Expectant Parents: Preparing your child for a new sibling.

Read our tips on how to prep your little one for the latest addition to your family

Congratulations you are expecting another baby and it is fabulous news for you and your family.
However you can’t help but feel a little apprehensive about the effect a new baby will have on your other kids. There is no need to worry though as here at Family Friendly HQ we know only too well about introducing a new sibling to your child, and we have some handy tips and advice.
Breaking the news
Before you decide on a time to tell your child about the new addition to the family, consider the concept of time for a child. While 9 months will fly by for you this is a very long period of time for a young child, so best to wait until you are at least past the first trimester mark.
When you do tell your little one it is best to do it at a time that there are no distractions and it's just you guys. If you are due in the winter you can explain to your youngster about how it is spring now but by winter there will be a new arrival.
Of course your child will be full of questions and it will open up a whole can of worms on “where do babies come from?” and the book shops/libraries have a huge amount of books to help answer this tough question and you can buy age appropriate ones for your child.
Preparations for the new baby
Now that your little one understands about having a new baby brother or sister it is time to prepare, and by all means let your child play a part in the preparations. If you have any friends or family with babies be sure to visit and allow your child to hold them or kiss them, encourage your tot to be gentle and careful. Bring your child with you when you are buying new things for the baby and let them have a say in designs they like for where the baby will sleep. If you feel comfortable take your little one for appointments where you hear the baby’s heart beat and this will let your kiddie realise how real the new arrival is.
Another way to include your first born is to sit down and go through the baby names book and note all the names you all like as a family. There may be some silly sounding requests but the main thing is your darling feels included and important. Take out all their own baby photos and show them to your son or daughter and tell them how much they have grown up and explain that now they are going to be a big brother or sister.
Time for the new arrival
Be fully clear about who will care for them when you go into labour, and be sure to make sure it is someone your child is familiar with and likes a lot! The last thing you will need is to be fretting about your youngsters care and leave him/her kicking and screaming. Once you have had your new little baby let your tot visit especially if you are going to be kept in for a few days. We recommend a little toy or teddy as a token gift from the new baby to the best big sister/brother, likewise let your older child pick a gift for baby.  
More Tips
When you arrive home be sure to pass your new born on to your partner/family member and sit down with your other child, and give them loads of cuddles and kisses. It is now that one on one attention is vital - especially in these first few days, and remind family and friends visiting to take an interest in them.  If your older kid is of school going age keep to the general routine and when they are at home include them in the care of your new born. When your baby is sleeping try have a little bit of quality time with your older one and remind them how much they are loved. There may be times when your child might act up or show no interest in the wee baby, so try put your new nipper aside and talk about their feelings and let them express themselves. It can be a hard transition for a child from having your full attention to sharing you but they will soon settle down.
Enjoy your new baby and enjoy watching your other kids grow into the big sisters or brothers, and don’t worry soon enough they will be peas in a pod-causing mischief!

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