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How to Prepare Your Child for a New Brother or Sister
Children's reactions to family changes depend on their age, pediatric experts advise
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Wondering how to tell your kids a baby brother or sister is on the way and how they will react to the news?
How children respond depends on their age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Knowing what to expect can help parents break the news in a positive way.
1- to 2-year-olds
These little ones won't fully grasp the news but will feed off their parents' joy. Mom and Dad should talk about the new baby and let kids feel their enthusiasm. Parents can also read them picture books about the arrival of a new sibling.
At this age, kids need a lot of time and attention from their parents. When the baby arrives, some alone time or a special activity will reassure big brother and big sister they are still loved. It's a good idea for Mom and Dad to ask relatives and friends to help out.
2- to 4-year-olds
At this age, most kids are very attached to their parents and may have trouble sharing them with anyone. A new baby may make them feel threatened. To ease these feelings, the AAP advises:
By age 5, kids usually don't feel as threatened by a new baby, but they may resent the extra attention given to a newborn. The AAP offers these tips:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about infant and toddler care.
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