When baby’s homecoming approaches, parents often wonder how to include their eldest daughter in the preparations and excitement of the new baby. While it can be tempting to leave big sister out of these new family dynamics, it’s important to remember that she’s already been an important part of the pregnancy and should be treated as such when the new baby arrives. Here are five ways to include big sister when the baby arrives home from the hospital.
A big sister room is a great way to include your big sister in welcoming baby home. While you may not want a nursery in your bedroom or another child’s bedroom, you can create a special space that belongs only to her. The room should be decorated and furnished with items she will appreciate such as age-appropriate toys, books, or crafts she can do on her own or with help from an adult. You can also make sure there are small touches like pictures of her surrounded by her new little sibling’s things and pictures of both siblings together throughout the years past and future.
Start by making a list of all of big sister’s friends and family who might be able to help. Invite her along when you start baby registry shopping (so she can help find items for both you and baby).
Let her take on extra tasks during your pregnancy, like holding your belly or massaging your aching feet. Getting big sister involved in these ways will ensure that she’s not left out after baby comes—and make her feel like a special part of baby’s homecoming.
Be sure to include a special gift or two in the pile of gifts so she has something to open and feel “promoted”. Gifts such as these cute mini leather backpacks are a great way to match mom’s new diaper bag. It’s also a convenient way for her to pack her own things while you pack baby’s diaper bag for your outings together. You can also buy matching outfits for them to wear together and give them to her as a gift to open. Here’s a list of 10 Easy & Cute Outfits For Newborns to give you an idea of what to get.
Your big sister will be thrilled to welcome a new family member, but you can also help her feel more involved by making sure she has special opportunities during baby’s homecoming. Helping big sister with chores and other responsibilities is one way to include her, as well as arranging for a special time when it’s just her and mom or dad. Finally, give her lots of attention — some parents find great success with giving their older child a special job that involves spending time alone with mom or dad. They might read a book together at night or play a game after dinner—it’s important big sister doesn’t feel left out during this exciting time in your family’s life!
Your little one will certainly enjoy all of your attention, but what about your big sister? Give her extra special hugs and cuddles as well! She can be a big help in caring for baby too. Ask her to bring you diapers, burp cloths, toys, or anything else that might come in handy. Big brothers and sisters love pushing baby strollers. When going for walks, allow her to push the stroller with you so she feels special. She’ll feel important and also get used to having baby around sooner rather than later.
The homecoming of a new baby is an exciting time for everyone. This will especially be true for a toddler who has big plans for her baby—plans she’s likely had since you first announced your pregnancy. Be sure to talk about what your older child can expect: She may become less special in mommy and daddy’s eyes, but she’ll be just as much a part of the family. It might seem obvious, but treat her like a princess during baby’s arrival. Make sure that she knows how much you appreciate all that she brings to your family, too.
When your baby arrives, don’t forget your big sister. After all, she’s been involved in everything up until now. Try these tips to include her during her baby brother or sister’s homecoming.