Preparing Siblings for the New Baby

A new baby affects the entire family. If you have other children, they will now have to share their time with you. Sometimes they will have to wait to have their needs met while you take care of their new brother or sister.

Young children feel these changes and can react in different ways. They might be more demanding or cling to you, especially when you are caring for the new baby. Children might want to go back to wearing diapers, drinking from a bottle, or ask to be breast-fed again. Some children will misbehave to get attention.

You can help your older children adjust by giving them reassurance. Praise them for good behavior and try to ignore their misbehavior as much as possible.

Here are some ideas to help prepare your child for the new baby.

During Pregnancy:

After Your Baby Has Been Born:

Never leave a toddler alone with the baby.

From the "Birth Day News" series.

Clinical review by Jane Dimer, MD
Group Health
Reviewed 03/01/2014