Relationship Matters: Introducing Siblings

Good morning,

I’m excited to tell you that we are expecting a baby in August!  We haven’t told Joseph the news yet, and if you have any suggested reading material on how best to handle this transition for a sibling, please feel free to suggest.  Also, I anticipate returning to work after maternity leave in mid-late November.  We would be most appreciative if you would place us on the list for a spot in the infant room.

Thank you!
Beth and Christain

RIE Baby

What great news!  Hope you have a refreshing pool to swim in this summer.

This is a transition for the whole family that will continue well
beyond August and it’s so smart of you to think ahead about it.
Joseph is at a great age for understanding needs of others as your
body, energy and availability changes and affects what you can or
cannot do.   We typically recommend waiting as long as you can to
start talking about it and that will depend a bit on you.  When you
have to make changes in your day that he might notice then it would be
a good time to let him know that you have a baby growing inside of
you.  He is closest to you and can empathize with you needing to do
things to take care of your body (rest, eat a healthy snack, drink
lots of water, exercise, etc.)

There are great books with photos to have available (we keep one in a
basket next to Ms. Amy, there’s another one in the Parent Resource
library) and you can even create a timeline with ultrasound photos.
If he is interested you can take this further and talk about what
parts of the body are forming but be sensitive to how much you talk
about it.  Afterall, this is an unknown for him and it can cause
anxiety.  I remember one little boy said he would name his baby
penguin when she was born because he didn’t want a sister but he did
want a penguin.

In addition, it helps to think about what environmental changes you
will be making and if any of them affect his own space (for example,
will he have to give up a play space/sleeping space etc.) make them
now for reasons that are unrelated to the baby rather than last minute
to avoid him being resentful and putting him out.  Also, think ahead
about consistency when the baby arrives to ideally keep his life very
consistent through that time.

Regardless of how sensitive you are and how much you prepare, he has
been an only child all of his life and he will be de-throned shortly
(and you will be adjusting to splitting your time between two
children).  You will all feel all kinds of emotions about that and
should be allowed to within the expectations of respect.  Take it slow
and resource those who are close to your family (us included).  We
will maintain his school experience as his own and follow his lead on
talking about it (or not;) while he makes his own adjustment.

Hope this is helpful and hope you are feeling well right now!

Megan

 

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