Get advice and guidance from the creators of Blue's Clues on how to prepare your child for a new baby
Have your preschooler join in the celebration welcoming your new baby. Try these activities developed by Alice Wilder, Ed. D., Research Director for Blue's Clues.
Let Them Decorate
Your older preschooler will enjoy helping you get the baby's room ready. He can do as much or as little as you or he wants, from picking out wallpaper to donating something of his own (that he doesn't want or need anymore) to the nursery.
Preparing the new room is also a great opportunity to look back at the toys and furniture that your preschooler needed as a baby. How much has she grown and changed since then? Your child may want to replace some of these old belongings with "big kid" stuff or rearrange her room to her own liking. Next, flip through a photo album and remind her what she was like as a baby. Point to the pictures and ask lots of questions. Your child will feel more invested in the arrival of her new brother or sister, and feel better about herself.
Make Your Preschooler the Official Photographer
Give your child a camera and ask him to take a picture of the new baby every day, once a week, or even once a month. Then put the pictures in an album and talk about all the changes he notices. Does your little shutterbug remember the baby's first smile? First laugh?
Give your preschooler the power to calm her new sibling by teaching her a lullaby or asking her to make up a song that she can sing (softly) to the baby. Your child will love playing an important role in the baby's nap- and nighttime ritual.
Create a Special Time That's Just for Them
Once you have the new baby, it's more important than ever to recognize the older sibling's needs. What one thing has he missed since the birth of the baby? Time alone with you at the park? A bath that's not rushed? If it's reasonable, take the time to give it to him.
Written by Alice Wilder,
Ed. D., Research Director for Blue's Clues