The arrival of a new baby can bring many changes to a family. Parents spend a lot of energy on preparations, and after the baby arrives, much of the family's attention involves caring for the newborn.
All this change can be hard for older siblings to handle. It's common for them to feel jealousy toward the newborn and to react to the upheaval by acting out.
But parents can prepare kids for an addition to the family. Discussing the pregnancy in terms that make sense to kids, making some arrangements, and including kids in the care of the newborn can make things easier for everyone.
During PregnancyTo tell a child about an impending sibling, consider your own comfort level and your child's maturity level. Preschoolers, for example, may not grasp concepts of time, so it might not mean much if you say that the baby will arrive in a few months. It may be more useful to explain that the baby will arrive in a particular season, such as winter or when it's cold outside.
How much detail should you provide? Let your child's questions be your guide. For example, a 4-year-old child may ask: "Where do babies come from?" Despite how it sounds, the child isn't asking you to explain sex but probably wants to know where, literally, they come from. It may be enough to explain: "The baby comes from the uterus, which is inside the mother's belly." A child who wants to know more will ask.
If your child shows more interest in the baby, you can encourage that by: