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Your Little One's Siblings

If you have an older child (or children) in the house, you should definitely prepare him or her for the arrival of a new sibling. Children's reactions can be unpredictable, ranging from excited and welcoming to jealous and difficult.

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to ease the process for them as well as yourself.

  • Let your child know that a new sibling is on the way.
  • Consider taking your child along on a prenatal visit. He or she may enjoy meeting the doctor and listening to fetus's heartbeat.
  • Educate your child and expose him or her to everything you can about the birth process. Use drawings and photos to help him or her understand.
  • Once little one arrives, introduce this new family member to your child as soon as possible.
  • When you return home from the hospital, reassure your child that everything is all right. This is especially important if you have been away for several days or more.
  • Reassure your child that you have enough love for more than one child.
  • Don't be surprised if your older child reverts to babyish behavior for a short time. This is a normal response to stress and change. Try to respond with patience, not annoyance.
  • Always praise your older child for his or her attempts to help with the little one.
  • Remember that your child will be influenced by your own attitudes and expectations.

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