How to introduce your child to a new baby

If you're expecting a second lil’ one, consider a creative way to introduce your child to the family's newest addition. Here, some tried and true methods (which worked for my little family) for ensuring that the initial meet and greet is a smooth, successful, and special one.

1. Have a countdown to the birth. Get your older child excited about the impending arrival by hanging a ‘Countdown to Baby’ calendar in your home. Offer a little trinket on each day of the final countdown, just like a Christmas advent calendar, building up to the best gift of all – the baby!
 
2. Help them choose a name. Involve the soon-to-be big brother or sister in choosing a name for the new baby. If his or her suggestion is a little too “exotic” for your liking, then rather let them choose a nickname. Alyssa called Aidan “Choc” while I was pregnant and she still calls him that occasionally.
 
3. Read all about it. Story time is a great way to get your child used to the idea of a sibling. “My New Baby” by Rachel Fuller was a great addition to Alyssa’s storybook collection and gave her a good idea of what life may be like once her little brother arrived.
 
4. Show and tell. Replay the older sibling’s infancy by paging through his baby album. During this introductory dialogue, you can plant seeds to help your older child have an idea of what to expect, such as: "Tiny babies nurse a lot," or "Mommy will carry the baby a lot, just like I did with you."
 
5. A gift from baby. Offering the older sibling a gift from his or her new sibling is a great way to help the introduction go smoothly. Also consider buying new toys for your older child such as puzzles, games and crafts to keep them entertained while you nurse your new baby.
 
Have reasonable expectations and give the older sibling time to take in the new family dynamics. Soon enough they will be best of friends! 

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