Preparing Older Tamariki for a New Sibling

Newborn toddler siblings

Having a new baby join the whānau is a huge adjustment for everyone, but especially older tamariki. Here are some tips for helping them to prepare fo the transition:


  • If you’re planning to have your child or children present at your birth, prepare them by watching positive birth videos together.
  • Show your toddler photos and videos of them as a baby, read them books about babies and becoming a sibling, and talk to them about the pēpi growing in your puku so they can begin to understand the concept.
  • If there are any major changes coming up, like toilet training or moving from a cot to a bed, try to implement these things well before the baby arrives so your child has time to adjust. Also, know that with a new pēpi joining the family, some toddlers will experience sleep or toilet training regressions but these are usually temporary. Alternatively, you may choose to wait to make these major changes until after the baby has arrived and things feel more settled at home.
  • Involve your child in preparing for the new pēpi. You may like to get them their own doll so they can pretend to feed, burp and change ‘their baby’ while you do the same with yours.
  • Set up an easy-to-reach snack station in your fridge or pantry, this way your tamariki can get their own kai if you’re occupied with the newborn.
  • Put together a special entertainment basket that you only bring out when feeding the baby. Include things that are easy for you to do one-handed should they need some assistance, like puzzles, books, magnetic tiles and stickers.