Who the heck is THAT, Mom?: 5 Ways to Prepare Older Kids for a New Baby

5 Ways To Prepare Older Kids For A New Baby | The Blossoming Bump

1. Books

‘I’m A Big Brother’ by Joanna Cole

‘Brothers Are For Making Mud Pies’ by Harriet Ziefert and Chris L. Demarest

‘Sisters Are For Making Sand Castles’ by Harriet Ziefert and Chris L. Demarest

‘I’m A Big Brother’ by Parragon Books

‘What A Baby Needs’ by William Sears

‘Baby On The Way’ by William and Martha Sears

‘God Gave Us Two’ by Lisa Tawn Bergren

2. Cartoons

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, ‘Meet The New Baby’ episode – YouTube Link

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, ‘There’s Time for Daniel and Baby Too’ episode – YouTube Link

3. Buy a Baby Doll

Whether you have a son or a daughter, any older sibling can potentially benefit from a little role play with a baby doll!

We found a doll to be a great way to start a conversation with our toddler about what baby’s need, what they do, and how to share gentle touch and speech with and around them.

They also serve as a great demonstrative tool for the basic do’s and don’ts of being around a new baby (for instance, explaining to our son that dragging baby around the house by a foot, or throwing them under the coffee table when you’re tired of them is probably a no no).

4. A Gift from the New Baby

We definitely plan to do this one when the new baby arrives. When our son comes to the hospital for the first time to visit we’ll end the interaction with a neat Mickey Mouse (his fave!) tote filled with a gift or 2 from his new baby brother.

We’re aiming less for bribery and more for positive reinforcement here, and if we can settle on a little something that older brother feels he can share with little brother? Well, that’s even better!

Need some ideas to get you going? Check these out:

  • Big Brother or Sister T-Shirt
  • Hand Print Art Kit to do with the new baby, mom and dad
  • Matching dolls, one larger for older sibling, one smaller for the newbie
  • Books about becoming an older brother or sister (plenty to choose from above, right!?)
  • Personalized wooden puzzle

5. Enlist the Family

While the hubster and I have been going for gold when it comes to getting our toddler excited about mama’s ballooning belly (for, oh, 3-4 months now!), we’re really hoping that grandparents and extended family can help us pull this one out of the bag at the arrival of Thing 2.

Having them home with our son, building excitement, reading big brother books and getting him involved in the process of bringing his new brother home means the world to us.

Things we’ve done/will do to encourage excitement in big brother? Check these out:

  • Looking at old baby pictures of himself, mom and day, and helping him to understand what a baby is and what it means to bring him home.
  • Inviting him to be a big boy helper with things like easy decorating tasks in the new baby’s room (like hanging initials) or helping him make something crafty like a ‘welcome’ card for little brother.
  • Helping him to feel pride at his new role in our family (big brother!) with a special t-shirt and reading positive books repeatedly!

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Got some other ideas for easing big kids into existence alongside a new baby? I’d LOVE to hear your suggestions! Share below!

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