There's a new PBS Kid on the way, and her name is Margaret!
Daniel Tiger from "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" on PBS Kids is getting a brand-new baby sister, and he has to learn what it's like to welcome a new little tiger into his family. The special one-hour episode airs Monday, August 18 (check local listings), so be sure to make some time to watch with the kiddos.
CC and I got a sneak peek of the episode, and my 7-year-old, who happens to be a big sister herself, could identify with what Daniel was going through, from finding out that there's a baby in Mommy's tummy to actually meeting the new permanent addition to his family.
Besides adjusting to sharing space in your home (sometimes even your room!) and especially sharing your parents' attention, becoming a "sibling" as opposed to an "only" can be tricky. And I'm glad CC wanted to watch how Daniel was dealing with it.
She liked it so much that she insisted on wanting to be a helper, which, let's face it, is always welcome.
In the episode, Daniel learns to be a helper, too, which in turn reminds him how needed and wonderful he is to his family — especially his new baby sister.
Angela C. Santomero, who created "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" and is a mom of two daughters, offered up these tips for helping your first child adjust to new additions:
· Don’t Spill the Beans too Soon – While it’s always helpful to prepare your preschooler about what to expect and talk with them about new experiences, young children don’t understand time the way adults do. Since it can be difficult for them to wait for events happening many months in the future, try to wait as long as possible to tell your child about the new baby.
· Discuss What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Talk with your child about what to expect from newborns – they sleep a lot, cry, and can’t play games or talk (at least not the same way as your preschooler can)! If you know a family or friend with a new baby, make a brief visit so your child can see firsthand what an infant can and can’t yet do.
· Crown Your New “Big Helper” – Involve your child in caring for their new sibling right from the start. Encourage them to pick out items for the baby’s room, get the diapers when it’s changing time, and sing or talk to the baby. Giving them specific ways to lend a hand helps preschoolers feel needed and more grownup.
· Make “Mommy/Daddy & Me Time” – When the baby arrives, set aside “just you and me” times with your older child. Whether it’s a trip to the library or simply reading a story together before bed, it’s important to make sure your older child doesn’t feel left out.
· Let Them Know How Proud You Are – Help your child to feel proud about being the older brother or sister by showing your appreciation for all the things they can do that the new baby can’t yet accomplish such as using their words. Reinforce your older child’s role in the family as the big brother or sister to the new baby.