How to Prepare Your 10-Year-Old for a New Sibling

Adding a new baby to your family is an exciting event. However, if you have a 10-year-old you may worry about how he will feel about the new sibling -- and may want to find a way to ease the transition for him. School-age children tend to adjust to a new baby easier than younger children do; But they may still worry about where they will fit in when the baby arrives -- and they may feel jealous of the attention the baby gets. By adequately preparing your 10-year-old for his new sibling, you can increase the odds that the transition when your baby arrives will go as smoothly as possible.

Instructions

    • 1

      Let your 10-year-old know about her new sibling before -- or at least at the same time -- that you announce your pregnancy to friends and family. If she hears about the baby from someone other than you, she may feel hurt or wonder why you kept the information from her.

    • 2

      Involve your 10-year-old in preparing for the new baby. Let him help you pick out bedding and furniture for the nursery and paint the room. Have him buy an outfit for the baby. Ask him to suggest possible baby names.

    • 3

      Help your 10-year-old feel connected to the new baby. Go through her baby book, look at her baby pictures and talk about what she was like as a baby. Refer to the baby as "your sister" or "your brother." Take her to some of your prenatal appointments, so she can see ultrasounds of the baby or listen to the baby's heartbeat.

    • 4

      Talk about what your 10-year-old can expect when the new baby arrives. Tell him that the baby will mostly eat and sleep at first, and you will have to spend a lot of time taking care of the baby. Read a book with him about childbirth and a new sibling. Let him practice holding a doll gently. Discuss ways he can help you with the baby, such as feeding the baby a bottle, changing the baby's diapers and rocking the baby to sleep.

    • 5

      Sign your 10-year-old up for a sibling birth class, if your hospital offers them. A class can provide your child with more information about what to expect with a new baby and teach her about baby care. It also may help her talk about her feelings about having a new brother or sister.

    • 6

      Include your 10-year-old in the baby's birth. If you think your child would appreciate being present when the baby is born, let him watch videos about childbirth ahead of time, so he knows what to expect. Arrange for an adult to be present who can watch him, find him something to eat if he gets hungry and take him from the room if he needs or wants to leave for any reason. If he doesn't want to attend the birth -- or you are worried he wouldn't handle it well -- bring him to the hospital as soon as possible after the baby is born. Let him hold the baby, so he can begin to bond with his new sibling.

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References

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