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Preparing Your Child for a Newborn's Arrival

It’s perfectly normal for children to experience mixed emotions as your family expands.

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Photo: Nancy Falconi/Getty Images


Baby on the way? As you prepare for your growing family, you may wonder how your kindergartner will adjust. It’s perfectly normal for children to experience mixed emotions during this time, including excitement, apprehension, and jealousy. 


To help your child embrace a new sibling, involve him in the preparations and discuss what’s to come. He can help set up the baby’s room or create a “welcome home” sign. If this is his first little sibling, consider taking him to a sibling class. 


Once the baby is home, involve your kindergartner often. Your older child can read or sing to the baby. He will also feel a great sense of accomplishment when given a special role, such as bringing the diaper or putting on the baby’s socks. 


Although there might be some bumps along the way, with a little guidance your children will develop a wonderful bond. 



Elena Jeffries, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and co-founding partner of, a group practice in Millburn, NJ. She specializes in child and adolescent psychotherapy and positive discipline strategies for parents.



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