Sugar and Hipster in Westlake Village. They are also sold in Bellini Thousand Oaks.
Would you love your own Cutie Cover? Enter our contest for a chance to win one! Here’s what you need to do. Tell 20 of your friends in a Facebook message about Cutie Covers with the following text:
“Friends, I heard about an adorable & functional new baby blanket line called Cutie Covers. Please check them out online at http://www.cutiecovers.com/home.php to see all the stylish and posh patterns currently available. Don’t forget to become a fan on their Facebook page too! Here’s that link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cutie-Covers/111668965565019. Cutie Covers are currently available for purchase online. You may use promo code VIDACOCO to receive 20% off your order. The promotion is only good online and good through December 31, 2010!”
Let us know on our Facebook page that you have emailed your friends about Cutie Covers. The contest closes on Monday, December 20, 2010 at 12 p.m. EST. You will be entered into the contest to win a blanket from either the classic cutie or posh pumpkin collection.
A few notes:
- This is not a paid advertisement.
- This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US.
- 1 winner will be randomly selected.
- The winner will be notified on Monday, December 20, 2010 via email (please respond within 48 hours).
- The prize will be mailed directly to the winner.