The arrival of a new child can bring many changes to a family. Parents spend a lot of energy on preparation, and after the birth of a child, most of the attention of the family goes to caring for the newborn. All of these changes can be difficult for older siblings. It is common for them to feel jealous of the newborn and react to shocks by acting out.
But parents can prepare the kids for the addition to the family. Talking about pregnancy in terms children can understand, taking some action, and including children in newborn care can make life easier for everyone.
o tell your child about a future sibling, consider your own comfort level and your child’s level of maturity. Preschoolers, for example, may not understand the concept of time, so it may not matter much if you say the baby is due in a few months. It may be more helpful to explain that the baby will be born at a certain time of the year, such as in winter or when it is cold outside.
How much detail do you need to provide? Let your child’s questions be your guide. For example, a 4-year-old child might ask, “Where do babies come from?” No matter how it sounds, the child is not asking you to explain sex, but probably wants to know where they literally come from. It may suffice to explain: “The child comes from the womb, which is inside the mother’s abdomen.” A child who wants to know more will ask.