Tips from show creator Angela C. Santomero (mother of two) to help kids adjust to a new baby:
- Don’t Spill the Beans too Soon – While it’s always helpful to prepare your preschooler about what to expect and talk with them about new experiences, young children don’t understand time the way adults do. Since it can be difficult for them to wait for events happening many months in the future, try to wait as long as possible to tell your child about the new baby.
- Discuss What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Talk with your child about what to expect from newborns – they sleep a lot, cry, and can’t play games or talk (at least not the same way as your preschooler can)! If you know a family or friend with a new baby, make a brief visit so your child can see firsthand what an infant can and can’t yet do.
- Crown Your New “Big Helper” – Involve your child in caring for their new sibling right from the start. Encourage them to pick out items for the baby’s room, get the diapers when it’s changing time, and sing or talk to the baby. Giving them specific ways to lend a hand helps preschoolers feel needed and more grownup.
- Make “Mommy/Daddy & Me Time” – When the baby arrives, set aside “just you and me” times with your older child. Whether it’s a trip to the library or simply reading a story together before bed, it’s important to make sure your older child doesn’t feel left out.
- Let Them Know How Proud You Are – Help your child to feel proud about being the older brother or sister by showing your appreciation for all the things they can do that the new baby can’t yet accomplish such as using their words. Reinforce your older child’s role in the family as the big brother or sister to the new baby.
Want more Daniel Tiger goodness? There's an all-new iOS App that was released last week called DANIEL TIGER'S GRR-IFFIC FEELINGS. Geared towards kids ages 2-5 and available on iPad, the app is designed to empower kids to identify and express their wide and complex range of emotions. The four socio-emotional activities in the app offer kids a variety of interactive ways to accomplish this. Check it out now on the App Store.
Additionally, if you'd like to celebrate the new arrival, join @PBSKIDS for a #DanielTigerPBS Twitter Party on August 14th at 9pm ET in the Twitterverse.
DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD airs weekdays on PBS KIDS. Check your local listings for times.