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Should you prepare your child for another sibling?

Expectant parents often make the mistake of thinking their toddlers or pre-schoolers are too young to understand pregnancy and that there is no need for a child to know about the arrival of their brother or sister.

Children thrive on security and routine and something as big as coming home one day to a brand-new baby they didn’t know about, could unsettle their little world.

The benefits of preparing your little one are endless. It’s an opportunity to bond, create excitement, educate them about growing families and prepare them for the responsibility that comes with being an older sibling.

How to prepare your child for another sibling

Say it

Whether you break the news before or after you start showing, it’s important to make sure there’s enough time for your child to understand and mentally prepare for what’s to come. You could use pictures, story books or even videos of babies. You may consider pulling out old pictures of your child when they were a baby to help them understand the process better.

Be honest

Your child doesn’t need to know about every single detail of your pregnancy (especially the medical part, which may place unnecessary worry on them). The point is for your child to know that you are expecting and that life at home will be different.

Reassure

The most important reason to let your child know about your pregnancy is to reassure them that even though things will change, you will still love them and that no one will take their place in your heart. It’s also an opportunity to prepare your child for what’s to come, such as how normal it is for babies to cry and that you will be breastfeeding, that is why you’ll be carrying the baby a lot.

Build excitement

The countdown until baby arrives is a wonderful opportunity to build excitement and include your toddler in your expanding family. You could bond over your growing tummy by letting your toddler touch it, speak or sing to the baby in your tummy or even show them all the baby’s new clothes – don’t forget to also get them something new so they don’t feel left out. It could be something as small as a “big brother/sister” cap, sunglasses or crayons.

Read/download the Ackermans Baby Magazine online for more practical baby advice and click here to view our newborn range.

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Credit: Gallo Images.

 

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