How to Prepare your Child for the new Baby
March 17, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

A new member of the family always brings about changes. While parents spend most of their time and energy preparing to welcome the newborn, their children often times feel neglected or aren´t really sure what is going on. And once the newborn arrives, most parents´ attention involves the baby´s needs and family dynamics change abruptly. For a child who is used to getting all the attention, these changes affect him directly. His new baby sister can seem like competition and he will most likely feel jealous or pressured to suddenly have to grow up. That is why it is so important to prepare your children for the child that is on its way and make understand the situation and feel valued.

During the pregnancy process 

Make your child get involved. Tell him when the baby is due and how it is growing inside your belly. If he´s in preschool, he won´t have a grasp for time so use terms he can relate to such as: “Your sister will come in the Summer or Winter.”

Read children books together that deal with the issue of new siblings and give him the space and time to talk to you about his feelings or any questions he might have.

Explain what will happen before and after the baby comes so he knows what to expect.  If you make arrangements for him to spend some time with grandma or his favorite aunt, make sure he knows what´s going on and make it fun.


Allow your child to accompany you to prenatal appointments so he can hear the   baby´s heartbeat. After your visit to the doctor, do something fun together.

Look at pictures of when your son was a baby and talk to him about how excited you were when he was born and how important he is to you.

You might also let him help in picking a name.

Grant him a sense of superiority by explaining that the baby can´t do most of the things he can like talk, play, watch a movie, make friends, etc… This will help boost his self-esteem.

Tricky as it may seem, try not bringing up the baby every chance you get. Make sure you talk about things that matter to him so he doesn´t end up feeling that the baby is the most important thing for you.

After the Baby Arrives

Make sure your child continues to be involved by helping change the diapers or hold and feed the baby – only if he wants to – and keep routines as normal as possible.

Give him the attention he deserves. Make time to play together, help him with his homework or make his favorite cookies.  Make him know he is still important.

Encourage your kids to talk about their feelings for the baby – even if this may imply anger – and remember not to get upset if they arent initially interested in the newborn. Allow him to express their feelings even if they are unpleasant.

Following is a list of recommended books to read with your child before and after the baby arrives:

I´m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole and Rosalinda Kightley

I´m a Big Brother by Joanna Cole and Rosalinda Kightly

Me, Lidia and the Baby by Dimiter Inkiow and Anne Decis

Clara has a Baby Brother by Kelly Crull and Paulina Jiménez Aguilar

Don´t Cry Baby by Kelly Crull and Alejandra Quiceno


Photo Credits: Dan Harrelson

(niña con bebe)

Photo Credits:

Jason Lander (niño con bebe)

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