You’ve got the checklist. You’ve stocked up on the new baby must haves. You’ve prepared the nursery. But, what about your older kids and their readiness for a new little human to arrive?
Bringing a new baby home with older siblings is exciting but can also be a bit tricky at times. We’ve rounded up some of our top tips (and products) to help you get your older kids involved and looking forward to the arrival of their new little brother or sister.
- Practice, Practice, Practice!
Practice makes progress, and when it comes to helping your older kids to get ready for baby, practice goes a long way. Not only does it help them to understand the practical side of caring for a new baby, it also helps them begin to prepare emotionally by practicing awareness and empathy. For this type of practice, we LOVE the entire Dinkum Doll range with its accessories. Your child can use their imagination and put their developmental skills to great use as they create play scenarios to care for their doll – from holding to feeding to changing their clothes and putting them to sleep – this is the perfect range for them to practice with!
2. Get Them Involved….In Everything!
Making sure that your older children are a part of the entire process is so beneficial. It’s a brilliant way to help build their sense of worthiness by asking for their input every step of the way. We love the idea of letting the older kids choose a couple elements for the nursery or which colour/pattern of receiving blankets and hooded towels to go for. Giving them the control reinforces the message that they are very much a part of this big, new change and they can look on with pride when their new sibling is using any of the elements they chose!
3. Make A Clear Plan
As the due date nears, sit together and make a clear plan for where your children will be before, during and after your trip to the hospital. When and where will they be meeting their new sibling? What will that look like? Take their opinions on board and make a plan together as a family. When the day arrives, having the peace of mind that your children are clear in the plan, knowing that their minds are at rest, is hugely reassuring for everyone.
4. Gift Time!
Giving and receiving is a brilliant way to help your older children get ready for baby. Let them choose a gift to give to their new baby brother or sister…something special that they have chosen and are excited to give. Some great options for this include the Olli Ella Rattles, the FLATOUT Baby Bears and the Grimms Bead Grasper.
Don’t forget to choose something ahead of time for baby to give to their older siblings on arrival. It’s such a simple step in helping your children form positive relationships from the off.
5. Quality Time
This might feel like a tall order when baby arrives…let’s be honest, it can get hectic! But even just a few minutes of individual, quality time with your older kids after baby arrives is really important. When we were in the early days and couldn’t easily take long periods away, we did things like letting the older kids stay up a little bit later and having ice cream together as a special treat or leaving baby at home and going for a short walk together to our favourite park. No gesture of time spent together is ever too short. As baby grows and your time becomes more available, take up a new hobby together – maybe cinema dates or paddle boarding – something just for you two to look forward to and enjoy.
If you’re in the new baby boat this summer, we’d love to hear your ideas for how you’re getting your entire family ready for your new arrival.