Women's Tips

How to prepare a child for the birth of a brother or sister?


Waiting for the second child is a great joy for the parents, but a lot of stress for the first baby. What problems may arise with an older child, how to overcome them and prepare the firstborn for the appearance of a brother or sister, I - the Parent will tell.

According to the Public Opinion Foundation, 85% of the polled Russians consider brothers and sisters to be the closest people, and 86% answered that they had excellent relations in their childhood. And only 13% admit that they always got along badly with younger members of the family. However, conflicts between an older and younger child are to some extent inevitable. Therefore, to prepare the firstborn for the appearance of a brother or sister should be in advance, according to psychologists.

What should parents prepare for?

The main problem faced by parents is the jealousy of the older child. His feelings are quite understandable - before the birth of the youngest all the attention of adults belonged to him, and now the baby is very worried about the loss. After all, the first time, the whole life of the family revolves around the newborn, who needs maximum care.

Children under the age of three, as a rule, openly express their displeasure: they can offend the baby, call names, act up, or disobey. And an older child can start to behave like a little one: stop asking to go to the toilet, do not eat or dress yourself. Schoolchildren usually hide their emotions: their experiences manifest themselves in the form of declining school performance, unreasonable moods and hysterics, conflicts with classmates and teachers.

How to avoid the jealousy of an older child? Our experts have prepared nine recommendations for those who are planning to become parents for the second time.

3. Do not scold for displaying aggression towards the youngest child.

An older child must be listened to, even if he says “wrong”, in the opinion, adult things. For example, that does not want a brother or sister, or that will not love him. You should not blame the firstborn for this, it is better to give him the opportunity to speak. The very fact that parents understand the feelings of a child will give him the strength to cope with their experiences.

5. Involve the child in making decisions about the baby

The firstborn will feel their involvement in the upcoming event, if the parents will discuss with him all the pressing issues. He can help choose a crib, toys and clothes for the baby, take part in choosing a name, pick a gift for a brother or sister.

8. Show your child a positive example of families with many children.

Well, if the parents have friends in the family who have several children. You can reduce the senior to visit them. Tell him about the benefits of a large family and show how fun the children are to play with each other. Tell him that he will play with his brother or sister as soon as the baby is a little older.

Natural jealousy

He is the only source of mother’s and father’s love, the whole world revolves around him, and this suits him. But everything changes when another baby appears in the house. The elder understands that he is a “competitor” who gets the lion’s share of care and attention, and then jealousy begins to appear in him. This, by the way, is absolutely normal. I really like the comparison that psychologists make so that parents feel the emotions of their offspring. Imagine that your husband (wife) brings a new wife (husband) into the house and says that he still loves you, but now you will all live together. Shocked? So the child is not happy imposed on his perspective.

About 60% of pregnant women with whom we meet at our “Pregnant sittings” and “marathons in maternity hospitals” are not going to the maternity hospital for the first time. Many homes are waiting for babies, and mothers are worried about how babies will perceive the appearance of a brother or sister. Therefore, often from discussions of how to choose a maternity hospital, we go into questions of psychology. Experts whom we invite willingly share their recommendations. According to psychologists, consistent work (namely, work!) On preparing the baby for the birth of the second and subsequent children should be started during pregnancy and continued for at least 3 to 6 months. Indeed, on average, it is exactly how long the child’s adaptation to a new family member lasts.

Pivot or relatives?

If your family has a child from a previous marriage, be sure to explain to him that the newborn will be his family, and not half-brother or sister. This will help the elder to feel better in the new family situation. However, the child may not agree with this and present the baby to his friends as he sees fit. Perhaps this will be an occasion to once again talk with the elder and discuss his feelings related to the changed family situation.

Should I take the child for an ultrasound session?

It is not necessary. Seen will be incomprehensible to the child, it may confuse or scare him. Ultrasound is not entertainment, but a medical procedure designed to give an idea of ​​the course of fetal development. In addition, it is quite an intimate procedure, you should not so deeply devote the child to the anatomical details. Let the child give free rein to his imagination and try to imagine what the little mother does in the tummy, what he hears and feels.

Name selection

The eldest can be allowed to participate in choosing the name of the child This is a very exciting activity for the whole family, especially if you use the vocabulary of names, you can endlessly sort them out, solemnly utter solemnly, giggle at rare, funny-sounding names. It is necessary to listen to any suggestions of the child, but to say that the right to choose, the last word rests with the parents.

Preparing a room for a newborn

So that the child does not feel aloof from the coming changes, he can be attracted to the arrangement of the room and the choice of a dowry for a newborn. You can take the child with you to the store, he will be happy to choose a stroller, crib, bedding with you, but the decision on what to buy should be yours, although you should let him buy some little things for the baby. In the room, he can help things to put things in their places, make decoration. But if he does not want to participate in anything, do not be angry with him, that is his right.

Mama in the maternity hospital

This period has a special meaning. So that the baby does not feel lonely and forsaken, it is important that there are people around expressing their love and tenderness. The child will spend several days in anticipation and anxiety, and therefore it is necessary to calm him down and dispel fears, for example, by giving him a small gift from a newborn. Of course, more adult children will not allow themselves to spend: they understand that the newly born baby does not go shopping. But it is not important. For a child, it is an expression of feelings, a sign that they think of him, they love him, and that he is a family holiday, because gifts are given on the occasion of holidays, important and joyful events. Speaking to the eldest child: “The baby gives you this gift,” you do not deceive him, but make it clear that you want to give him joy too. For his part, the elder can also choose a gift and transfer it to the hospital. Upon returning from the hospital, the mother due to fatigue and turmoil will not be able to immediately pay attention to the elder. That he was not disappointed and even injured, someone from the family should take care of him. And when the mother has a little rest, she will be able to hug her eldest child, talk to him about himself, giving him the opportunity to speak first about the newborn.

Remember that you should not drive away an older one when you are engaged with a younger one, do not be ashamed of his whims and jealousy, do not compare children, do not rate the younger one more than the older one: "Even our baby is not naughty like you." Do not deny a caress to the elder under the pretext that he is already big, now he needs her more than ever. For any child, the appearance of another baby in the family is a serious test. Let him express his feelings, whatever they may be. Comfort him that you will still have time only for him. The smaller the child will be criticized, the more care it will be surrounded, the easier it will be for him to communicate with an open heart with a little man who has appeared in your family.

Practical advice for dads and moms

1. Ask the child to make a beautiful picture, insert it into the frame and hang it in the room of the newborn.

2. Let him follow the course of the days remaining until the birth of a small one, tearing off the sheets from the calendar with funny pictures, poems or riddles.

3. Offer him to play the role of a photo reporter (if the child is old enough) when the baby is brought home from the hospital. He will be proud and absorbed in this role, which will relieve him of certain experiences, and will allow him to feel belonging to what is happening.

4. Talk to him about his own birth, view infant photos, tell about the happiness you experienced in those days. Let him choose the photos for his personal album that seem to him the most important. Show your child that every minute of his life is important to you.

Of course, these are extremes, but they are real.

This attitude is based on a clear motivation: jealousy. Jealousy eats away the older child, gnaws his psyche. In this sense, he is no different from an adult, only the object of his jealousy, possession - the parents. You can fully understand his feelings if you were jealous at least once in your life. World fiction is replete with descriptions of this specific state, in the novels you can even find a variety of "recipes": how to ignite jealousy, or, conversely, how not to give a reason for it. You have to do the most serious work before you are truly ready to solve the problem with the older child on the eve of the birth and during the first years of the younger life.

There are several questions. Are all children prone to jealousy of younger brothers and sisters? What is the most dangerous age of an older child? And finally - what to do? Let's try to answer them in order.

Jealousy can occur in any child, even a well-prepared for the birth of a brother or sister. Sometimes one careless word is enough to make the fire flare up in full force. Can it be prevented? I think you can.

Of course, there is a relationship between the strength of the resulting jealousy and the age of the older child. It is clear that it is senseless to prepare a fifteen-sixteen-year-old first-born child for the birth of her second child as carefully as with a difference of five to six years, and this situation occurs much less frequently than a small difference in age. The difference in a year and a half is especially difficult. After all, your eldest child does not heed any of your arguments, no matter how much you call him for rationality, etc. But at this age, the psychological problem, even if it arises, is not as great as the one that may appear in an older child when he, by the age of five or eight, had sufficiently tasted all the charms of the position of the universal pet.

It is known that the prevention of the disease leads to significantly lower costs than its treatment. With all the disadvantages in the situation of "senior - junior" there is one important plus: the presence of a clear "diagnosis" allows you to prevent possible difficulties and overcome them. Thus, our problem is from the category of predictable and solvable.


After you find out that the family is coming replenishment, you have quite a decent time to prepare the first child or second child for the youngest. During this period, it is necessary to gradually introduce certain restrictions into the child’s life: for example, the mother’s back hurts, and therefore she cannot lift him in her arms, etc. In this case, in no case should one give the child to understand that any restrictions in his life appear because of the imminent appearance of the baby in the family.

The child must want the appearance of a brother or sister, and he must be convinced that he wants it.

You can not ask the older child if he wants a brother or sister - in any case! If he answers negatively, and to convince him otherwise, you will spend ten times more effort than it would have taken before pronouncing this fatal "no."

What to say to the child and how? Children feel very false. They are much better perceived by a slightly indifferent voice than by enthusiastic-enthusiastic outpourings. Try "unplanned" to give your child a great gift - he will definitely be interested in the cause of this generosity. You should not specifically set aside time for any educational conversations, you do not need to discuss your own behavior or the hypothetical behavior of the elder, you should not talk to him about duty, etc.. For example, it is better to avoid phrases like: “You must love your brother" or "We will still love you". Such conversations can alert the child and lead to unwanted questions. It is necessary to supply the baby with carefully thought-out information all the time, but in very small volumes, as if in passing. In no case can not overdo it. And it should be done so thinner than he is older.

Some examples of text.

«Lucky for you, your real brother will appear soon". (The theme of positivity, the desirability of its appearance and the difference between a “real”, a sibling or a sister from cousins, friends, etc., develops.)

«And here I did not have a younger brother in childhood". (Here you can talk about the negative manifestations of this unpleasant moment in your life: there was no one to protect, no one to play with, etc.) "Lucky, you will soon have a little sister, and I used to say to my parents as a child: “I’m giving birth to my sister myself, since you don’t want»…».

It’s nice to compare older kids with younger ones. The comparison, of course, must be either neutral or in favor of the elder (while the youngest is not very intelligent yet):

«When you were in my stomach, you always wanted to drink apple juice - my favorite, and your brother, I feel, loves carrots!»

«Let's measure my belly, see who is bigger - your little brother now or when you were sitting there ...»

«You kicked in my stomach, just like your sister ...»

It is necessary to give an elder the opportunity to feel that he has exclusive rights - for example, to tell him the name of the future baby, so that later he proudly said: “I called him that”, or go with him to the store for toys for the little one, the elder was proud that he chose toys for his brother or sister.

The independence of the older child is the key to a successful solution of the problem. (although not the decision itself). If the child is not independent, it is necessary to achieve the necessary results as soon as possible, sometimes even by forced measures. The degree of autonomy, of course, depends on the age of the child. The notion of independence includes the ability to independently eat, fall asleep, play, go to the pot (toilet), wipe the ass and much more.

It is necessary to buy new toys for the elder in advance, so that later, after the birth of the baby, synchronously give gifts to both children (not bad, explaining the situation, to give them and guests - as a gift for the elder on their behalf). It is good, if there is an opportunity to allocate more space for an older child in the apartment (or rather a separate room), it is also reasonable to accustom him to a separate bed in advance.

In general, what you can do then. What you can not - do not force after the appearance of the youngest in the house!


First acquaintance is very important for children. It would be nice to save the elder from the enthusiastic cries of relatives when the baby appears at home, and when “presenting” the newborn to the eldest child, you can tell him that he was, frankly, prettier and describe what, in conclusion similar to brother (sister). The first days after the mother’s return with the baby from the maternity hospital will largely determine the attitude of the older baby to the younger one. That is why at this time do not give your eldest child to grandparents, no matter how much they persuade you: he now especially needs the attention of parents. If your grandmother is willing and ready to help, it’s better to invite her to your home, and if you have problems communicating (and if funds allow), find an assistant with whom you don’t have to argue about how and when to do it.

After the appearance of the newborn, first and foremost you will have to have a lot of patience. Especially carefully you need to keep track of your own words, and this applies not only to mom and dad. If the parents are extremely sensitive and careful, and the grandmother will allow herself, at first glance, a harmless phrase addressed to the older child and relating to his relationship with the younger child (for example: “Give your sister your toy immediately, she is small” or "Do not cry, Tanya is sleeping"), without the necessary accompaniment-explanation, then the problem may arise completely unexpectedly.

The same situation can be presented to the older child a little differently: “Lucky you, Ilya, you have such good toys! Tanya has no such ones, let her play your robot a little, and you better show me your last drawing, I like it so much ...» Еще до появления младшего ребенка научите старшего меняться игрушками, а не отбирать их. Можно сказать и так: «Сережа, ты же знаешь, как мы оберегали твой сон, когда ты был маленький, мы даже бегали к соседям, просили их не шуметь, а однажды ты проснулся и долго громко плакал, и мы утешали тебя целый час". Старайтесь улыбаться, но не смейтесь.

Let's touch the younger one and don’t worry if he wakes up the baby with a careless movement or shout - this is inevitable.

Of course, the older child should be given no less attention than the younger one. We still have to do his favorite things with him, find time to talk, - the children really love when they just talk to them about nothing. Learn together a new song (lullaby for a younger one), record it on a tape recorder and turn it on for a newborn. If you praise the younger one, you must immediately find the reason to praise the older one. Caress the younger - pay a share of affection and elder! And so on.

As for the daily schedule for kids, then you will choose the daily schedule yourself based on your abilities. It is convenient to do some things at the same time with two babies: walk, put to bed, feed. This may seem more complicated, but believe me, it will relieve you from total employment and the associated stress.

I would like to share some other life experience: much of what you did with the first child meticulously and “according to the book” is already unacceptable for you. You will not be able to maintain absolute sterility, spend as much time ironing clothes, change it just as often, etc.

Unfortunately, in the behavior of an older child when a new baby appears in the family, certain mental disorders can occur (I note, in the absence of due attention to him from the parents).

The most unpleasant thing is aggressive behavior aimed at the younger one. At best, he will wake him up with loud cries, at worst he will try to cause him physical pain. Children's “ingenuity” in this area even amazes the imagination. The problem is that children do not understand what cruelty is and even death, sometimes they do not feel in danger and do not know what kind of power can be the damage that they can do even with their small physical abilities to a little man.

Other cases are less terrible in consequence, but also unpleasant.

It happens that the eldest child decides to achieve the "former location" of parents by imitating the youngest. For example, she starts asking for a pacifier, writing in clothes, etc. (the so-called regressive behavior).

A child may start revenging his parents: be naughty, rude, not respond to the call, etc. etc.

Some become confused about the whole world, and it is not always easy to take a child out of this state.

Behavioral options are reduced to the unconscious or conscious desire of the child to understand whether his parents still love. Parents should make every effort to fill gaps in his upbringing, and in no case should resort to gross exposure.

It will be difficult for you to save the youngest from bruises arising from the fault of the elder, but do not restrict their communication with a handshake through the arena trellis. It is very important that not only tactile, but also psychological contact is established between them, then they will become closer to each other, get used to doing many things together, help and help each other.

In the end, properly constructed relationships between children will help them understand the essence of relationships between people. They will grow balanced and already endowed with the wisdom of everyday compromise, the ability to selflessly love and surrender.

1-2 year difference

It is hardly appropriate to talk about jealousy on the part of the first child, because he is too small for such a “serious feeling”. These kids will be friends rather than rivals. Most of the things and toys of the first child completely painlessly go to the second child, and the older one will not be sorry to share them. The problem here is only that both children are small, the attention and care of parents are automatically raised to a double degree. That is why parents must decide whether they can live in double load for several years. But then this is compensated by the presence of more likely friends of children for many, many years.

Mother's experience: Elvira Popova, Moscow

“Our daughters were born with a one and a half year difference. The first years it was difficult to incredible, my husband and I could not wait for them to grow up. Of course, the eldest things smoothly passed on to the younger one, but this concerned only clothes. With toys, this story did not work - when the youngest was two years old and she began to realize that her sister had her toys, she urgently needed to have the same ones. Therefore, almost everything had to be duplicated - from dolls to designers. The only thing that was agreed upon was choosing toys of different colors or designers of different series. ”

Age difference 3-6 years

It is here that childish jealousy enters the scene. Competition between children cannot be avoided, but with the right approach, parents will be able to minimize the consequences of this children's jealousy. And everything, in general, is not so difficult. No need to put the child in front of the fact of the birth of a brother or sister. The eldest child is fully capable of understanding the process of intrauterine development of the second child - in general, of course, at his children's level. Therefore, take it with you for consultation and ultrasound. If you are going to buy things for the baby, be sure to hold the family council (in full force in the presence of a senior). And, of course, do not deprive the firstborn of the right to vote when choosing a name for the second child. And with the advent of the baby, try not to focus entirely on him, but to devote time to the older child so that he does not feel forgotten and unnecessary.

Mother's experience: Katerina Smelyanskaya, Voronezh

“My daughter was already five years old when I was waiting for my second child. At about the sixth month of pregnancy, my husband and I honestly told her that she would soon have a brother. She did not experience delight, said she did not need it. She said it was not childishly serious and, frankly, made her worry. She almost did not respond when little Sasha was brought from the hospital. She was jealous, I felt it. After hearing different stories about how the elders of jealousy can harm a helpless baby, I was afraid at first to leave them alone in the room. Now my daughter has gone to school, she has become quite an adult, and I completely trust her. And the relationship with his brother became better, now his daughter teaches him to count and write. ”

The difference in age of 7 years or more

What is easier for parents? Yes, the fact that the older child has his own social circle is independent in many matters. But despite this, you should not ignore his problems and interests. The life of parents changes dramatically with the advent of the baby, but your eldest child in his life should change almost nothing. Simply organize family communication with the advent of a new family member so that it is convenient for everyone. In this case, the advice and assistance of an older child in the life of a younger one can only be welcomed and encouraged. Do not expect that the older and the youngest child will be friends; the age difference is too great, but the first child will definitely be an example for a younger brother or sister.

Mother's experience: Svetlana Illarionova, Samara

“About the fact that we will have another child, told her son almost immediately. He, a terse by nature, only smiled. While I was pregnant, he somehow protected me in an adult way. And when it was time to give birth, and I was a few days in the hospital, he was very worried about me. He was so happy when my daughter and I were discharged! I can not say that he turned out to be a good assistant, but I could always ask him to sit with her in the room while I was doing something around the house. I always trusted him very much and it wasn’t even a thought that he could somehow harm her accidentally. It became terrible only once: I was standing in the bathroom, suddenly a son was walking down the corridor, he was only seven years old then, and he carries his sister in his arms. And she was born a very large child, I was so scared that he would drop her. But no, brother held tight. "

The difference in age of 15 years or more

The first child grew up and became quite an adult. Problems in the relationship of two children should not be. The main thing in this case is the health of both parents, especially the mother, to cope both physically and psychologically with the appearance of the baby with the already established algorithm of family life.

Mother's experience: Natalia Alexandrova, Perm

“My Nastya was finishing school when in the second marriage I had another daughter. I perfectly understood that the elder had almost her own life and my everyday problems didn’t worry her much, and I didn’t have the right to force her to help me. Surprisingly, the relations between the daughters are good. The younger one loves her grown-up sister very much, and she in turn protects her as much as she can. But once I involuntarily heard Nastya’s conversation with a friend, she said that her younger sister was her cross and she had to carry it. ”

Regardless of the difference in age between children, parents should pay an equal amount of attention to both children. Take note of the simple rules of the four "NOT", which should be guided in any situation.

DO NOT force the older child to engage the younger, if the initiative does not take place,

DO NOT force the eldest child to give your personal belongings to the baby,

Do not forget that the time of your communication belongs not to one, but to two children,

Never donate the comfort, spare time of the eldest son or daughter to the youngest child.