Welcoming a New Baby into a Busy Household: Tips for Preparing Older Siblings

Family Health Diary

Preparing to welcome your second baby is a very exciting time. You may feel a little more confident knowing what to expect from a newborn this time around… However, you might not feel as confident about heading into the unknown world of parenting multiples, and what that means for your first born. Your precious first born has had you all to themselves for a while, and now their world is about to be turned upside down, and you’re wondering how on earth you will cope! Fear not, you’re not alone. We’re here to help! Every child is different, but helping an older sibling understand more about their new role can help to make the transition a little smoother for them. So, let’s get into some tips for prepping those older siblings for the arrival of their tiny co-conspirator.


Build Excitement:
The idea of sharing toys and attention might sound like the apocalypse to your older children. So make sure to emphasise the joys of having a new baby in the house. Talk about how they’ll be the coolest big brother/sister ever and all the fun adventures they’ll have together.

Reading a book about welcoming a new sibling can be a great way to take the pressure off the conversation, whilst still getting your child to think about what the future might look like. We love ‘Baby On The Way’ from My Big Moments. You can personalise it to include your child as the helpful problem solver in the story, and it also includes some handy tips for parents.


Involve Your Older Child in the Prep:
Turn baby prep into a family affair! Let the older siblings help choose baby gear, decorate the nursery (you may have to compromise on the perfect Pinterest setup), and pick out adorable onesies. It’ll make them feel like their opinion matters.


Set Realistic Expectations:
As with lot of new situations, there are highs and lows. Let your older kids know that babies cry, a lot. And they don’t come equipped with an off switch. Explain that the baby will need lots of attention and care, but reassure them that they’ll still get their fair share of snuggles and playtime.



Brief Your Visitors:
Ask visitors ahead of time to greet your older child first. It can be very jarring if the people who usually are excited to see them ignore them in their excitement to see the baby. Often, the older child will then introduce the baby themselves without prompting.


Plan Special Big Sibling Time:
Amidst the newborn chaos, carve out special one-on-one time with your older kids. Whether it’s a movie night, a trip to the park, or baking cookies together, make them feel valued and cherished amidst the baby-centric hubbub.


Everyone’s Needs Matter:
Your child is probably going to hear some version of ‘hold on/one minute/when mummy’s done feeding the baby…’ quite a bit. When you can, flip the script and find opportunities to let your older child hear you say things like ‘one minute baby, I’m helping your big brother/sister right now…’ to help them understand that they are also a priority.


Stock Up on Patience (and Snacks):
Let’s face it, adding a new baby to the mix is like throwing an adorable little grenade into your well-oiled machine of a routine (for a while). There will be meltdowns (from both kids and parents), sleepless nights, and moments of utter chaos. Take a deep breath, embrace the chaos, and remember that this too shall pass. And when all else fails, there’s always chocolate.


Children aside, you are about to go through a big change too. Whilst little people need a lot of care and attention, don’t forget that you are also a human being with needs as well. Accept help when it is offered, and reach out when it is needed. And remember… there will always be someone who has a messier house than you.

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