I really wondered about how to introduce a new baby to siblings and have them actually like each other… Luckily, perhaps it’s their ages or temperament, our 3 and 2 year olds absolutely adore their new sister. What we did leading up to the introduction was a mixture of a few different things.
Step 1) Talking about and explaining what was going on in mommy’s tummy. We knew it could be hard having a new sibling – and it undoubtedly will be hard down the road – but a key part of starting out on the right foot (we felt) was to have buy in. This was something that was going to change things – “forever” as #1 would say. Building anticipation and excitement meant they were just as excited as we were (if not more) given how much they currently LOVE their current sister 😉
Step 2) Rekindling and strengthening their relationship with us. We kinda stumbled into this one but it totally makes sense. Thanks to the grandparents, we took each of our girls on a special ‘date’ with us two parents for dinner. We basically just made them feel so special and so much attention – it’s crazy how different they react just in general when they feel loved and cared about. Everything from listening better to following directions, as Stephen Covey talks about with the “emotional bank account” it’s very accurate even for 3 year olds.
Step 3) Keep attention and on the siblings. We’ll really find out in days to come, but today when it was tempting to say what we needed to do ‘because of baby’. Instead, bypass the reference to baby and focus on the task or action. Example: “we don’t touch faces” versus “we don’t touch the baby’s face”. (aka touching becoming scratching becoming…)
Step 4) Pray. Really I don’t have any special techniques here – we’ll find out more down the road and perhaps I’ll update this list after realizing all we did or didn’t do.