All About Kids
How To Introduce Your Child To A New Sibling: Raising Good Ates and Kuyas
Now that you’ve got a baby on the way, it’s best to start thinking about how to prep your child for their new sibling
Although having kids close in age is an awesome thing (except in the beginning, of course), introducing them to each other is something else. It can be overwhelming when you’re so used to having one person as the center of your universe. There’s no doubt that a baby on the way is always fraught with nervous energy — for all parties involved, especially the new ate or kuya to be.
But don’t worry, we’ve got tips on how to handle it all right here…
How to introduce your child to a new sibling
How it feels for the older sibling
Imagine your partner putting his arm around you and saying, “I love you so much and I think you’re so amazing that I’ve decided to have another wife that’s just like you.” When the new wife finally arrives, you see that she’s young and really cute. And everyone else thinks it too. When they see all of you out, they say, “Oh wow, is this the new wife? She’s adorable!” while they just smile or say hello to you politely. Or worse, ask you “So what do you think of the new wife?”
Now that you have it all in perspective, it’s understandable that introducing new siblings is very much a big deal. So how does one do it?
BEFORE THE BABY COMES
Introduce your child to the new sibling way before birth
From the beginning, get your child involved in the pregnancy. Share your ultrasound pictures and point out their new sibling. Let your child touch your growing baby bump and feel the baby kick or even talk and sing to the baby. This makes it easier for your child to relate to the new baby and understand that he or she will have a new playmate on the way!
Build in special time with the ate or kuya to be
To your toddler, you are their whole world. Imagine when they realize they have to share their favorite person. Schedule one-on-one time with your child — something as simple as watching a movie together or reading books together will do. This way you can really concentrate on prioritizing your older child and make sure that he or she feels loved.
Get them involved
While we really can’t take kids to the doctor right now, make sure to tell them about every appointment you have. You could even take a video while your doctor’s scanning your tummy. Be patient and answer all their questions — there will be lots!
Play up the role of ate or kuya by letting them get involved in planning your baby’s nursery or buying clothes or other nursery necessities for the baby. Explain that they’ll need to be super involved and how much help they’ll be so they can see what it really takes to be a big sister or brother.
ONCE THE BABY’S BORN
First impressions last
The more positive associations your child has with the new baby, the better. Make sure ate or kuya is in a good mood when he or she is introduced to his or her new sibling. And for toddlers it usually means being well-fed or rested.
Still make time for ate or kuya
As cute (and tiring) as the new baby might be, make it a point to still have one on one time with your child. What worked for us was being deliberate about it — putting the baby down in favor of his or her older sibling and being more affectionate.
“Give” ate or kuya a present from their new sibling
You know your child best, so pick their most favorite thing in the world and say it’s from their new baby brother or sister. This works great on toddlers!
Transition is hard for any child — and introducing a child to a new sibling is a big toughie. When in doubt, take a deep breath, relax and drink some (decaf) coffee. You’ve got this!