How to Prepare a 10 Month Old for a New Sibling???

Updated on September 17, 2010
C.R. asks from Buffalo Grove, IL
7 answers

Hi Everyone -

I have a little girl who is 10 months old and I am pregnant again and due in January. My daughter will be almost 14 months at that time, but is there a way to help prepare her for this big change that will be occuring? She and I spend all of my free time together and I don't know how she will react when it's not just me and her anymore. She is a very happy baby and I am scared that will change when the new baby (a boy) will come. Anyone have children this close in age? Any advise you could give would be great!


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answers from Chicago on

I think all you can really do at such a young age is start teaching her to play independently and not running to her the second she wakes, fusses, etc. To help train her, I would suggest putting her in her high chair, strapped in, and giving her some crackers or puffs to eat, and then unload the dishwasher. Or give her some toys to play with and leave the room for a little bit to get and fold laundry.

If she's already mobile - crawling or walking (perhaps it's a little early) - then she can come "find" you.

We have an 11 mo old. He leaves me all the time to go play in the other room, push a car around, etc. Sometimes I leave him and go fold laundry in the kitchen. When he fusses or 'calls' me, I simply say, "Here I am. Come get Mama!" I don't stop what I'm doing and go pick him up.

Also, for your own sanity, if you can, get your DH to start helping more with the bedtime routine. As your belly grows you'll have less room on your lap for your daughter. Getting Daddy to take over after dinner can be a lifesaver. Let him do the bath-book-bed routine. Let them become "buddies" as you probably have less energy and will soon need to have some recovery time and spend time with your newborn. That way instead of your daughter feeling "rejected" by you, her routine stays the same when the new sibling comes.

Finally, maybe get her a plastic baby doll. Teach her to "be gentle", "give the baby kisses", etc. As she gets older she may play with it more...then she can take care of her baby, while you take care of yours. This works a bit better for an older sibling, but it's never too early to start teaching your daughter how to act around another baby. Of course she's going to be curious about her sibling, and that will involve poking, hitting, etc. So at minimum I'd start working on "gentle" touches now.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Congrats C.! My kids are a week shy of 15 months apart. I was a SAHM who did nothing but spend time with my daughter.... and I never experienced any rivalry or jealously. Some of the things I did are similar to the other posters. The key is to keep it simple.

1) BOOKS!! "I'm a Big Sister" by Joanna Cole is wonderful! It focuses on the positives (even though our little ones won't quite understand, necessarily!) Also, my daughter loved reading "Babies" by Gyo Fujikawa. It's a very simple book -- excellent for a child as young as your daughter. Many of the other "being a big sister" books were just too mature for my daughter at that time (9-14 months.)

2) DOLL I purchased a Cabbage Patch Newborn Dall (at Target). It came with a infant carrier and bottle, I think. Then you can start modeling behavior -- how to how, what it means to be "gentle," etc. Have FUN with it and be positive.

3) Have a separate toy/activity bin to pull out for your daughter to play with near you whenever you are feeding her baby -- or needing to spend a lengthy amount of time focusing only on the baby. New toys will keep her interested and excited.

4) Start teaching your daughter to navigate the stairs with a minimal level of independence. At minimum, see if you can get your daughter comfortable climbing (crawling) up the stairs. Yes, she's too young to trust to use stairs by herself without any support...but you'll probably be able to let her crawl upstairs with you by her side.

5) When/if you bring your daughter to the hospital to meet her brother, please kick everyone else out of your room and make it as calm as possible!!!! Just you and your hubby and the kids. Seeing Mommy in a white hospital bed with tons of people around scared my sweet daughter. A nurse came in and out to take my temp, etc. and my daughter couldn't take it -- she freaked out. It was awful.

At 14 months, your daughter isn't really going to have a full understanding of what a sibling even is! If you are stressed and make things seem like something ominous is about to happen, your daughter will stress. The really great part about the kids being so close in age is that your daughter will never, ever remember a time that her brother wasn't around!

My very best wishes! Let me know if there are any other questions you have!

EDIT: You may want to transition her out of any baby equipment (that the new baby will use) as soon as possible. We transitioned my daughter out of the high chair to a booster seat and put the high chair in the she didn't think her new brother "stole" it from her. Same with some of the infant toys, etc. We put them away in the basement, and she never remembered that they were "hers." We moved her into her new room about 2 months before her brother came home (although we didn't take away her crib.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I had babies 15 months apart, and it was tricky trying to prepare the older one. I bought a baby doll for him, etc. And then I did some of the things that the previous mom just wrote.
I think it was still hard for him to understand what was going on. When he saw me in the hospital, he would have nothing to do with me. When I came home, he was pretty emotional for a while. He wasn't mean or rough, just emotional. And I went with the flow and gave him lots of love and hugs and attention. He also got to watch a show on TV while I was nursing. He loved baby Einstein. So we kind of developed routines and habits with the baby there. Dad did get really involved and helped a lot with bedtime.



answers from Cleveland on

I think their closeness in age will work to your advantage. I just had a new baby, and was VERY concerned about my 2 yr old. He's very sweet, but INTENSE. He's been handling it much better then I thought. We talked to him about it all the time, told him and showed him with baby dolls about being gentle, and how much the new baby will love him.

My best advice is to not worry too much and stress. They pick up on our anxiety. As long as you dont make a big deal about it, she probably wont either. Make a point when the new baby gets here to sometimes say out loud "I'm sorry 'baby' but it's big sisters turn for mommy's ttention right now" My BIL and SIL did that with their kids who about the same age difference as your kids, and it really seemed to help their daughter.

Its alot to think and worry about but you'll be okay. I try to remember this is a common natural thing that families have dealt with through time. And we'll be fine, you will too:) Congrats on your two babies!



answers from Chicago on

my middle two boys are 15 months apart. the really great thing about them being that close in age is they will neither one of them ever remember not being together. they will be very close. I would get a toddler bed and put it in the room where the kids will be staying and start introducing naptime there when she is old enough so that she will be used to it by the time the baby needs the crib. other than that i wouldn't worry about anything. good luck


answers from Billings on

I had my son 4 days after his sisters 1st birthday...he was 3 weeks early. We talked to her daily about the new books on being a big sister...she still wasn't having it..until he was about 2 months old, then he was hers. I think in any case the child would be jealous until they got used to the baby. It was always my daughter and me, just like you described. Just keep talking about the new baby, reminding her that he will be there and you love him and her just as much as you ever did.Good Luck!



answers from San Francisco on

My kids are 16 months apart, and they are best friends. When my daughter was born my son tried (once) to push her off my lap. I explained that we had to be gentle. From then on he was, except we had a few problems with him trying to share his toys and throwing wooden blocks into her crib while she slept.:) Kids that age adapt very quickly. My son was a very clingy baby , but he adjusted almost immediately to the new baby and had virtually no problems.

For a few months before the baby is born, find a baby doll and rock it while you play with your daughter. Talk about the baby a lot. And try to find someone who has recently had a baby that you can go visit. More than likely, your daughter won't pay the new baby much attention at because she will be hitting a very independent stage!

It will be fun. I was practically a single mom when my daughter was born and my son was 16 months (my husband was in Iraq when my little girl was born and wasn't home until she was 3 months old). I thought it was wonderful and it was not nearly as challenging as I thought it was going to be! GOOD LUCK AND CONGRATULATIONS!

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