A sibling can be one of the greatest gifts parents can give a child, but it's not always a gift so well received ... especially when it comes to toddlers.
While reactions vary greatly based on the child's age and personality, the addition of a new baby to a household can be confusing and challenging even for those who are excited about their new brother or sister.
Here are few ways to help not only explain what's happening to your toddler, but also to engage him in the process, and hopefully make it a smoother one along the way.
There's a host of great books that tell stories of children getting siblings and depict how they adapt.
A couple to check out:
I Used to Be the Baby by Robin Ballard
On Mother's Lap by Ann Herbert Scott
This record book is also nice as it allows big brother or big sister to keep a record of the baby's milestones themselves.
Shopping with your child for a gift they want to give the baby can be a fun way to get them thinking about what a baby likes and needs. Give some guidelines, but try to let him or her make the final call.
Also, many parents like to get the big brother or big sister a gift from the baby. So while the baby is being showered with gifts and attention, your toddler gets some too. And the baby starts out with some bonus points.
Every new big brother or big sister needs a t-shirt to proclaim their new status to the world. There are all sorts of different designs to reflect their individual personalities.
I love this one from BestDressedChild.com where you can customize the hair color to look like your son or daughter.
This one from Zazzle.com is a cute way to have a sibling help announce a pregnancy and to wear throughout until the new little one arrives.
What ways have you helped your children prepare for a sibling's birth?
Image via Lynnaloch