In Focus:

New sibling: Preparing your older child

Bringing home a newborn is a little different the second time around. With your first child, you were focused on recovering from childbirth and figuring out how to care for a baby. With the second baby, you're likely to wonder how your older child will react to having a new sibling — and how you're going to meet both of their needs. Here's help making the adjustment.

 

How can I prepare my older child for a new sibling?

 

Start by talking to your older child about the arrival of his or her new sibling. Show your older child your growing abdomen and ask him or her to help you set up the baby's nursery. Check into sibling preparation classes at a local hospital.

Explain to your older child that the baby will eat, sleep and cry most of the time. The baby won't be a playmate right away. If your child will need to change rooms or move out of the crib to make space for the new baby, do so before the baby is born. This will give your older child a chance to get used to the new setup before dealing with the baby's arrival.

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