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Siblings: Preparing my child for the arrival of a new baby

Here are some positive actions you can take to help your child prepare for a new baby:

  • Let your child know that the baby is coming two or three months before the birth. Talk about the changes that will take place in the household, and answer any questions she may have about birth and reproduction in a way that suits her age.

  • Assure your child that you will love him just the same.

  • Make your child feel important by saying, "You're going to be a big brother (or sister)." Let your child know he has a role and a relationship with the new baby.

  • Have your child help in choosing a name, and in picking out baby cloths. Let your child feel the baby kicking.

  • Take your child to visit someone else's new baby, so he can learn what to expect and get used to the size and sounds of an infant.

  • If you are the mother, encourage your partner to spend more time with your child before the birth, so she becomes used to that before you get too busy with the baby.

  • If your child is going to be moved out of a crib and into a bed, it's best to do this long before the new baby arrives. This gives your older child time to become attached to the "new bed." This way he won't think the move out of a favourite sleeping place (the crib) was because of the new baby.

  • Read children's books that are about new babies to your child. This website has several good suggestions to choose from.

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