Here are a few tips to help make sure an older sibling feels involved with the arrival of a new baby in the house:
1. Make sure to schedule some time with just the two of you. Even if this is time you would like to use to catch up on the newspaper, spend a little time with your older child so he feels special too.
2. Deputize him as he “baby police.” It’s up to him to protect his younger sibling. Give him laws to enforce like “no touching the baby until you’ve washed your hands.” In many cases, this will even save you the embarrassment of having to tell guests this yourself.
3. Have some fun with it. If you can get your child to laugh with you about the ups and downs of baby care, diaper changing, and feeding, you’ll be a long way toward creating a team.
4. There’s a reason you see “big sister” T-shirts. You can instill pride in the older sibling by making the world know the special role he has.
5. Communicate the challenges. If your older child realizes that a new baby creates upheaval and changes for a parent as well, he may be better able to accept the sacrifices of having to share you with a new member of the family.