Introducing your child to your new baby is an exciting, momentous time. Don’t forget the video camera! But don’t be surprised if your older child’s reaction is not quite as excited as you would expect.
Talk about the big day beforehand. Depending on the age of your child, you may be able to show ultrasound pictures and talk about what it will be like when the new baby comes, fostering a sense of excitement before the big day. However, it is also important to paint a realistic picture for your child. Let them know that new babies cry a lot, need to be held a lot, and will need mommy … a lot.
When your child sees the new baby for the first time, keeping the baby in the bassinet and not in your arms may be easier for your child. Otherwise, your child may feel that the baby has now taken over mommy, possibly beginning a pattern of resentment toward the new little one. By having the baby in the bassinet, you can all “discover” the new baby together. A special present for your older child from the baby may also help make him feel special on the big day.
Reviewed by Dr. Kristie Rivers, September 2020
We were pretty fortunate when I had my second child because my now four year old, who was two at the time adjusted very well! The day I had her, my oldest daughter came to the hospital and met her. I think she had an idea that there was a baby coming but not quite sure how much she understood. She was very happy to meet and hold her and we made sure to give her the same amount of attention that we gave the baby. My mom was there to help so I think that helped as well because she was getting extra attention!
When my older daughter met her little sister for the first time, the baby had a little something to give her big sister. She gave her a baby doll. My older daughter loved it and she would do everything to it that I was doing to our new baby. This worked out very well for us. 🙂