Hooray!! You, or someone you know, might be expecting another baby or just had one and you might be wondering how an older sibling may adjust to this new family member joining the team.
When we were about to welcome our second son into the family, I wondered how I could make our oldest feel special and still loved once his brother got here. Because let’s face it, everyone loves a sweet baby newborn and they end up getting most of the attention.
Older siblings, especially young ones who aren’t old enough to really understand, can feel left out or jealous of all the attention the new baby is getting. So, I wanted to share ten ways to help older siblings feel special after a new baby arrives!
I wanted our oldest to feel included in this life-changing event that was altering our family dynamic. Yes, overall he needed to learn to adjust to having a little brother around, but I wanted him to feel special about it too. These 10 ideas are some I came up with when preparing for his little brother’s arrival.
10 Ideas to Help Older Siblings Feel Special After a New Baby
1. Small Gift
Give them a small “big sister/brother” gift after the baby is born. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just something special that says congratulations your a big brother/sister!
This is a super-easy way to make sure that older siblings feel special after a new baby arrives!
Once you are feeling up to it, or even have family members like dad, grandparents, anyone they are close to, take them out for a big siblings day. Maybe pizza and ice cream or anything that would be fun for them. Another way to celebrate them becoming a big sibling.
3. Encourage Involvement
Let them help with the baby. For little guys let them help folding burp cloths and blankets or grabbing diapers, being sure to praise them and tell them how thankful you are to have a big sibling helper for the baby. Them feeling included will make them feel special and part of this life-changing process.
4. Make Time Each Day
Have a certain time of the day where it’s just you and the older sibling(s). Maybe bath time is your time together or reading a book together before bed. Have dad take the baby and give the older sibling(s) a couple of minutes of one on one time.
Ask them how their day was, ask them if there was anything they wanted to tell you- a story or how they are feeling. It isn’t about the quantity of time spent but about the quality.
Have an at-home movie day. Pick a certain day to spend watching movies all day. Make it special by stocking up on yummy snacks, letting the older sibling(s) choose the movies, and make a pallet on the floor. A slow chill day for you, but changing it a little to make it special for them.
6. Encourage Them
Write a note or make a card telling them what a great big sister/brother they are, how much you love them and thankful you are for all their help. A little gesture goes a long way in the hearts of little ones.
I have 2 free sweet blank note prints in my blogs printable library that would be perfect! You can access my printable library by subscribing to my email list here. Once subscribed it will send an email with the printable library’s password for access!
7. Say Yes
When they ask you to play blocks, say yes. When they ask you to read a book, say yes. When they ask for you to do something reasonable, just say yes. It is easy to get caught up in the house and the new baby, so we end up telling the older sibling we can do that later. And then we never really get to it.
Let the house stay dirty and tell them yes. Prepare your mind for this day a couple of days ahead so you know it’s coming and have that time set aside for it.
8. Make the Mundane Fun
Cook their favorite meal one night together or let them choose what to make on a specific day so you can be sure to get it from the store prior to that day. Have them help in the kitchen with you or dad.
If you aren’t up for fully cooking, do something simple like boxed cupcakes or brownies. A special treat they can help with while feeling like they have your attention.
9. Give Them Parental Attention
If there is more than one older sibling, let them take turns going somewhere with you or Dad alone. If you need to run to the bank or store, let them tag along alone. On the way home, grab a special treat.
An easy way to get some one-on-one time. Then alternate whose turn it is next time you have an errand to run. This gives you some quiet time during the car ride to chat and have some quality time.
Just sharing some special time together can help them feel like they aren’t forgotten.
This last idea is a simple but impactful one. Pray together about the new baby. Pray about being a big sibling and what that means. Pray about the hardships they are struggling with when it comes to becoming a big sibling or getting used to the new baby.
Let this be an outlet for them. Pray for the new baby. Pray for the family. Have that moment of stillness together with God.
These are some simple tasks that hopefully don’t take too much future planning because we all know how hectic newborn days can be. Full of sweetness yes, but also full of exhaustion. I hope this transition is a beautiful time for your family and you are all able to take in the special season you are in together.
These ideas can also be spaced out over several weeks and/or months as a way to help older siblings feel special after the baby arrives. Some would even make sense to redo every month or so just to get that quality time with an older sibling(s)!
If this is your second baby you can check out my blog post where I rounded up some mamas and asked them their opinions on the good and bad of adding a second baby to the family.
Adding another baby can be especially confusing for little ones. Doing something special to make them feel seen and loved will hopefully help them transition a little easier with this change.
What ways did you make sure that older siblings felt special after a new baby?
Congratulations on the new addition, or if you are reading this way ahead of a new addition- now you have some useful ideas stored away!
Hi there! My name is Kim. I am a stay at home, homeschooling mama to two boys ages 3 and 5. My husband and I are high school sweethearts and have been together for 11 years this fall. Along with our 2 boys and 3 dogs, we live in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area of Texas. I blog over at www.thislovefilledlife.com about all things motherhood, parenting, and homeschooling. Besides my family, a few of my favorite things are Jesus, coffee, a good book, a binge worthy show, and all the beauty that is fall and winter.