Supporting your older kids after your baby arrives

Bringing home a new baby can be a bit of a shock for everyone, especially older siblings who are used to being the centre of attention. Here are some great tips for reassuring your older kids that they’re not being replaced or forgotten about.

  • Talk about how they feel: Allow them to express their emotions and reassure them that it is okay for them to express a range of emotions.
  • Praise them: Tell the baby how lucky they are to have such an awesome older sibling. Let your toddler overhear you talking about how grown up and helpful they are, and how proud you are of them. These kinds of words of affirmation will boost their ego and confidence.
  • Speak for the baby: Let your toddler know how much the new baby loves them. Play up smiles and coos and emphasize that the baby is trying to say how much they love their big sister/brother.
  • Kid holding rotation: Take turns taking your older kid(s) on outings sans baby, even if it’s just a trip to the grocery store or for a walk after dinner. This gives you a chance to have some one-on-one time together and also gives your partner an opportunity to bond with the baby when you are away.
  • Get them involved and to help out: Make your toddler a “Big Sibling Kit” so they can join in on baby duty. Get them some kind of receptacle for toting around baby gear, for example, an old diaper bag, backpack, basket, or apron. Then, fill it to the brim with diapers, rattles, pacifiers, books, onesies and anything else you can think of, so they can come to the rescue when their sibling starts to cry. This can definitely do wonders for their confidence and pride, and will probably come in handy also.

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