If you're pregnant and have a toddler at home, you're probably starting to think about preparing a toddler for a new sibling that's on the way. It can be tricky to navigate this territory when you're having a second baby with a toddler around, making this a tough task for all involved, but it's important to include them in the process as much as possible. Here are some tips that can help make the transition go more smoothly!
Challenges That Comes With Having A Second Baby With A Toddler
One of the biggest challenges of preparing a toddler for a new baby is helping them understand that the baby won't be like them. They won't be able to play together right away and they'll need extra care. It's important to explain this to your toddler in a way that they can understand.
Another challenge is dealing with the toddler's jealousy. It's normal for a toddler to feel jealous when a new baby arrives, and there are ways to manage this. One way is to give your toddler extra attention and cuddles. You can also involve them in caring for the new baby, such as letting them help with diaper changes or feedings.
It's also important to manage your own expectations. A new baby means less sleep and more chaos in the house, at least for a little while. Try to be patient and understand that your toddler is going through a big change too.
Here are twelve tips for preparing a toddler for a new sibling
When you're preparing a toddler for a new baby, you may need to be equipped with a few creative tips and ideas on how to exactly handle that. Don’t be too proud or feel mom guilt because you’re seeking tips - we’ve all been there.
But just remember, every child is different, so what works for one may not work for another. In addition to these tips, don't hesitate to reach out for advice or help from friends, family, or professionals.
Talk about the baby often
Make sure to include your toddler in conversations about the new baby. This will help them feel involved and excited about the arrival of their new sibling.
Show them pictures of babies
If you have any friends or family members with babies, ask if you can bring your toddler over to meet them. If not, show your toddler pictures of babies in books or online.
Explain what to expect
Talk to your toddler about what will happen when the baby is born. Explain that the baby will need a lot of care and won't be able to play with them right away. You can play videos on YouTube of babies and get him or her a baby doll to get accustomed to having another little person around.
Include them in the preparations
If you're painting the nursery or buying clothes for the baby, involve your toddler in the process. Preparing a toddler for a new baby can look like taking your toddler to doctor appointments, making them part of the entire process. This will help in preparing a toddler for a new sibling by helping them feel like they're a part of the process in getting ready for the new arrival.
It's important to be patient with your toddler as they adjust to having a new sibling. They might act out more than usual or act clingy. Just try to be understanding and give them the extra attention they need.
Get your toddler a present from the baby
Get your tot something that you know they will be excited for. And start prepping your child by telling him/her that baby will bring them a present. Make it exciting and have it ready with your things so when you come back from the hospital, “baby will bring the gift.” This could be something like a stuffed animal or a book, whatever it is that you know they'll be very happy getting!
Have a family meeting
Before the baby is born, have a family meeting with your toddler. This is a good time to explain what's going to happen and answer any questions they might have.
Give them a job
When the baby is born, give your toddler a job to help care for the new arrival. This could be something like getting a diaper or fetching a blanket. Other ways are by having your tot hand your burp cloths, pacifiers, diapers, and so on. This will help your tot feel included and important, which is the idea when you’re preparing a toddler for a new sibling, right?.
Have special toys ready
Provide lots of books for your toddler before and after the baby arrives. One idea is having a superhero suit made for your toddler, and he/she can be 'super brother' or 'super sister.' Also have a basket of special toys that your toddler can play with while you're nursing or during other demands.
Make time for them
It's important to make sure you're still spending quality time with your toddler, even with a new baby in the house. Try to set aside some time each day to focus on them. 10 minutes a day of uninterrupted, focused play with your toddler, doing whatever they choose, can be life changing for your tot.
Officially Introduce Toddler to Baby
I know it's going to be tough to have free hands when baby comes. But when your toddler comes to see you at the hospital, don't be holding the baby when he walks in. Keep your hands free and then introduce baby together.
Get them a personalized book
You can get your son or daughter a personalized book from Wonderbly with it says "[Kid's Name] is a new big brother [or sister]!" You can choose how it looks, representing your toddler!
Preparing a toddler for a new baby can be a challenge, but it's important to involve them in the process as much as possible. By doing things like talking about the baby, involving them in decisions, and letting them help with caregiving, you can make the transition to a new sibling a little easier on both you and your toddler.
12 Tips for Preparing A Toddler for a New Sibling
These tips can help when you're having a second baby with a toddler around to make the transition a little easier. Just be patient and understanding, and you'll get through it. Do you have tips to add to this list? We've love to hear them in the comments below or share them in our Toddler Facebook Group .
You might also like to read:
How to survive a newborn and a toddler - tips from real parents.