Five Tips on Introducing Your New Baby to a Sibling

Our two boys are only 16 months apart {I know – we’re crazy!}. Before Arthur was born, I was really concerned about how Ivo would handle having a new baby brother. He was too young to really understand my bump, so I couldn’t really explain anything to him, but I was worried it would rock his little world, and even make him feel replaced *gulp*. I read a couple of books on the best way to introduce the two of them, and noted a few hints I’d like to share. This is what worked for us – please do leave comments with your suggestions. Four months on, Ivo is still very much in the ‘coming round to it’ stage – so all advice welcomed!

{Photo Credit} Taken by me – this was the exact moment Ivo spotted his new brother! He saw his new toy first.

1. If at all possible, wait till you come home to introduce them. That way your child will be on his/her home turf, where he/she feels secure. Plus, there won’t come a moment when they have to leave the hospital without you. I was in hospital for a week with Arthur {who wasn’t well}, and I came home to visit Ivo, rather than confuse him with a new environment.

2. Don’t be holding the baby for the first introduction. You want to be able to cuddle your firstborn at this key moment. Ideally the baby will be in his car seat or Moses basket. We actually came home after Ivo was asleep, so we introduced the baby in the morning.
3. Buy a present for the baby to ‘give’ your eldest. It sounds simplistic, and I doubted it’s effectiveness, but we have Ivo a plasma car, ride-on toy at the same moment that he first met Arthur, and it definitely sweetened the experience. Make the toy an activity based one – it’ll keep the occupied for longer than a teddy.
4. Try not to be too sensitive about your eldest prodding the new baby. I leapt up every time Ivo approached Arthur, and he quickly realised that this was a great way to get attention. He now has a very naughty habit of whacking the baby!
5. Warn your friends and relatives not to make too much of the newborn when they visit. I asked people to virtually ignore Arthur because I was so worried about Ivo getting jealous. Even at 16 months he was very sensitive to who was getting the most attention.

P.S. The books I read were – The Second Baby Survival Guide by Naia Edwards & The Contented Baby with Toddler Book by Gina Ford. Both were pretty good, but not essential reads.

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