Becoming a Big Brother or Sister: Embracing a New Role

Becoming a Big Brother or Sister: Embracing a New Role

1. Preparing for the Change

The first step in the journey of becoming a big brother or sister is preparing for the change. Parents can involve the older sibling in the pregnancy journey, from announcing the news to discussing the baby's development. This can help create a sense of inclusion and excitement about the upcoming arrival.

2. Expressing Emotions

Children may experience a wide range of emotions as the due date approaches, from excitement to anxiety. It's essential to create a safe space for them to express their feelings and ask questions. Encourage open communication, and reassure them that their feelings are valid.

3. Involvement in Baby Preparation

Involving the older sibling in preparing for the baby's arrival can be empowering. This may include helping choose baby items, decorating the nursery, or even attending prenatal classes with parents. These activities foster a sense of responsibility and involvement.

4. Setting Realistic Expectations

It's important to set realistic expectations for the older sibling. Let them know that while the baby will require a lot of attention, they will still be loved and valued. Reassure them that their role as a big brother or sister is essential and special.

5. Welcoming the New Addition

When the baby arrives, make it a point to involve the older sibling in welcoming the new addition. They can help with tasks like picking out the baby's outfit, holding their little sibling (with supervision), or singing lullabies. This helps them bond and feel a sense of ownership.

6. Encourage Bonding Time

Encourage bonding time between the older sibling and the baby. Spend quality time together, read stories, and involve them in activities that promote sibling interaction. These moments help build a strong, loving relationship.

7. Be Patient and Understanding

As the older sibling adjusts to their new role, they may experience moments of jealousy or frustration. It's crucial for parents to be patient and understanding during these times. Explain that it's okay to feel this way and offer solutions to cope with these emotions.

8. Celebrate Milestones

Celebrate the older sibling's milestones and achievements in their new role. Whether it's their first diaper change or their first solo bedtime story with the baby, acknowledging their contributions fosters a positive self-image.

9. Foster Independence

While the older sibling may want to help with the baby, it's also important to foster their independence. Encourage them to pursue their interests and hobbies, and ensure they have one-on-one time with parents as well.

10. Creating Family Bonds

Ultimately, the journey of becoming a big brother or sister is about creating strong family bonds. As the children grow, they will develop a unique connection that can last a lifetime. Encourage shared experiences, from family outings to traditions that help strengthen these relationships.


Becoming a big brother or sister is a transformative experience for a child. With the right guidance and support from parents, this journey can be a beautiful one filled with love, growth, and the formation of lifelong bonds. By involving the older sibling in the process, expressing understanding, and celebrating their role, parents can help ensure a smooth and positive transition into this new chapter of family life.
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