Feature Archive

Preparing the Welcoming Committee

Preparing for the Welcoming Committee

WebMD Feature

If you think that you can bring a new baby home without the family routine skipping a beat, you're kidding yourself. A new family member means change for everyone: you, your child, even the family pooch or kitty.

The good news is that with a little forethought and patience, you can teach everyone that life goes on -- not the same, maybe, but with plenty of love to go around.

"One of the major tasks for an older child is to realize they haven't lost their important position as king or queen of the mountain," says Dr. Joseph Hagan, a pediatrician from South Burlington, Vt., and clinical associate professor of pediatrics at University of Vermont College of Medicine. "Now there are two (or three or four) royalty holding that place."

With some planning, even Frisky can stay curled on the throne.

Preparing for a Birthday Party

How much your child understands about having a new sibling will depend in part on the child's age and how much he can comprehend. But nestled together on your ever-expanding lap can be a good starting point to talk about the new baby and what infants are like.

If your child is still using a crib, try switching him to a new bed at least a few months before the new baby arrives so that he doesn't feel he's being usurped. Dr. Hagan says you don't have to remove the crib, but use it for something else, such as stuffed animals. And, don't refer to it as your child's crib but as "the baby crib." Same with old baby clothes.