It is not always easy for a child to welcome a new baby sibling into the family, especially if they are used to getting all of Mom and Dad's attention. Let your older child know that she is just as special as she always was. Make a big deal about her becoming an older sibling and how important she will be to the new baby. Engage your child in activities that allow her to feel included and excited about the new arrival.
Make Matching Sibling Clothing
Have your child decorate a plain T-shirt and a newborn infant bodysuit for her new sibling. Using nontoxic fabric paints, your child can write phrases such as "No. 1 Big Sis," on her shirt and "Cool Little Bro," or the bodysuit, for example. Your child will feel special wearing her shirt and showing off her new sibling wearing his as well. Your child can also decorate other articles of clothing, such as a plain canvas baseball hat for herself and a plain newborn hat for the baby. You could also have your child put her handprint on the baby's shirt and, when the baby is born, put the baby's handprint on hers.
Decorate Baby's Room
Help your child know she is an important part of the preparations for the new baby by letting her help decorate the baby's room. You could have her draw pictures for the baby, then frame the pictures and hang it in the nursery. Another idea for an older child is to have her do an acrostic poem using the new baby's name, to frame and hang up in the nursery. For example, if the new baby's name is Amanda, she might write A for Amazing, M for My new friend and so forth. If you are painting the baby's room, your child can also participate. Even if her strokes are a little messy, you can always go over it with your own.
Picture and Photo Books
Get your child's creative juices flowing by encouraging her to write a little book of advice to her new little sibling. She can write one piece of advice on each sheet of paper, based on her own experiences. For instance, she could write "Don't walk in the house with muddy shoes. It makes Mommy mad!" or "ask Daddy to check under your bed for monsters before you go to sleep." If your child does not have strong writing skills, you can write down her words and she can add the illustration. You can use plain letter paper stapled together for the book, or you can purchase a blank small book with a canvas cover that your child can decorate. Another idea is to let your child document preparations for the baby, allowing her to take pictures with a disposable or kid-sized camera. She might take pictures of the nursery, going shopping for baby items and of Mommy's belly. Develop the pictures and have your child create a photo book or a photo collage, something the siblings can bond over when they are older.
Family Introduction Activities
Your child can create a family tree to show her new sibling. It can be a simple, construction paper project where you child pastes pictures of everyone in the family on a tree. Next to each person, your child could write something about that person, from her perspective. For example, next to Daddy she might write, "Likes to make funny faces. Does not like oatmeal." Another idea is to have your child make a family introduction video. You can film your child walking around the house, introducing the baby to family members, the family pet, showing her the nursery and giving any big sibling advice. Allow your child to "show" the video to the new baby. You can always pull out the video occasionally as both kids get older, which can be both humorous and bonding for them.
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