How can we prepare our stepdaughter for a new sibling?

I have an eight year old stepdaughter and am now expecting my first child with my husband. How do we make sure this is a smooth transition for the whole family?

I would emphasize to your stepdaughter that she is “becoming a big sister, instead of that she is “getting a little brother or sister”. Talk about the important role of being an older sister. Make lots of comments like “the baby will love listening to you and watching you” or “as the baby grows up she will be amazed at all things you can do” or “you will always have a younger sibling looking up to you”.
Depending if she has other siblings, she may have a lot of questions. Keep the communication as open as possible. Ask what her concerns are if she seems concerned. When I was pregnant, my stepson’s only concern was if the baby would break all his toys. It was easy to assure him that she would likely not even be in his room for the first year at least. 8 years is a great age difference too. She’ll be mature enough to understand baby is a baby (and needs to be babied) but she has more privileges, freedom and abilities. You might just find that stepdaughter thrives in the new family atmosphere. A baby usually means more routine and consistency in a household. My prediction is that is will bring you all closer. Congratulations! Answered by: Sunnybrook works full time and enjoys growing food and raising chickens on a mini-farm in Victoria, BC. She has a 5 year old daughter and 15 year old stepson. 

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