Every time I had a baby I made a few special items for the newcomer. For samples of some of the things I liked to make for my new baby, click here. For each new child I like to design and sew them a personal quilt. I also sew burp clothes, receiving blankets, and a few special decorations for the nursery.
Start A New Tradition
I also started a new tradition when my second child was born. There is a seven year gap between my oldest child to the next. So, when I made all the fun things for our new baby, I really didn't want my oldest to be left out. I decided to make her a special gift that she would receive at the hospital the day her sister was born. And thus we began a new tradition.
For each child after I made sure to make something special for the other kids. I wanted to encourage them to be excited about their new sibling and to join in the celebration. I also wanted to give them a physical reminder of my love even though I would be very focused on the newest addition for a while.
My kids still have the little gifts that I gave them for each new addition to our family. It's a fun tradition that I plan to continue on down the road when I have grandkids some day.
Prepare Older Kids
I always made sure to sit down with my children to talk to them about the changes that would happen in our family. I also liked to visit my local library to find books about new siblings. They have lots of resources to help small children visualize what is going to happen.
I also made sure to spend special one on one time with each child as I got closer to my due date. That way they could carry those special memories with them in the weeks after a babies arrival when most of my attention was directed toward the baby. Having their own special gift at the hospital also made it more about the whole family rather than just the new addition.
Involve Siblings with New Baby
Another favorite strategy for me was including the kids as much as possible. It might be something as simple as helping to pick a new outfit before the baby arrived. Once the baby came home, I made sure to let the other kids do small tasks like grab me a diaper, burping the baby, or just snuggling up with the baby (with a little supervision).
I think it is important for siblings to know that they have an important new role to fill as each new addition arrives. I really try to emphasize that we work as a team and that each person has something important to contribute.
Each time we welcomed a new baby, I was pleasantly surprised at how well my other children adapted to the change. The first few months are always an adjustment period for everyone, but I never have doubted that each of my children has felt loved and known that they are an important part of our family.
I love to hear what other people have done when welcoming a new baby into their family. What do you do to make sure that brothers and sisters feel included when a new baby is born? Please share your comments below. I'd also be happy to see your pictures of sibling love on Instagram #peachtreedr