Your toddler will love being the center of attention. When any friends or family come to visit, they will completely dote over your child and shower him or her with plenty of attention. However, that could all change if you welcome a new baby to your family.
Adjusting to a new sibling can be tough for very young children. You will now have a second child to focus on, and they could end up feeling very left out. Especially when you have visitors over who haven’t met the new baby yet. But there are plenty of steps you can take to make the new arrival easier on your eldest child. Here’s my guide to helping your toddler adjust to their new sibling.
Tell Your Toddler That There Will Be A New Arrival Soon
If your son or daughter is old enough to understand, you should tell them that you are pregnant and that they will have a new sister or brother soon. Think of fun ways you can break the news to them. If you are struggling to tell them, get help from Zoey’s Attic Personalized Gifts. You could buy them a cute new t-shirt saying ‘I’m going to be a brother/sister soon.’ When you tell your toddler is up to you. They might start to notice the changes in your body and could ask you questions related to your tummy getting bigger. This could be a good time to sit them down and tell them the news. Make sure you assure them that it is happy news and that they should be excited about the new baby’s arrival. But don’t forget that this won’t change the way you think about them. Make sure they understand that you and your partner will still love them just as much as you did before.
Get Them To Practice With A Doll
If you have a daughter, she will no doubt already have lots of dolls that she cares for. However, a son might not have had this practice. In the run up to the birth make sure your child has a doll so that you can explain what the new baby will be like. They can see from the doll just how small and fragile their new sibling will be. You should also show them how to hold the baby so that they are ready for when their new sibling gets here. When you are using the doll to tell them what to expect, you should also keep their expectations realistic. Make sure that they understand the baby won’t be able to play with them at first. They should also know that you and your new partner might be very busy and tired once their new sibling is here.
Consider How You Will Introduce Your Toddler To The Baby
Your toddler may be nervous about meeting the new baby. After all, they could think that this newcomer is here to take their place in the family! So think carefully about how you will introduce the two of them. Doing it the right way, can put your eldest child at ease and will help them to welcome their new sibling more openly. One good idea is to get your eldest child a present. When they meet the baby, give them the gift and say it is from the baby. This will help them warm to the new arrival.
Don’t Expect Your Eldest To Love The Baby
Your eldest child might not have the same feelings of love that you do for the new baby. So don’t expect them to act the same way as you do. They may ignore the baby or might even try to be aggressive towards it. However, this behavior is just an initial reaction to the change in the family. After a while, your eldest child will settle down and accept the baby. This is when they will start to love their new sibling.
Stick To Your Toddler’s Routine
Once the new baby is home, it is important to try and stick to your toddler’s usual routine. This will reassure your eldest child that the arrival of the baby hasn’t changed family life too much. Keep to their nap times and make sure that they go to nursery or kindergarten regularly. These things might be tricky to organize around your new baby at first, but doing so will greatly help your toddler adjust to the new set up. Don’t give up his or her bedtime story because of the new baby, either. Helping your eldest child settle before bed means there is less chance that the baby’s crying will wake them through the night.
Expect Babyish Behavior From Your Eldest
If your eldest child gets very jealous of the new baby, you should expect them to behave in a very babyish way. They might ask for a bottle, demand to be cuddled and held, and they may even start wetting themselves again. This is all a way for them to try and get more attention from you. It is because they feel like you are giving all your attention to the new baby. So, they will start acting like the baby to try and compete with it. This is very normal behavior among toddlers who have recently got a new sibling. Just be patient and wait for it to pass.
Encourage Your Eldest Child To Help With The Baby
If you turn looking after your baby into a game, your toddler can join in and help you. This will help give them a sense of belonging. One example is to ask your child to get everything that you need to change the baby’s nappy. While you are busy seeing to the new nappy, encourage your toddler to talk to the baby. Even though the baby can’t talk back, all the chattering from your toddler can help them to form a bond.