Tips and advice on welcoming additional children into your family
Are you preparing to welcome a baby into your family? And do you already have one or more other children? If so, you might be worried about how your existing children will feel and act toward the new addition. And you’re not alone, because this is a very common concern of expecting moms. So today we’re offering some tips and advice on welcoming #2, #3, or beyond!
How can you help your other children prepare for baby’s arrival?
The answer to this question depends, at least in part, on the age(s) of your other child(ren). For instance, there’s only so much a toddler can understand about the fact that they have a new sibling on the way. But, an older child can comprehend what’s happening, and you can invite them to share their feelings and be involved in preparing for baby’s arrival.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has some great advice on How to Prepare Your Older Children for a New Baby that includes specific pointers for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged kids. Perhaps most importantly, go easy on your other child(ren) during the initial get-to-know-the-baby phase. They may act up at first, or regress a bit. Attend to their needs, give them a little extra attention, and try to keep changes in their routine to a minimum.
We also love this list from PBS of Children’s Books About a New Baby Sibling.
How can you best prepare for your new addition?
Your life is about to get busier and—let’s be honest—probably a bit more chaotic. But, with a little planning, you (and your spouse/significant other) can be as organized and ready as possible for when your new baby joins the family. Think: declutter, stock up on essentials, and get the house baby-proofed (again!).
Think about the following:
Would it make sense to make any new arrangements for my older kids, as far as babysitting, activities, etc.?
Do I need to streamline, automate, or outsource any chores, shopping needs, etc.?
What can I do to be as ready as possible for baby’s arrival, as far as getting clothing, supplies, etc. organized?
Who can I call on when I need extra support or a helping hand after the new baby arrives?
As much as you “plan,” however, it will still be a big adjustment. And some days may feel very un-glamorous, un-productive, or otherwise frustrating those first months. Things will get better!
Also, know that it’s very common to have fears as to whether you could possibly love an addition baby as much as you love your other child(ren). But, truth be told, we haven’t met a mom yet whose heart didn’t expand to accommodate the newest addition to the family! It might take a little time, but try not to worry.
Do you have any awesome, sanity-saving tips on preparing for a new baby? We’d love to hear!