Prepping Little Ones for the New Addition

Growing your family is such an exciting decision and time! However, as your new pregnancy develops, it’s critical to be honest with your little one about how life is going to be different with the introduction of a new brother or sister. The best way to go about this typically depends on two factors: your first born’s age as well as his or her perceived interest in the matter.

12-18 Months

If your first child is at or around the age of one, odds are they don’t have a full understanding of what a new brother or sister really means and they will continue going about their regular routine, unfazed.

Following your child’s lead regarding interest on the subject is often recommended. Be sure to answer any possible questions and let them feel when brother or sister is kicking! Keep discussions regarding the new addition light and upbeat. Showing your little one pictures of when they were born will help teach what a newborn looks like. If you have friends or family with newborns, having your little one interact with them will also help better depict what life with a newborn will be like.

18+ Months

On the other hand, slightly older children may express interest in their new sibling via a downpour of questions for you! Your little one won’t want to discuss the new addition all the time, but be sure to answer questions as they pop up. Fun questions like, “What are they doing in there?” may arise. In response, you can ask what they think (you know they will have an interesting answer!).

At this point, don’t make correcting a priority. Invite them for belly sing-a-longs and to occasional doctor visits to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. At this age, many moms also find it helpful to teach and encourage independent behavior, like picking up toys after play time. Giving your little one a stuffed animal or doll to “take care of” while you take care of your newborn also helps reinforce feelings of inclusion.  

Regardless of the age, ensure your first born has enough time to prepare mentally for the likely fact that mom and dad won’t be able to spend as much time with them. Reinforcing feelings of normality during and after your pregnancy are key. Take the time to remind your little one that you definitely don’t love them any less and that they will always mean the world to you. Make it a priority during this time to spend as much one-on-one time as possible with them and continue to do so to the best of your ability after your pregnancy. You got this Mama!