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Pregnancy Pregnancy

Preparing Big Brother For A Baby

Posted by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 52 Replies

When we learned that we were expecting baby number two we were ecstatic.  My partner and I both come from big families and are still close with our siblings now that we are adults – so we really hoped that our son would know the blessing of a sibling relationship.  Still, we knew it would be an adjustment.  For two years he had been the center of our universe and to suddenly introduce another person who demands a lot of the attention he was not used to sharing – well, we wanted to do everything we could to start them off on the right foot. 

Here are the things we did to prepare our toddler for the arrival of his new sibling:


  • Read books about new brothers or sisters. We checked several books out of the library which helped spur conversations about what it would be like when his new brother or sister arrived.
  • Involve him in the pregnancy.  He came with me to all my midwife appointments, heard the heartbeat and helped take my blood pressure.  At home I would help him feel the baby kick and praise him for showing affection to my baby belly.    
  • Interact with babies.  Luckily we knew some families that welcomed new siblings a few months before our baby was due.  We were able to take Leo over to their home to meet the babies and see his friends become big brothers or sisters.
  • Ask friends and family to help.  We asked our friends and family to make sure that when they came to meet our new baby that they make a point of greeting the big brother first.  We also asked that they allow him to introduce his new sibling.  Everyone was great about giving him equal attention and some even brought "congrats on becoming a big brother" gifts.    

I guess there's no way to really know if any of this made a difference, but I like to think it eased the transition into big brotherhood.  What is your advice for preparing older siblings for a new arrival?


by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Bob192
by Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Let them help prepare the babies clothes, room, etc.

Madelaine
by New Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Let them help you as much as possible

Rushn311
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:41 PM

We read my daughter "I am going to a big sister" books. She was excited. She went to most appointments with me. She shopped with me but I also made her feel special and not left out. It went great!

countrygirlkat
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I think a lot of it depends on the age of the older sibling.  The older they are the more understanding they will have about it all.  My first two were only 16 months apart so my oldest really didn't get any of it.  We talked about it a lot and read a few books but he still had no understanding.  The one thing we did do was buy him a doll so he could start to learn to be gentle.  I think that helped some.

My third was born when my older two were 5 and 4. They were much more able to understand and they went to the ultra sound, heard the heart beat, and helped plan and prepare at home. 

MamaMandee
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

This! 

Quoting Madelaine:

Let them help you as much as possible


jessicasmom1
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I thought I  was going to have to do this with Dear Daughter whom is 12 years old , then I misscarried. best of luck with your new baby

MamaBear2cubs
by Bronze Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM

I am not real sure. I'd say let him help as much as possible.

elasmimi
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I agree about the age thing. My oldest was only 2 when my second was born, so not much preparation went on. My next one was 4 years later, and both girls were excited.

Quoting countrygirlkat:

I think a lot of it depends on the age of the older sibling.  The older they are the more understanding they will have about it all.  My first two were only 16 months apart so my oldest really didn't get any of it.  We talked about it a lot and read a few books but he still had no understanding.  The one thing we did do was buy him a doll so he could start to learn to be gentle.  I think that helped some.

My third was born when my older two were 5 and 4. They were much more able to understand and they went to the ultra sound, heard the heart beat, and helped plan and prepare at home. 


.Angelica.
by Silver Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 3:08 PM

i let my son help pick out stuff and asked his opinions on names

lalasmama2007
by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM
I only have one child.
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