Daniel Tiger is about to welcome a little sister in the second season of PBS Kids' "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" on Monday.
The hit preschool series from The Fred Rogers Company aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of a new sibling in the hourlong "Meet the New Baby" special at 11 a.m. on PBS (check local listings). In the episode, 4-year-old Daniel learns that his family will soon have a new member, little sister Margaret. Like a typical preschooler, he's not sure what to expect and he frets about giving up his old baby things to his new sibling.
After the special, PBS Kids will premiere two more new episodes on Tuesday and Wednesday, focusing on Daniel and his family as they adjust to life with the baby. New digital content, including two online games and an app, will also launch this month.
To help your kids adjust to the arrival of a new baby brother or sister, Angela C. Santomero, creator of "Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood," provided these tips:
-- 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," Santomero said. "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: Talk with your child about what to expect from newborns -- they sleep a lot, cry, can’t play games or talk. 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, she suggested.
-- Crown your new 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," Santomero said. "Giving them specific ways to lend a hand helps preschoolers feel needed and more grown-up."
-- Make 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, she suggested.
-- Be proud and tell them: "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," Santomero said. "Reinforce your older child’s role in the family as the big brother or sister to the new baby."
To find Daniel Tiger games and activities online, visit pbskids.org.