The task of preparing an older child for the imminent arrival of a newborn can be tricky, but here are some tips to help to prepare for this.
- During the pregnancy, help the older child feel secure because this will help the parent in the long run.
- Let the child be physically involved in the preparation for the new arrival. If there is a playpen to be assembled, or another item of nursery furniture to be constructed, let the older child help and participate.
- Practice having a small baby around in advance, during pregnancy – hold a doll gently, simulate a diaper change, and encourage the child to do the same. Remember to show the child how the head should be held!
- Offer the child plenty of information and details about the baby who will arrive soon but also make plenty of time for non-baby activities as well.
- Show them before and after pictures of when you were pregnant with them to indicate that mother will soon look as she did before. Perhaps the child can get involved in an ultrasound appointment as well.
- Pick up cues from your child to work out how best to help them transition to the status of older sibling.