icon-find icon-search icon-print icon-share icon-close icon-play chevron-down icon-chevron-right icon-chevron-left chevron-small-left chevron-small-right icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-mail icon-youtube icon-pinterest icon-google_plus icon-tik_tok icon-instagram icon-linkedin icon-arrow-right icon-arrow-left icon-download cross minus plus icon-map icon-list offers-tag

Five Helpful Ways to Prepare Your Child for a New Sibling

Bringing home a new baby will change the family dynamic in many ways. It can be difficult for an older child or children to adjust to sharing their parents’ time and attention with a new sibling.

While every family’s experience will be different, there are a few strategies that may make the transition easier. Here are a few tips for parents who are getting ready to bring a new baby home.


How to Help a Sibling Adjust to a New Baby


Don’t Assume Scenarios

In a dream world, the older child welcomes the new baby with open arms and excitement, but that may not happen immediately. It is normal for your older child to not understand or be excited about their new sibling. Don’t force anything! Let them explore, ask questions, and even leave the room to do their own thing. Give your oldest child time if they don’t want anything to do with the baby.

Maintain a Routine

Many parents decide to pull older children out of daycare or preschool while a parent is home on maternity or paternity leave. While that often makes sense financially, the sudden loss of a routine can be tough on children who are already adjusting to a big change at home. Keeping children in daycare can give them a sense of stability and control. If money is tight, consider switching to a part-time childcare schedule instead of pulling the child out entirely.


Childcare Options at New Horizon Academy


Let the Older Child Help

Many older siblings want to be a part of everything involving the new baby and are eager to help care for their new brother or sister. If that sounds like your child, allow them to help with simple tasks like getting diapers, fetching pacifiers, etc. If your child is not interested in helping with the new baby, don’t force them, and let them have that space.

Think Before You Say

As you get comfortable having two children, try to be mindful of the language you use. While it may be easiest to tell your older child to hold on when the baby is crying, instead say, “Could you please wait, baby? Your older sister needs me right now.” This will help your older child to not feel like they are coming second.

Schedule One-on-One Time

While you are likely to be busy with the newborn, try to spend one-on-one time with your older child. It can be as simple as going for a walk to the park or taking them on a grocery trip, but they will love having solo time with you.


For more ideas and information on how to help new siblings adjust, check out the “New Siblings” episode of the Parenting Pickup podcast. On the episode, New Horizon Academy Mental Health Specialist Amanda Mason shares advice on how to prepare for a new baby, and what to do after the baby arrives. You can listen to the episode on Spotify or anywhere you get podcasts.

New Horizon Academy is a family-owned, nationally recognized childcare and early learning provider with more than 90 schools in Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, and Idaho. Through an age-appropriate curriculum and high-quality daycare and preschool, New Horizon Academy nurtures and prepares children to succeed in kindergarten – and beyond.

Schedule a tour at your neighborhood New Horizon Academy to learn more about our highly trained teachers, safe and secure facilities, and ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality care for young children. Contact a New Horizon Academy childcare center near you today!

Find a School

1 Comment

Join the conversation * Required

Find School
Shape Created with Sketch. Schedule Tour
Contact Us