Welcoming a New Sibling: How to Help Your Child Adjust

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Welcoming a new baby into your family is exciting! However, along with the excitement comes change.

Keep in mind that children of different ages may react differently to a new baby. Knowing what to expect from each age-group can make it easier to handle the changes in your family. Also, keep in mind that children have different personalities that may affect how they respond.

Here is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents prepare older siblings (big brothers and big sisters) for a new sibling (little brother or little sister).

Children Aged 1 to 2 Years

Children aged 1 to 2 years may not understand what it means to have a new sibling. However, you can bring up the topic with your child so that she can get used to the idea. Also, it's important to reassure her that she is loved.

Before Your New Baby Arrives

After Your New Baby Arrives

Children Aged 2 to 4 Years

Children aged 2 to 4 years are learning how to share with others and may feel as if they need to compete for your attention. They may also have a difficult time adjusting to changes in your family's routine.

Before Your New Baby Arrives

After Your New Baby Arrives

School-aged Children

Children older than 5 years are usually not as threatened by a new baby as younger children are. However, they may resent the attention the new baby gets.

Before Your New Baby Arrives

After Your New Baby Arrives

Important Information for Parents

Visit HealthyChildren.org for more information.

Any websites, brand names, products, or manufacturers are mentioned for informational and identification purposes only and do not imply an endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the content of external resources. Information was current at the time of publication. The information contained in this publication should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. Information applies to all sexes and genders; however, for easier reading pronouns such as she are used throughout this publication.