5 Tips to Help Siblings Adjust to Pregnancy

You are pregnant. And you are ecstatic. You have been wanting to add to your family for quite some time now, and finally your dreams are coming true. Of course, you expect that the rest of your family will be just as excited as you are. But what happens when they are not? And what happens when your little ones don’t particularly want to be big brothers or sisters?

For a mom, hearing your 5-year-old exclaim, “I don’t want another baby” can be heartbreaking. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help them adjust. Here are some 5 tips to help siblings adjust to pregnancy.

1. Use good judgment and timing when you announce the news. If your children are very young, you may want to warm them up to the idea before you tell them that you are pregnant. Point out other people you know that have younger siblings or a baby in the family. This way, they can begin to mentally prepare before they are just bombarded with the news. If they have questions or concerns, then make sure you address them as they come up. Remember EVERY concern your child has is one that is important to them.

2. As a mother, don’t be offended by a young child’s kneejerk reaction. Remember, they didn’t choose to have a sibling – YOU DID. And although they will warm up to the idea, it is important to allow them to go through their own feelings on the matter. They may start out being anger, or acting out towards you for a few weeks, which is normal. Although you shouldn’t allow them to be disrespectful, you do need to allow them to own their own feelings. And even if you don’t agree with their feelings, make sure that you validate them and try to understand things from their point of view.

3. Enroll them in a sibling class, especially near your third trimester. This will help them make friends with other kids their age who are also expecting a sibling, and empower them to be in a position to help you. When they realize that they will be the metaphorical ‘big man on campus,’ they may warm up to the idea of having a younger sibling.

4. Don’t leave them out of the decision making. No, you don’t have to let your 3-year-old name your new baby, but it is a good idea to ask their opinions on things. Get their input on how to decorate the nursery, let them pick out the coming home outfit for the baby, and make sure that they have a voice in things. This helps them to regain some control, and also reminds them that you value their feelings and opinions.

5. Last but not least, make sure that extended family and friends make a BIG deal of the older sibling when delivery day comes. The baby won’t remember the gifts or the people that come to visit, but the older brother and sister WILL! Speak with family members and make sure that they don’t let the excitement of a new baby make the older siblings feel unnoticed.

Obviously, you also want to remind your children that no matter what, and no matter how many kids you have, you will always love them the same. This isn’t something that can be said enough times! Just keep reminding them – hug them and tell them how much you love them every chance you get. When the baby comes, things may be askew for a few weeks or months as your new family adjusts, but in the end, everything will work out for the best!

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

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Comments 6

  1. Pingback: Five Tips to Prepare Your Child for a New Baby - Health & Parenting

  2. Julia

    I have a girl 10 and two boys 8 and 6. My daughter was begging for years for a new baby. All the kids were beyond excited when we showed them an ultrasound photo. We did a gender reveal party with silly string and we were all involved spraying each other and covered in PINK! We were so excited for a girl. I’m currently 35 weeks and at about 28 weeks my daughter has been having doubts. She says things like “she’s going to be your favorite daughter” “no one is going to like me anymore” which obviously none of this is true, but it’s how she’s feeling. I re assure her and she feels a bit better. Everyone in the family let’s her know that’s not going to happen.
    She’s been wanting a silicone doll so I think for her big sister gift I’m going to get her one along with her own back pack carrier plus a diaper bag. She’ll love that.

  3. Kate

    I have a soon to be 16 year old and an 8 year old. When we told them they was going to have a new baby sibling the youngest started to cry and my elder one ran to his room and remained there for a few hours. We let them adjust and then they came out to ask questions. They were just shocked. So I booked a 16 week gender reveal scan and took them along so we could all find out together what our new family member was going to be. They really enjoyed being there and seeing the baby….and were equally thrilled it was going to be another brother. 3 boys and couldn’t be happier! 😀

  4. Charlotte Morton

    I have two sons one is 12 years old and the other is 7 years old my oldest don’t want to have a little sister and to make is worse its not with there dad but my youngest can’t wait to have a little sister so he can teach her stuff to do I hoping my oldest will feel loads better when his sister is here in his arms

  5. Shachie fletcher

    I have 2 older boys 15 and 13 and both were very upset when I told them we gonna have another baby. What made it even worst is that am not having the baby with their dad, so they believe that I shouldnt be having a baby with someone else. The past few months have been really stressful especially with the younger one. But now that my belly is showing and they can feel and see the baby moving they are getting more comfortable with the idea of having a little brother. They have become really helpful and getting really excited now that I only have 4 weeks left before delivery.

  6. brooke marlow

    So my little three year old daughter saw the 5 weeks baby pic and without a second thought she says it looks like a duck and then says quack quack!!! 🙂 it was so cute.