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Getting them ready for a new baby brother or sister

The arrival of a wee baby brother or sister is bound to be a bit of a shock to your other children. Suddenly, you've got a whole new little person to think about, and your older child is going to notice that the attention isn't always on them anymore!

The news may be hard for little minds to grasp, but with a bit of prep you can make it good news for everyone.

Before your new baby arrives

Try to involve your child right from the word go. Let them touch your tummy and tell them about the baby growing inside – but don’t push the subject if they’re not interested. Show them where this new arrival will be sleeping and ask them for help with choosing newborn essentials, like clothes and toys.

Tip #1: Tell it like it is

image of toddlers with pregnant mum

image of toddlers with pregnant mum

Your children won’t be able to play with your new baby at first. So why not take them to visit other families with babies to help them learn what to expect. It’s also a good idea to tell them about the new arrival at the same time as you tell other people.

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Tip #2: Keep things stable

Your children might be a wee bit anxious about how things might change when the new baby arrives. So let them spend time with the person who’ll be looking after them while you’re in labour. And reassure them - tell them that some things won’t change – like going to nursery or popping round to see gran on a Wednesday.

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Tip #3: Our baby

As your pregnancy goes along, it can be a special time to prepare for "our baby". Show them your ultrasound pics and share what baby is doing each week as it’s growing.

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Tip #4: Plan well ahead

Make any changes, such as moving them from a cot to a bed, well in advance so they don’t feel put out. And it’s also best to avoid major changes, such as potty training or starting nursery, too close to the delivery date. Try to give them some sense of when the baby is due by talking about it arriving in the summer or after a holiday or their birthday. Kids under three don't really understand time.

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Tip #5: Ask for their help

Give your child fun "big brother" or "big sister" jobs like helping to pick the toys for baby. What names do they like for baby? Your pregnancy is a lovely time to tell them about silly stories from when they were a baby, and when you were pregnant with them.

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Tip #6: Baby Box

Once you’ve got your Baby Box, get them involved in colouring it in and making it beautiful for their new wee brother or sister. You could get them to help you unpack the box and chat to them about what’s in it.

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From the parents:

  • "Reading books about becoming a sister/brother and sharing as much of the preparation for baby as possible"
  • "We gave our 21-month-old a new baby doll with a car seat as she visited her new baby brother for the first time"
  • "We gave our toddler a present from the baby when he arrived and our toddler chose a present for the baby"

This article was created as part of

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