Prepping your firstborn for a sibling

A toddler is carefree, living a happy life with their parent’s lives revolving around them. Having a new
addition to the family is a very confusing and life altering situation for them. Sometimes they become
arrogant and start loathing the idea of having another baby around.
When I found out about my second pregnancy, my primary concern was how my 3 year old daughter
would react. Having a slightly strained relationship with my brother, I had always wanted my kids to
share a good bond. I researched a lot, spoke with many people who have gone through this situation,
read a lot of books and articles and came up with few pointers which I felt would help my daughter to
warm up a little better to the idea of sharing her parents with another child. I hope they would be
helpful to you too.
1. The moment you find out you are pregnant, you can start reading books like peppa pig, Charlie
and Lola, Ling and Ting to your child which would give them an idea that it is fun to have a
younger sibling around.
2. Once you feel your child is warming up to the idea, you can share the news with your child. It is
very important that the child hears the news from the parents themselves and in a non
threatening manner, like; you will be soon having a new friend to play around with!
3. Make the child feel as involved as possible. I told my daughter that the baby came in my dreams
and told me that it wants her sister to choose the first toy it would play with and the first dress it
would wear. My daughter felt very special and after that whenever she bought a toy or a dress
for herself she made sure to buy one for the baby also. It also eliminated the possibility of any
jealousy she might have felt when we would have shopped for the baby.
4. Call your child to feel the kicks and say things like baby is giving you a high five as it is excited to
meet it’s brother/sister.
5. On a regular basis tell them that the baby would love them the most and wants to learn from
them how to play with their toys. This way child would be ok with the idea of sharing toys as
they would feel baby is looking up to them.
6. Take them along for the ultrasounds where they can see the baby’s face. Say things like baby is
beautiful just like you are!
7. I told my daughter that the baby is missing it’s sister and wants a kiss. My daughter would then
sing rhymes to the baby, tell stories and give kisses on my tummy.
8. Many a times, child is told things like mummy daddy would only love the new baby now. Make
sure no other relative is telling your child things which would make them feel concerned about
your love for them after the arrival of the baby, even when they are misbehaving there are
many constructive ways to make them understand what they should or should not do. Such
statements would create a base for future sibling rivalry.
9. Lastly, Pregnancy is a difficult time for the mom to be and many a times your child would see
you unwell but make sure never to tell them that it’s because of the pregnancy as they might
feel that the baby is harming their momma. Instead, be very casual about it and say you are
generally not feeling well and would get better soon.

– Swati Garg
Swati is an accomplished writer who has worked for different magazines. Currently she is juggling
between her two angels and trying to share with us her bitter-sweet learnings as mother.


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