3 Ways to Prepare Your Toddler for a New Baby
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to welcoming a new baby into your family. For those that already have a toddler, arguably the biggest concern is how that child will handle the addition of a new baby brother or sister.
Of course, for the toddler, it’s a huge, earth-shifting change. They’re used to having mom and dad’s attention and love all to themselves, and now they have to share that precious resource. Unsurprisingly, toddlers don’t have the physical or emotional ability to properly communicate those concerns and handle the emotions that come up along the way.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help ease the transition for your toddler, including:
A new baby often comes with changes for the whole family. Consider what changes will be asked of your toddler and try to implement them slowly over time before the baby arrives, if possible. For example, if he or she is going to have to change bedrooms or go to a daycare a few times a week, start those new practices a few weeks before the baby is born.
Toddlers want to feel included and important. Try buying a life-like baby doll for your toddler and explaining that this is his or her baby to take care of while mama is taking care of the other baby. This works surprisingly well with both boys and girls. You and your toddler can feed your babies together, change diapers, and even go on walks. This has the added benefit of keeping your toddler occupied when you need to focus on the new baby.
The first moment that siblings meet is always emotional, for the kids as well as the parents! Sometimes toddlers can feel overwhelmed in this moment, and having an activity can help ease any anxiety or big feelings that they can’t cope with. Before the baby is born, help your toddler pick out a gift for the new baby. Something you’ll use often, such as a Baby Minky Blanket or Bamboo Swaddle, is a great choice so that big brother or sister can feel proud that his or her gift was helpful. Don’t forget to bring a gift “from the baby” for your toddler as well.
Welcoming a new family member is a big change for your toddler. He or she is likely going to act out a bit around this time as he or she gets used to the new family dynamics. However, by making changes as gradually as possible, introducing your toddler’s very own “baby” doll, and exchanging gifts at the first meeting, you may be able to make the transition just a little bit easier on everyone.