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Old 08-01-2008, 03:54 PM
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Welcoming a new baby to the family without jealousy

Recently we welcomed our 5th child to our family. The biggest question my children (9, 8, 6 and 4) had was "What kind of T-Shirts are we going to make?" Now this may seem like a strange question to ask, but in our family, the arrival of a new baby always prompts a month long creative binge.

The creation of Big Brother/Big Sister shirts was the first thing I instituted. Each new addition has had its own version.
  • fingerpainted with handprint accents
  • white turtlenecks with felt letters
  • bright yellow T-Shirts made with iron ons
  • white polo shirts with personalized messages to the baby hand written/coloured by the siblings
As well we have made
  • craft foam crowns decorated with "jewels"
  • Create you own Shrinky Dinks jewellery proclaiming a new sibling (designed on computer, colour printed onto "Shrinky Dink-ish "paper" purchased at a stationary store) then placed in oven to shrink, then decorated with glitter etc and made into earrings, necklaces and bracelets
  • diaper shirt with pictures drawn by all children
  • special hats
  • gift bags
  • cards
  • "murals" for the baby's room
  • blankets
  • sock dolls
In the days leading up to the arrival of the newest member of the family, I take each child out of school individually for a special Mama and Son/Daughter day. We update their photo albums, reminice about when they were young, go to a restaurant of their choice for lunch and then snuggle and chat.

When the baby is born, each child presents the baby with a small gift and welcome him/her to the family. In turn, the baby gives each child a small gift (usually includes some kind of treat they can eat while visiting - keeps them busy and quiet during the visit!) As well, when Polaroid camera film was still available, each child would leave with a polaroid of him/her holding the baby that they could immediately and proudly show off their new baby to friends, family and teachers.

So far, by spending so much time and effort into including the siblings in the arrival of their new baby, and by ensuring that they feel the baby is THEIRS, we have avoided the dreaded sibling rivalry and jealousy. That is not to say that there aren't moments in the early months that the other children are fighting for my attention or bickering, they are of course normal children! But what this has given us are children who love, care for, protect and are proud of their new sibling. That new sibling is immediately accepted as part of the family and not as an interloper or usurper.

This is what has worked for us.
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:51 AM
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Kate, thanks for sharing this great idea! You have hit on a wonderful and creative way of strengthening family bonds and teaching your children to give from the heart. I'm sure their new sibling is thriving on all that love!
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:23 AM
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Congrats on the new arrival Kate. Please post pictures in the newborn section of the Photo Gallery. Also, post pictures of the rest of your family.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:31 AM
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Kate you are a awesome mother!
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:33 AM
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Congratulations Kate. And what an awesome idea!
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:07 AM
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:50 AM
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New babies were welcomed into our home with open arms, and I always made sure everyone felt needed and loved. I made time for everyone, and yes, it was exhausting, but just because a new baby comes into the picture doesn't mean everything else takes a backseat.
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