4 Ways to Include Your Preschooler as You Prepare for Baby

When you find out that you’re expecting baby number two your mind often races with thoughts. While you likely feel excited, you might also wonder how your first-born is going to react to the news and to the big changes coming their way. You may also wonder what you can do now help create the sort of sibling bond you want your children to have all through their lives. While you can prepare your little one for the new baby by reading, talking, and looking at pictures of their own babyhood, nothing gets little ones as excited for a new baby (and ready to bond with them!) like including them in the baby preparation. 

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1. Check your local hospital for sibling classes

Many hospitals have sibling prep classes that are designed to school preschoolers in everything they’ll need to know be a fantastic big brother or sister. Rocking, diapering, and swaddling are all included, as well as a discussion about baby safety. Enrolling your little one in a class like this (if it’s available) can help them feel that their role in the new baby’s life is essential. 

2. Let them create nursery art

Often, preschoolers want to be involved in big people things but lack the skills necessary to contribute in a way that feels meaningful. Not so when it comes to creating art! Most preschoolers love to paint and draw, so task them with creating some one-of-a-kind art for the baby’s nursery. Be sure to share with them how important it is for baby to have something beautiful hanging on their walls and let them know that only they can make something baby will cherish as they grow. As a bonus, frame their work and let them choose where to hang it! 

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3. Designate them as the new baby’s personal shopper

Your preschooler is the person in the family who is closest to their own babyhood so they, naturally, should be the expert on all things the new baby will like. From clothes to toys, engage your preschooler in what they think the baby will like whenever you go shopping. Let them choose a few favorite outfits and toys and help them fold them and store them away for the baby’s arrival.

4. Include them in setting up the nursery

Preschoolers love to help. While they probably won’t be able to assemble the changing table or hang shelves, they will be able to sort stuffed animals and toys into their appropriate baskets or pair tiny socks. Let your preschooler help out as you set up the nursery and they’ll surely begin to feel as excited about the new baby as you. Involving your preschooler as you prep for the new baby can help them feel engaged, involved, and excited. 

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Good luck!


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4 Ways to Include Your Preschooler as You Prepare for Baby

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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