Helping Your Other Children Adjust to Your New Baby

If you have other children, bringing a new baby into their lives can often be upsetting. Just as you and your partner are adjusting to having a new member of the family, so are your older children. They may be jealous, more irritable than usual, or more demanding of your time.

There are also several things that you can do to involve your older children with the newest member of the family:
  • Encourage and allow your older children to spend time with the new baby.
  • If they want to hold the baby, let them. But do it safely. For example, have them sit on the couch or a chair with a pillow under the elbow to support the baby's head. And be sure to tell them what a good job they're doing.
  • Ask them to help bathe or change the baby.
  • Set aside a regular time just for you and your older children.
  • Encourage friends and family to pay attention to your older children before they see the baby.
  • Be patient with your older children as they adjust to their new sibling, making certain not to leave them alone with the new baby.

Continue to "How Breastfeeding Works" journey to parenthood

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Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010