With four children, we’ve introduced a new baby to a sibling three different times.
Shortly before Ani – our second child – was born, I heard somewhere a great suggestion about how to make that introduction pleasant and smooth, and we used it every time since then!
If you’re welcoming a new sibling to your family, I hope this will be helpful to you!
My favorite way to introduce a new baby to a sibling
The day after Ani was born, Bart went home to get Ella (my mom was staying with her) and they went on a little date together to buy a present for Ani, plus a little treat for Ella.
Bart texted me when they were on their way into the hospital and I sent Ani to the hospital nursery. When Ella arrived a few minutes later, I was able to give her my full attention and we snuggled for a bit and she told me all about the things she’d done with my mom and showed me her present for Ani.
Then she and Bart went down to the nursery and brought Ani back in her little bassinet and Ella was THRILLED to show me her new little sister and carefully hold her.
It felt a thousand times better to me than Ella coming into the hospital room to find her mom – who had basically just disappeared for a day and a half – snuggling a replacement baby.
I’ve had all my babies in a hospital so, obviously if you’re in a birthing center or at home, things will be a little different. And I know that many hospitals no longer even offer a nursery options (this was the case when my fourth daughter was born), but you could still ask a nurse to take your baby for five minutes or put the baby in a bassinet in the room rather than be holding them.
The main takeaway is that it’s a big ask for a toddler who has been the star of the show for the last year or two or three to show up and be excited about everyone fawning over a new baby. As Ralphie from Simply On Purpose likes to say – how would you feel about your significant other strolling in with their arm around a new wife/husband and expecting you to be enthusiastic about it?
Giving them a little attention and love first thing and letting them be part of bringing the new baby into your family circle helps them realize they haven’t been replaced.
And, of course, it’s much less challenging – I think – for subsequent siblings because they’re much more used to the idea of a sibling already then when you make the transition from one child to two.
And the age of your children matters a lot too – a six or seven year old will understand the idea of a new baby in a whole different way than a toddler will.
How have you introduced a new baby to the siblings? I’d love to hear!