I'm sharing a very special and beautiful moment with you all. It's the day that Suleiman met his baby brother Isaac. One of the things that I was most nervous about when I first found out about my pregnancy was how my son would get along with his sibling. I was worried that he would resent me or feel hurt.
You can see the mix of emotions over his face as he is introduced to his brother, but I'm going to let you in on how I got my toddler excited about having a baby brother or sister. Here are my top 10 tips on how to get your child excited about having a baby brother or sister.
- Tell them about the baby while you're pregnant. Explain that this baby will be better than any friend, that the baby already loves them so much.
- Let them feel the baby move, give kisses to your bump and tell them that the baby is so excited to meet them and can't wait to play with them.
- Let them actively help you prepare for the baby. Be it that they pick out an outfit from the shop for baby or a stuffed toy. It helps build the relationship of big brother or sister helps look after baby.
- If you have a name for baby, tell them that name so it's not foreign to them when they meet the baby for the first time.
- Read books about siblings to them. I found these very helpful with my son.
- If you have siblings, explain that they are your brother(s) or sister(s). Gives them real world understanding of what it looks like.
- When they come to meet baby, have a small present from YOU to them. Why? Because it's YOUR attention they want in that moment. They miss you. We gifted our son a backpack for preschool stuffed with stickers and colouring books and we explained that he was our big boy and how proud we are of him for being such a great big brother to the baby.
- Let them hold the baby (supervised) and if they get upset, don't get mad at them. Tell them instead, "You seem upset. I know it must be tough having a new baby brother/sister, but you are doing such a great job! I love you. I am so proud of how kind you are" This will hopefully encourage more loving interactions between the two instead of fights.
- Never say things like "don't do this or that TO BABY". Always generalize. That way it's not something they continue to seek out against their sibling. Instead say "we don't hit each other" "we don't hurt each other" "we love each other". This way the message is relayed back to them and how they want to be treated.
- Before saying anything to baby, fill your older childs "cup" first. Example, before I say "oh you're so cute Izzy!" I say "Oh you're so cute Sully, you're so cute Izzy, my boys are so cute". This way everyone is validated and they won't seek out to get your attention as much, because they're getting it already.
For more advice and strategies about motherhood, check out my channel. I share my real and raw journey as a mama of two.