The second time to bring home a newborn is a little different. With your first child, you are focused on figuring out how to take care of the baby. With your second child, you’re probably wondering how your older child will react to having a new sibling – and how you’re going to meet their needs. Help with adjustments here.
How can I prepare my older child for a new sibling? Start by talking to your oldest child about the arrival of his or her new sibling. Explain in age-appropriate terms how the child is growing and ask him or her to help you set up the child’s nursery. Sign up for a sibling hospital class for kids and parents to learn together what it’s like to be a new sibling.
Explain to the older child that the baby will eat, sleep and cry most of the time. The kid will not immediately become a playmate. If your baby needs to change rooms or get out of the crib to make room for the newborn, do so before the baby is born. This will give your older child a chance to get used to the new environment before they have to deal with the arrival of the baby. Try to complete toilet training for your older child before they are born, or wait a few months after you bring your child home to begin the process.
Arrange for your older child to be cared for during your stay in the hospital or maternity hospital and let the child know that you will be leaving for a short while and will be back. If possible, arrange for your child to visit the hospital or birthing center ahead of time to clear up some of the mystery.