Monday 27 April 2015

Prepararing for a New Sibling

Twice in his three and a half short years Dylan has welcomed a new baby brother.  He is a naturally laid back child which has made things easier, and as he was so young when Archie was born, I don't think he remembers a time before his brother arrived, but there are still a few things we did to try and make the transition as smooth as possible.

We told Dylan about the pregnancy after our first scan, so that he didn't go blurting the news before we were ready to share.  He was very excited and after about 3 weeks of being asked every morning whether the baby was here yet, we stopped talking about it so much.  Toddlers have not got a great sense of time and six months isn't easily distinguished from 6 days.  We then decided not to make a big deal of it until we were in the final weeks and that seemed to work well for us.

Getting him used to what having a baby involved made things less of a shock on the big day.  You can buy them baby dolls or use a toy you already have.  Dylan loved joining in changing his toy's nappy, and pushing him around in his little pushchair alongside me.

There are some great books to help explain to little ones about what is happening.  Our favourite was 'There's a house inside my mummy' and I read it to both boys this time to help them understand why my tummy was growing and what their brother was up to.

When Finn was born smaller than we were expecting, we went to the shops to buy him some new clothes that might fit.  I was trying to decide between stars and stripes when Dylan politely informed me that his brother would prefer dinosaurs or monsters - after a little hunt as newborn dinosaurs are not easy to find (H and M if you have a similar dilemma) and we have one very proud big brother, who got to buy the baby a present.

It is very hard to prepare a toddler for the realities of breastfeeding and quite how much time you spend stuck on a sofa, but having a special box worked well for us. I had a little stash next to the sofa of stickers and other easy toys that the boys could only have when I was feeding Finn.  It meant they were happy, and I chose only things they could do alone.  I also had snacks and drinks in there, as you know they are suddenly starving hungry as soon as you get comfortable!

Dylan and Archie have coped so well with their brother's arrival despite a difficult start, and watching my three boys together makes me so proud.  

Do you have any tips for helping toddlers adapt to a new sibling?

Disclaimer:  In collaboration with the Toy Store


  1. I think my main plan was to blag it and go with the flow. A special box for when you're breastfeeding is a great idea as is getting the older one to buy the new baby a gift. Great tips x

  2. We loved the same book, and found another about becoming a big sister. CM was only 22mths when her brothers came along, and we did similar to you, involving her as much from the get go. Fortunately, with two she was outnumbered and probably had no choice but to accept them than be overruled by them- she really is queen bee!


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