“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3
Bringing home a new baby is life changing. Whether it is your first or your eighth, adding another child to your family creates a new dynamic, and until that new baby is home from the hospital, it’s impossible to completely anticipate just how drastically that little life can impact yours! If you have children already, you need to remember that their lives will be impacted just as much as yours will…Maybe even more! You are their world, and when they see that new little baby monopolizing your time, feelings that they’ve never experienced can surface. Thankfully we have about nine months (or the length of your adoption journey) to try and prepare siblings for what is coming. Obviously, age plays a big factor in their understanding of the situation, but there are things that you can do to help them transition into big brother/big sister.
Talk about the baby. Something that I found very helpful during my pregnancies was to talk about the baby. Your belly is very obviously expanding and by now your kid/s are probably starting to notice. Talk about the baby like a member of the family. Pray for the baby during your family prayers. Make that baby a part of your family routine before it even arrives! It will seem so much more natural for the baby to fit in if you are already including it before it makes its grand appearance. If you are adding a new sibling through the miracle of adoption, involve your kids (on an age-appropriate level) in the process.
Show what life with the baby will be like. As you begin to prepare for that bundle of joy, point out what the baby will be doing. “Baby will be sleeping here.” “This is the baby’s car seat.” “This is the baby’s diaper bag.” Show your other kids what baby will be doing will help siblings transition as well.
Tell them what their role will be. For older children, you can make having a new baby exciting by telling them what they can do to help once the baby arrives. Giving them a purpose can help them to feel a connection with the baby immediately. “Mommy will need your help to rock the baby.” “Mommy will need you to play with the baby while mommy gets ready for the day.” Telling/Showing them how they can help will help them to take on responsibility once the baby arrives.
Be excited. As you have probably already learned, children are copycats. If you are excited, there is a good chance they will be excited too! If you appear to be hesitant and nervous about the arrival of a new baby, I can almost guarantee they will be too. They look to you for security. Make it an exciting and much anticipated time for them. As I mentioned, you never know the full impact that tiny human will make until he/she enters the world, but you can start the transition by following these very simple and easy steps. God bless you and your growing family! Grab a copy of God Bless Our Baby to help kids welcome their new brother or sister. A new baby means more love to go around. Look forward to your family’s new arrival with your little one, who will get to be Mom and Dad’s big helper and have lots of fun with a new brother or sister!
What are some ways you’ve prepared siblings for a new member of the family?