Members of the whānau will have different emotions about the new baby. Discuss these and try to deal with them.

A new pēpi can bring different emotions for the whānau – from joy to panic and everything in between.

You could ask them:

  • What were the first thoughts you had when you found out about the pregnancy?
  • Why do you think that was?

Who to tell – and when?

Sometimes parents want to keep the news of their pregnancy quiet. Other whānau want to share the news as soon as their pregnancy is confirmed. Each family will have their own way of doing things — follow their lead.

You could ask them:

  • Does everyone know about the new baby?
  • What were the responses from your whānau and friends when you told them?
  • Why do you think that was?

Deciding who to share the news with, and when, will also differ between families.

  • In blended families or where there are other siblings, the timing of the announcement might require extra planning.
  • For some parents, thinking about sharing their love and attention with another child can be a worry.
  • Helping whānau talk through their concerns might help to calm, or at least clarify, their fears.

Sibling responses to the news

If they’re worried about whether siblings will accept the new baby, address their concerns by talking through some ideas. Ask them:

  • What are the pluses and minuses of having another pēpi in your whānau?
  • What might you need in the first few months and where could that come from?

Toddlers will be very interested and want to know all about the new baby. Here are some ideas to help siblings adjust to the new baby’s arrival.

  • Set aside some uninterrupted one-on-one time with them.
  • Encourage visitors or other family members to give special attention to the sibling too.
  • Reassure toddlers that they’re still important and loved.
  • Maintain some familiar routines, especially ones toddlers are used to.
  • Give them easy ways to help with pēpi.
  • Read books together about other families welcoming new babies.

Helpful resources for whānau