Having another Baby

Congratulations! You're expecting another baby! But with all the excitement and anticipation that comes along with a pregnancy, you're also probably concerned about how your oldest will react to the newest addition to your family.

Preparing your Older Child

Let your child know that you're expecting. Read books about new babies, point out babies in the supermarket or park. Explain how babies need a lot of help from their mommies, daddies and big brother or sisters. Make your older child feel important by explaining the special role he or she will play as the older brother or sister. Remind your child how much you love them and how important they are to you. Your child should know that the baby will not be a replacement, but a welcome addition to your family. Make sure your older child has familiar babysitters during your delivery time and hospital stay so that she can be as comfortable as possible.

Bringing the New Baby Home

Have your older child give the baby a small doll or rattle. This gesture will make your toddler or preschooler feel good, and will start to teach them the basics of sharing. Give your older child a lot of attention and show her sensitivity. Make her into a "junior helper" and ask her to bring you diapers, bottles and anything you may need for baby. Remind your oldest how special she is and how important she is to you.

Sibling Rivalry

If your child seems jealous of the new baby, don't negate her feelings. Allow her to express herself verbally. Try to do special projects and activities with your older child. Tell her how much fun it can be to have a sister or brother to play with at the park or at home. Remind you child that since she is the big sister she will be able to teach the baby all sorts of "big kid" things.

Basic Toddler Infant Safety

Never leave your small child alone with your baby. Do not allow your small child to carry your infant. Teach your toddler or preschooler about hand washing before touching baby.