How to Prepare Your Child for a New Baby


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Older Siblings Need to Know What to Expect

Preparing a child for the arrival of a new baby takes time, patience – and good strategies. Before the arrival of the baby, when the family feels comfortable to do so, the older children should be given clear, age-appropriate expectations about new babies related to crying, sleeping, feeding, etc. The older children should be made aware of their new role and its benefits – including having a new friend.

A New Baby Teaches Older Children about Infant Development

Once the new baby arrives the family should reinforce the messages and manage expectations. The older sibling(s) may not be able to participate in all the ways they would like to. The new baby enables older children to learn about child development and when it is right for babies to do certain things, such as sharing snacks and learning to talk.


Kimberly, a mother of three children under five years of age.