Baby fever! I have it, and I have it BAD. My son is so special, and so amazing…so of course I believe another child will be equally as awesome. 😉 I talk about babies so often that my infatuation rubs off on him. Whenever we spot a baby, we both coo and caa. He is always so excited to hold a baby, and we rarely have to reinforce the idea of gentle touches because he instinctively wants to handle the baby with care
He often asks for a baby brother or sister. I hear him outside calling the insects his siblings. If an ant happens to escape his grasp, he’s upset and says things like, “My brother went away, Mommy!” Although our family isn’t prepped to fulfill his frequent request, we still strongly encourage him in developing a nurturing spirit. Below are some of the ways we keep the interest in caring for someone younger than himself.
Here are 5 tips for getting your child ready for a sibling:
1. Conversations are key – read stories (for example Peter’s Chair) and have robust conversations about what having another baby in the house means for your family. Listen to your little one, inquire about their emotions (not just the happy ones) about having a sibling.
2. Donate old toys– being a sibling means giving up something (even things you may really like) so start a donation box of toys and clothes that your little one has decided they have outgrown.
3. Pick out items for the new addition– Include your child in prepping the space for the new sibling by doing tasks like hanging a picture, making the crib together, or finding a new special toy.
4. Purposeful play– Get a toy doll and incorporate
the doll into routines that may happen everyday. During the play, allow your kiddo to hold the baby, feed the baby, change, play with, and take care of the baby, there are tons of opportunities to act out difficult emotions and find solutions.
5. Allow everyone (including yourself) some GRACE – Not to sound cliche, but take a breath and don’t sweat the small stuff. As long as everyone is safe and healthy, you are winning. Recognize that this is a transitional time, and keeping your child engaged and interested in the new sibling is good enough.
As caregivers, we know that preparation is the key to a solid family structure. Just like buying a home, we are charged with the inspections, securing the deed, and closing costs. Knowing that we also have to account for the unaccountable, following the aforementioned tips are a great blueprint for the “new addition” to your household (Get it). So if you are currently with child, I want to say, “Congratulations!” and wish you the best of luck.