Two young children play on the sand at the beach together. They are new siblings learning to play with each other.

how to prepare siblings for a new baby.

4 min read

Welcoming a new baby into your home is an exciting time full of change for your whole family. But for other little ones, this change can sometimes be scary or upsetting when they’re not quite sure what to expect. If you’re looking for strategies for introducing siblings, here are some of our tips on how to prepare a new big brother or sister for their latest family member.

Preparing older sibling for new baby

The most important thing to keep in mind when preparing a child for a new sibling is to set age-appropriate expectations. If your little one is too young to understand the concept of baby being due in three or four months, then tie this into a time frame they might be able to recognise; such as being due around Christmas or someone’s birthday.

Letting your child be involved in preparing for your latest arrival can also help them process this change. This could include letting them touch your baby bump, ask questions (be prepared for them to want to know more about how babies are made!), look at ultrasounds, choose toys, or read stories about what your family will look like when baby arrives. Spending time around other children or babies can also prepare them for what it’s going to be like to have a little brother or sister.

It's also important to make sure any changes for older children happen before the new baby arrives, so there’s not too much change at once. This includes milestones like toilet training, moving into a bigger bed, or starting kindergarten.


How to introduce baby to sibling

The moment of sibling introduction can be a heartwarming or scary time for parents and children alike. Again, setting the right expectations will help everyone prepare for this big first meeting.  

Is it going to be you and baby in a hospital room, is mum going to be extra fragile after a C-section surgery, or is baby going to be in an incubator? Letting your child know what to expect and how they should react will help avoid an excited child becoming confused and upset as to why they can’t jump on mum’s tummy for a hello hug, particularly if they haven’t seen you for a few days. And whether in hospital or at home, getting in a hug first without the baby will help reassure your not-so-little one that they are still a priority.  

 Two toddlers are on the floor together. One is an older child meeting a younger sibling. The babies are learning how to play with one another as new siblings.

How do you deal with an older child with a newborn

Keeping a toddler or young child entertained while also caring for a newborn can get a little hectic! It’s important to make sure you offer your older children quality time together without baby where you can. Consistency with keeping their routine as normal as possible can also help them process new family changes.

The next step is keeping them entertained, particularly when it’s time for activities like bathing or feeding. Kids often love to be involved, so where possible get them to help with the process; whether it’s fetching a towel for bath time or getting a bib for feeding. Setting up your breastfeeding station in a safe space where you can watch a mobile child will also help with those longer newborn feeds. Have snacks and water handy and consider setting up a busy box with special age-appropriate activities that older kids can look forward to when it’s feeding time.


Sibling gift ideas for welcoming the new baby into the family

The road to sibling love can be up and down, but by 14 months most children have formed a positive sibling relationship. One way to kickstart this to help your older child bond with a new baby is by having them choose a gift for their new little brother or sister. This is a popular way to get children involved and have them look forward to baby’s arrival. Here are some of our favourite sibling present ideas, from the gorgeous Olli Ella.


Cozy Dinkums

These sweet babes are made for playtime, cuddles, and snoozy days. Perfect to bring love and comfort to a newborn as a gift from their big brother or sister, or as one for them and one for baby to show they have matching friends. They’re also great for older kids to care for their own baby as you care for yours.


Four gorgeous Cozy Dinkums dolls wearing animal onesies sit on a couch together. They are sweet gifts for children and the perfect gift from an older sibling to a new baby. 


Holdie Animals

These gorgeous soft felt Holdie toys are perfect for little hands and sparking new adventures, from under the sea to safari. Suitable from birth, they come in a range of sets for big siblings to choose as a gift for their little brother or sister.

A set of felt baby toys from Holdie Folk. They are safari animals made of felt and great gifts for new baby.  

Holdie Folk

These cute little friends are brilliant for imaginary play and perfect for sharing down the line. Suitable for ages 3+, they can keep your older ones entertained during feeding time and ready to create stories and play with their little sibling when the time comes.

<span style="font-weight: 400;">A set of small felt dolls for children from Holdie Folk. They would make good presents for kids and are good sized small dolls for children. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span>

Growing your family is a wonderful time for all involved and can create some beautiful bonding memories in the early days. So soak it up and enjoy this time as you and your not-so-little one fall in love with your littlest one together.  

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