Introducing a New Sibling

Being an only child can be fun. Getting used to an additional person in the family can take some getting used to. You might tell your child that they soon will be the ‘big’ sister or brother, but this too will take some getting used to. Your child might have many questions to worry about. They will involve wondering if he/she will still be loved the same, the amount of attention received. If they like the idea of being the more responsible one, this new-found sense of independence can also take its toll.

Children are often excited at having a new brother or sister, only because they envision having a new contemporary to play with. This expectation soon becomes a disappointment when he/she discovers that the new baby cannot play with him/her but instead demands more attention from his/her parents and generally ends up being the more important child. Sometimes this can even make the older child resent his/her new sibling.

One good way to work around this is to give the older sibling more ‘chores’ related to the new baby. It can be as simple as helping with the bathing duties, bringing diapers. If you feel the older child is capable of more responsibility, then pile it on. You can have him watch the baby while you shower, help with feeding the baby, pick up toys, watching him/her during naptime, etc.

If you feel the older child is threatened by the new arrival – then perhaps you should consider carrying out things that will help him/her feel empowered and equally important. Talk about how they can do so many things the baby cannot do. Instil in him/her that being the older sibling is great!