10 Ways to Help Siblings Adjust to a New Pregnancy from Experience

Mom guilt. You wonder if you’re doing the right thing, especially when it comes to growing your family. If I have another baby, will I be replacing my other children? Will they feel like I don’t love them anymore? If I only have one child, will they be missing out having siblings? Will they be lonely? A million questions enter your mind as you think about having children. Honestly, there are no good answers. No one can predict the outcome to these scenario, so you make a decision and stick with it. 

New Pregnancy

The Gift of Siblings

My husband and I always talked about having multiple children. It wasn’t even a discussion. However, I became pregnant with #2 when #1 was only 7 months old. Enter mom guilt. It was terrifying and heart wrenching. I felt so guilty that I was having another baby. And then I felt guilty for feeling guilty. Looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened to our family. Our first two little men are the best of friends. They’re siblings that play wonderfully with each other. They refuse to sleep in separate rooms. They love being together (most of the time). My initial worry and guilt was a waste of energy. I wasn’t taking away from my first born. I was giving him the gift of a sibling, a friend. 

We are currently expecting again.

We have three children on earth, one in heaven, and this new little one due in 5 months. Each pregnancy was a little different. Each new birth came with different challenges. Each child came with a different personality. But each child has filled a piece of our family that we didn’t even know was missing. I have not heard complaints from my children during any pregnancy. Usually, it sounds more like, “When are we going to have the next baby after this one?” I believe this is because pregnancy, for us, is a family affair. We are a family, a unit, a single entity. We found various ways to include our children in the process to make it an exciting experience for them. 

Introducing Siblings

Include siblings from the beginning

We include our children in the new pregnancy from the beginning as soon as we see those two little pink lines. We tell our children as soon as we know. We feel that no matter what happens, they have a right to that time with their sibling. And trust me, we know how painfully hard it is to miscarry, however, we grieved as a family. If it hadn’t been for our oldest son, we would not have made it through. 

Let them name the baby

No, I am not talking about the name you are going to write on the birth certificate. If we did that, our kids would have some pretty crazy names! I’m referring to nicknames. Before we know the gender, we have the kids nickname the baby. That’s where siblings come in handy. I will spare you the long back story behind these nicknames, but, we have had ‘Million’, ‘Cutie Pie’, ‘Sweet Pea’, and ‘Peregrine Falcon’. If you are thinking. But what if these nicknames stick? Don’t worry—they don’t. But the kids do like to tell each other about the name they gave them when they were in Mommy’s tummy.

Take them to doctor’s appointments

Scary, right? It’s so much easier to go by myself—to have an hour to relax and not worry about keeping my kids from breaking medical equipment. But to be honest, I love having them there and they love being there! They are excited to hear the heartbeat or to see the baby on the ultrasound. Remember how amazing it was to hear your firstborn’s heartbeat for the first time? I love giving that experience to my kids and their new sibling. 

Use inclusive vocabulary

My children love to tell people that we are having a new baby. That their baby is coming in October. Technically, Mommy is growing the baby and will deliver the baby, but I never use singular vocabulary. The baby is going to be part of our family. And my children are going to be just as affected by his or her presence as I am. So to anyone who asks, we are having a new baby in our family.


Be open

Pregnancy comes with side effects. I do my best to explain what’s happening to me to my children using child-appropriate language. They want to know why mommy is so tired, throwing up, why she has a little less patience—I explain it the best that I can. For the most part, they accept it and try to help.

Practice having a new sibling

Teach your kids how to hold a baby. Show them where the diapers and wipes are stored. Teach them how to change a diaper if they’re old enough. Explain that baby’s cry, sometimes a lot. Do your best to prepare them for what is coming. 

Look at baby pictures

Break out the photo albums. Look at pictures of you as a baby or your partner as a baby. But especially look at pictures of your children as babies. Tell them stories of the first few weeks with them at home. Tell them stories of your pregnancy with them. Help them relate to your current pregnancy and their new sibling.

Take pictures

Some people do formal maternity shoots while others think maternity photos are silly. Whether you decide to do a formal shoot or not, photograph that bump. Your kids will love seeing pictures of your bump and knowing that their little body is inside. Also, take pictures of your kids and their new sibling bump.

Sibling and Bump

Read books

There are a ton of new baby books on the market. You local library likely has several! Find cute stories about welcoming a new baby and becoming a big brother or sister. Seeing the pictures and reading the story will help prepare your children.

Give yourself a break

Growing a baby is hard work whether this is your first or fifth. Don’t try to do it all. Don’t try to be perfect. Do the best that you can. Spend time with your children: play with them, read to them. Take a nap if you need it! Do your best and your children are going to be fine. 

I am the mom to four amazing kiddos. Isaac (2012). Eli (2013). Anna (2017). Ava (2019). I have been married to my husband Jonathan since 2009. I was born and raised in Nebraska and am a cornhusker through and through. I am also a local speech-language pathologist. I specialize in working with kiddos ages birth to seven, specifically children with autism spectrum disorder, apraxia of speech, articulation/phonological disorders, and developmental delay. You can also follow me at https://morethanmama.weebly.com/