preparing your first child for a sibling feature

Preparing Your First Child For A Sibling

Having told our toddler he’s having a sister I thought I would share some of the tips I have learned for telling your child they’re having a sibling!

I didn’t have a lot of advice for telling my little guy he was having a sibling and as he’s going to be 5 and a half when she’s born I feel like it’s a bigger gap, making it a bit more difficult. When you have just one baby for so long, transitioning to having another can be very hard for you, your significant other, but especially for your first child. I was an only child for 10 years and when you have been an only child for any period of time, it can be hard to face the fact that you have to share your parents (and your stuff) with someone else.
That being said, I don’t think having younger ones makes it any easier because they don’t quite understand things and could get angry or their feelings hurt. As parents, it’s our job to prep them and try to make it as seamless as possible so that they aren’t blindsided when the new baby arrives. So here are some of the things I have learned so far about telling your child they are going to have a sibling!

Don’t Rush It: Tell Them When You Feel is Best:

You know your child the best, after all, you have been there from the beginning. You should tell them about your pregnancy when you feel it is the right time so they can deal with it in the best possible way. Personally, I recommend telling them before your belly starts to grow too much so they can see and fully understand what is happening throughout the entire process but it is entirely up to you and what you think is best for your baby. For us, we told him after our 12-week scan because we had a scan photo to show him something tangible he could see in front of him to help him understand!
 family of four, telling your first child he's having a sibling

Explain Everything: Be Honest

They are bound to have questions, and whether they are big or small you should take them seriously and answer them all as honestly as you can. Our little guy got really hung up on some of the trivial points such as what happens to his toys and will the baby cry a lot, those sorts of things and we answered them all. It is important that he doesn’t feel belittled while he is trying to understand what is going on otherwise he will bottle it up and it can lead to outbursts or bad behaviour.
You also need to be brutally honest about what to expect otherwise they will have illusions of grandeur when the baby arrives. We have explained that babies can cry, are stinky and in the beginning are really boring and fragile so can’t do that much. We also explained you might hear her cry at night and that it is to be expected. Do you remember the shock of being first-time parents? Well, imagine how a toddler is going to feel without all the information!

Prep Them:

There are so many great ways to prepare your child for welcoming a baby sibling into the family. You can find movies for them to watch all about it, or there are hundreds of books out there that you can find to read to them and help them to really understand what is happening. We recently bought (Aff)”There’s a house inside my mummy” and other than one strangely worded page at the back it has been really helpful in trying to explain everything going on and that there really is a baby inside there!
preparing your child for a sibling

Involve Them:

While you may not be allowed to bring them to the doctor or to scans with you, involving them in the process such as name ideas, nursery choices and picking clothes and toys can make them feel more included and integrated into the whole process rather than an outsider who is watching you go through it all. As a pregnant person, we need a lot of support and toddlers can be helpful if you give them the chance! (although sadly we aren’t going with any of the weird name choices he has suggested haha!)
baby scan on sibling

Get Them Excited:

A great way to encourage them is to get them a t-shirt or something of the like that says “big brother” and make sure they also know how much fun having a sibling will be, including playing together and having someone there to watch your back.
It can be nerve-wracking moving from one child to two but you shouldn’t let this reflect on your first child, if they see you are nervous they will be too. As long as they know that they are not any less loved because of another baby then regardless of whether they are having a hard time now, they (and you) will be just fine!
You May Also Like These Pinterest Boards
It's hard to transition from one child to two for everyone, including your first kid! Here are some ways we are preparing our first for a sibling.
*This post may contain affiliate links, this doesn’t change the way you shop but if you want more information check out my Affiliate Policy*

If You like it, Share it, Simple...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInPrint this page

Written by Charlotte

Founder at The Mummy Toolbox

30 Comments

  • Debbie-jean Lemonte (#)
    May 29th, 2017

    I remember when my sister sat her 5 year old son down and told him he was going to have a sister, he was so excited! I do think preparing them for the talk helps.

  • katriza (#)
    May 27th, 2017

    I admit I never bothered to prepare my oldest when my second son came and I’m so glad things worked out the way they did. They are great together now but it took a very long time to get them to this point. I’m sure if I had done any of these tips, it would’ve been easier.

  • angela milnes (#)
    May 25th, 2017

    I really love this post, It’s important to prepare our toddler for having a new baby, My son was already 3 years old when I gave birth to his brother and he’s so excited

  • Angela Bethea (#)
    May 25th, 2017

    I totally agree that one of the best thing that you can do for the older sibling is to get them involve in the pregnancy and to answer their questions.

  • Carol Cassara (#)
    May 25th, 2017

    It’s always important to gauge them with what’s going to happen when their sibling arrives. We should tell them what to expect and how to deal with it. It’s not going to be easy to adjust because the attention will now be divided, but it’s going to be easier if we do these steps.

  • Rachel (#)
    May 25th, 2017

    We got so lucky with our daughter. She is so loving of her brother and they are so cute together. We told her and she was so involved and still is.

  • Heather (#)
    May 25th, 2017

    We only have two children and the age gap between our daughters is six years. Prepping big sister for her baby sibling to arrive was scary because we weren’t sure how she would do. Two years later she is the BEST big sister!

  • CourtneyLynne (#)
    May 25th, 2017

    Great advice! My daughter is an only child so there won’t be any explaining anything to her lol…. I remember my mom telling us about my sister thiugh when my mom was preggo and my brother was definitely not happy about it lol

  • Brittany (#)
    May 24th, 2017

    I’ll never forget the moment I introduced my son to his little newborn brother. It was such a special moment and it went very well!

  • Anvita (#)
    May 24th, 2017

    Sharing this with a friend who is getting ready for her second one. She has been trying to get her first one

  • Latasha Peterson (#)
    May 24th, 2017

    Aww, love this post! I have one son who is 8 months and my hubby and I are thinking about having the next one next year! 🙂

  • Heather (#)
    May 24th, 2017

    I definitely think that involving them is key! When we had our second, my oldest who was just turning 2 at the time, came with me to all of my appointments and loved listening to the baby’s heartbeat. She was very excited when he arrived.

  • Dawn McAlexander (#)
    May 24th, 2017

    That is a cute post, to be honest. My sister-in-law is doing just this now. She has one boy and is expecting another one. She needs to see this post.

  • Toughcookiemommy (#)
    May 24th, 2017

    It is very important to prepare the older sibling for the arrival of a new baby. We did that with our older son and it made the transition so much easier.

  • Amber Nelson (#)
    May 24th, 2017

    Those are great ideas. My oldest was 5 years older than the second child, so it was a little bit easier because she was old enough to think that being a big sister was cool!

  • Donah @ SJB (#)
    May 24th, 2017

    I never really thought that it is hard to let the older child accept their little baby brother or sister. But still, with your blog, those hardships should be gone by now. But I also have little friends who are even begging for their parents to have one.

  • Cindy Ingalls (#)
    May 23rd, 2017

    These are very helpful tips. It can be hard explaining to a toddler that a new baby is coming home. Involving them and keeping them excited can definitely help.

  • Journa Ramirez (#)
    May 23rd, 2017

    My eldest became a big sister in less than a year! And now, she’s a great “ate” (big sister in Filipino) to her two siblings. She helps us and she loves it!

  • daniella (#)
    May 23rd, 2017

    Preparing your children for new siblings on the way is always important.They want to be involved too.

  • Kristina (#)
    May 23rd, 2017

    These are great tips! I have four children and I remember having my second and preparing my oldest. He was so excited!!

  • Heather Garcia (#)
    May 23rd, 2017

    These are great tips! My close friend was having problems with her oldest misbehaving when she got pregnant. I could sense that the oldest was scared she was being replaced. I encouraged her to start including her daughter in the details of the nursery and then letting her make a few changes to her “big girl room” and her whole attitude changed. I know for sure including them works wonders!

  • Kara (#)
    May 23rd, 2017

    Such great ideas and suggestions. I didn’t prepare my oldest very well when his little brother came along and it was kind of a nightmare for a few months.

  • Marcie in Mommyland (#)
    May 22nd, 2017

    These are great tips! We kept our toddler involved in doctor’s appointments and watched a lot of shows with characters that had younger siblings. Thank goodness for Daniel Tiger! The transition went well!

  • Ana De- Jesus (#)
    May 22nd, 2017

    I agree it is important to not rush your first child when telling them about the next sibling. They need time to get round to the idea and it is important to be sensitive x

  • Cassie (#)
    May 22nd, 2017

    I’m the baby of the family so I never had to prepare for another addition haha. But these are some great tips. I’ll remember them for when we have children! It can be such a difficult time for a first child to adjust to!

  • Janel (#)
    May 22nd, 2017

    My kids are eight years apart but I still had some preparing even though there was a big age gap. That was such a long time ago, I think we did a child life class to help prepare my oldest child .

  • Karen | GlamKaren.com (#)
    May 22nd, 2017

    I totally agree with your points and think that involving them in the process will make it more meaningful and make more sense to them. If its kinda a secret or hidden, that might be a major shock to the system! haha… But, getting them excited, watching movies and more will make it all make sense and make it FUN!

  • Sona Jain (#)
    May 22nd, 2017

    Such a lovely post! I really like the idea of talking it through with your first child as they may feel deprived of all the attention that they may be getting.

  • Jessica Joachim (#)
    May 22nd, 2017

    It was quite the adjustment going from one child to two. My daughter was almost 4 when my baby was born so she kind of understood what was going on but she still had her jealous moments. I found that doing things special with just her helped a lot so she would still get attention that she needs

  • robin rue (#)
    May 22nd, 2017

    My son was 3 years and 13 days old when his brother was born. He was super excited to be my little helper.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TMT Instagram

  • 39 weeks  achievement was finding a dress that fits!hellip
  • Today on the blog I am talking about ways youhellip
  • Its family day today!! We are going to the summerhellip
  • After a busy few days with school functions for myhellip
%d bloggers like this: