Practical Parenting Ideas: 10 Ways to help an older child adjust to the new baby

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

10 Ways to help an older child adjust to the new baby

Stacia Klemas Photography - All rights reserved

The arrival of a new baby is typically an adjustment for an older child. While some accept baby with only a little jealousy, others may take longer to get used to the new arrangement (Say what? I have to share mom and dad now?). Although you can't quite know how they'll react until after baby is born, there are a lot of ways you can help the transition go more smoothly.

1. Let him help you set up the baby's room, such as, organizing blankets, clothes, or diaper changing items.
2. Invite her to draw pictures to hang in the nursery to welcome baby home.
3. Try to say "OUR baby." That way he feels like it's his baby, too.
4. When you have a baby shower, get her something special too so she doesn't think the baby gets it all. If you're not having a shower, give the gift when the baby is born.
5. Buy him a baby doll to play with. Having their own doll to feed, change, and put to sleep can help when they're trying to be too involved with baby.

Stacia Klemas Photography - All rights reserved

6. Get her excited about being a big sister by talking about how she can help care for baby. You could mention feeding, changing diapers, bathing, etc.
7. If possible, bring him to an ultrasound. He'll be amazed to see baby moving inside!
8. Keep a small bin of activities near where you feed baby to keep her happy playing and still be able to be close to you.
9. Try to include him as much as possible when he's interested in caring for baby. He could bring you a diaper or blanket, read baby a book, etc.
10. Make the most out of one-on-one time with the older child when baby is sleeping. Although they require a lot of care, new babies also sleep a lot!

Rest assured your child will adjust with time while you get used to life with a toddler and a newborn. In fact, you'll probably both be so used to it that a few months later you will hardly even remember what it was like to have just one!

The photos in this post were used with permission by Stacia Klemas Photography, a local Salt Lake City and Utah County photographer. For more information about her services, visit

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