Module 1: Promoting Mental Health in Infancy

Family FormationPreparing for the Baby

Preparing for Baby’s Arrival

Throughout pregnancy, parents await their infant’s arrival. If they are first-time parents, they cannot fully understand what parenthood will mean for them. In families with other children, the expectant mother, father, and siblings have expectations and a wide range of emotions.

Questions to Ask

  • How are preparations for your baby going?
  • How do you think the new baby will change your lives?
  • Do you have other children? How do they feel about the fact that a new baby is coming?

Provider Tip

  • Using the guidance below, talk with the family about their expectations before the baby is born or adopted. Help them get ready emotionally for the new baby.

Guidance for Parents

  • Bringing a new baby into the family is often exciting but it can also be stressful. There will be changes in your family relationships when the new baby arrives. Plan on helping each other take care of the baby and accept help from family and friends.
  • Your family and friends are looking forward to the new baby, too. Let them know that you may be asking them for help with the baby. This will give them time to make arrangements and be prepared to help you if needed.
  • To help prepare your other children for the arrival of the new baby, you can:
    • Read them children’s books about the arrival of a new baby brother or sister
    • Talk to them about who will care for them while you are in the hospital
    • Include them in the plans for the baby’s homecoming and make them feel that they are an important part of this exciting event
    • Give them special attention at the homecoming (bring them a toy or book)
Family Resource

Helping Siblings Adjust to the New Baby PDF

Copyright Georgetown University Georgtown University Infancy