If having one child is magical, having a second child is divine! While the first time was filled with millions of questions and queries, this time the questions will be coming from another angle. Yes, the little one you already have at home will be more than full of questions about the new member who is arriving soon.
Preparing toddler for new baby involves a lot of adjustment for you, and probably more for your first-born. Depending on how old your little toddler is, you can decide when to break the news of another baby coming along.
Toddlers below 5 years may not be able to completely comprehend what you mean when you say they are going to become a big sister or brother. You can build the bond between your toddler and the yet to be born baby over the next 9 months. Announce the arrival of your new baby to your toddler, along with your partner, by sitting her down and get her excited to prepare for the welcoming.
Here Are Some Ways For Preparing Your Toddler For New Baby:
Here we have mentioned 12 simple ways that will give you an idea on how to prepare toddler for new baby. Check them out.
1. Shopping Time:
Before your baby arrives, ask your toddler to help you select all the items you’re going to need for your newborn, like clothes, room decoration, toys etc. Your toddler will develop a sense of responsibility and feel that she too can make decisions.
2. Let Your Toddler Feel:
When you can feel your baby’s movement in your tummy, let your toddler feel the movements. Or at times, take your toddler’s hand, place it on your tummy and ask ‘What do you think the baby is doing?’ Wait to have a laugh with funny answers your toddler may come up with!
3. Make Her Understand:
Keep talking to your toddler about how things are going to change (for the better) once the baby arrives. Make her understand about how your baby will need a lot of love and attention from everybody. Tell her that your love is only going to grow and not get divided between her and the baby. You can explain this to her by telling her that first you loved only Daddy, then she came along so now you love her and Daddy, and then when the new baby comes you will love all of them.
4. Tag Her Along:
Take her for your doctor visits, let her see your unborn baby on the monitor and hear the heartbeat. Yes, she will have lots of questions, but this will only get her excited and eager to meet her baby sister/brother.
5. Plan Beforehand:
Once you deliver your baby, ensure you have help to take care of your toddler when you’re at the hospital. When you return from the hospital, let your partner hold the baby, give your toddler a big hug and then introduce your baby. She will need that hug after she has not seen you for some time and this will make her feel important.
6. Make Prior Outing Plans:
In the first week of arrival of your baby, your newborn will need your complete attention and you will need time to recover. Let your toddler have a fun week with family members or close friends, like a fun day out with grandmother or uncle or aunty.
7. Involvement Helps A Lot:
Involve your toddler in everyday activities. While changing your baby’s diaper, ask her to bring you the diaper. While giving the baby a bath ask her to bring out the fresh clothes for her sister or bring you the baby lotion. While putting your baby to sleep ask her to softly sing a lullaby or just some nursery rhyme. While breastfeeding ask her to sit next to you and read out to you or you can read out to her.
8. Spend Some Alone Time:
You may be completely tired after putting your baby down to sleep, but spending just 10 minutes with your toddler alone will make her day. Ask her how her day was, play with her or just cuddle. She will appreciate that she has you to herself! Also ensure your toddler gets plenty of alone time with daddy.
9. Show Picture Of Her As Baby:
This will be a great bonding session for you and your toddler plus a chance for her to be prepared that the baby is going to be very ‘little’. Also, if your toddler is old enough, you can even ask her to take pictures of the baby.
10. Being Gentle With Baby :
You don’t want your toddler holding your little one’s hands too tight. Explain to your toddler how she needs to be gentle with the new baby. If you have other young babies around (a friend’s baby) you can hold the baby and tell her ‘such an adorable baby, hold her hands gently’ or encouraging words like ‘you’re being so caring with your baby sister, she likes it when you touch her fingers softly, I’m sure you will hold your little sister gently too’.
11. Gift for her too (from baby or from you) :
You may receive a lot of gifts from friends and family for the newborn baby. It would be a great idea to buy a few gifts for your toddler too, so that she doesn’t feel left out. Alternately, you can also give her some gifts from her newborn sister.
12. Positive Speaking:
Always speak in positive light about your baby to your toddler. For example if your toddler insists on going out to the park to play and you are completely drained out, instead of saying ‘Mommy is very tired because your sister didn’t let me sleep all night’ try saying ‘Let’s do this puzzle, I am a bit too sleepy to go out to the park.’
Preparing your toddler for new baby is a difficult process. The above pointers should definitely help you, but be ready to modify if required. Do understand that it is tough for your toddler to suddenly deal with lesser attention and importance. So at every step make sure you assure her, cuddle her and shower her with all the love you can. Try and get help from friends and family for some time post your newborn is home. This will be a new and exciting phase of your life, enjoy every minute!