Preparing your child for the birth of a sibling is best done before your baby is born.

As your pregnancy continues, your child is likely to wonder about the change in your body. Let your child participate in discussions about the baby.

Very young children may be mostly concerned about where the baby is located; they may be confused if told it is in “mommy’s stomach,” as if the baby were nestled alongside mom’s dinner. Simple pictures from a good book for children, and straightforward answers to their questions will tell them what they need for now.

Older children may worry about how a new baby will affect their lives. Where will the baby sleep? Who will take care of the older child while mom takes care of the baby? Again, talking and providing clear answers will give older siblings the reassurance they need to look forward to the day the baby comes home.

Involve the Big Brother or Sister

Let a sibling help prepare for the new baby by:

  • Encouraging feeding, diapering and caring for a doll
  • Attending sibling classes
  • Visiting the hospital before delivery
  • Asking for help packing your hospital suitcase and choosing the baby's coming-home clothes
  • Giving gifts from new baby
  • Asking the sibling to help take the new baby home from the hospital

At Home with the Baby

When you get home with the new baby:

  • Spend special time each day with the older child
  • Encourage the sibling to help in age-appropriate ways (singing to the baby, assisting with diaper changes, etc.)
  • Let the sibling be guests’ tour guide and open baby's gifts
  • Cuddle, read or sing to the sibling, when breastfeeding

Attend a Sibling Class

Texas Health offers a program that brings a group of siblings-to-be together and helps them explore their expectations and feelings about having a new baby in the family. Practice time for loving, holding and swaddling a baby and a tour of the hospital are included. Find a class now!

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