There is nothing to throw a curve ball into your child’s life quite like welcoming home a new sibling. Chances are they will be over the moon in love with their new baby but that doesn’t mean that is doesn’t come with it’s own unique challenges.
Just like there is an adjustment period for you when you have a new baby, big brother or sister will also need some time to adjust but with these tips to help my toddler prepare and adjust to a new baby, it should be painless!
10 Tips to Help Your Toddler Prepare and Adjust to a New Baby
Prepare Your Toddler for a new Baby Before the Birth:
1.Read books on becoming an older brother or sister.
This really helped our oldest understand how the family was going to change and what her role in all of it was going to be. Find my book suggestions at the bottom.
2. Include them in setting up the baby’s room and let them help pick out baby items.
Make them feel like they are responsible and have weight in the decisions that come with the new baby. This will help them feel a sense of power which can be helpful when so many things about welcoming a new baby takes that sense of security and power away.
3. Use a baby doll and show them all that goes into caring for a baby.
Let them help and have fun with it! Let them use actual baby diapers and some of the baby’s clothes. We did this in the last few weeks before the baby got here and it was a big hit.
How to Help Your Toddler Adjust to new Baby After the Birth:
- Buy a “present” from the baby for big brother or sister.
Give it to them when they come visit in the hospital or right when you bring baby home. This just starts their relationship on a very positive note and who doesn’t love presents? Not only that but whatever you buy them can help keep them busy while you care for baby.
2. Greet them with open (and empty) arms
When big brother or sister comes to see you in the hospital, have someone else besides you be holding the baby so that you may hug and greet your older child and then help them meet their new sibling together. Especially if your older child is not used to being away from you, they probably really miss you and it is nice to greet them separately before meeting their new sibling.
3. Have them come to the hospital and help take the baby home for the first time.
I think this makes them feel included and not like you are just bringing this new person into THEIR home.
4. Really go overboard on making being being a big sister or brother the coolest thing in the world
Encourage them to help you (but if they are resistant don’t make them) and really lay the praise on them for being such a big helper and the best big sibling EVER.
5. Expect SOME acting out and some babyish behavior and regression.
Try to remain calm in dealing with this behavior and realize it will pass. The more attention you give it the longer it will go on.
6. Carve out some time every day where you solely spend time with your older child.
I usually did this when my husband got home from work after dinner. We called it “Isabella time” and we did whatever she wanted to do with no interruptions for an allotted amount of time, usually around at least 10 minutes or so. This is one of the hardest things to do but the most important!
7. Have a special activity specifically planned for feeding times.
I found that while I was nursing the baby was when my older child acted out the most. I had a bag of toys I only pulled out when I was nursing. Reading next to you while you feed the baby is also a good idea.
Best books for preparing toddlers for new baby:
The New Baby by Mercer Meyer
I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole ( they also have a boy version)
Big Sister are the Best by Fran Manushkin ( they also have a boy version)
What Baby Needs by William Sears
The Berenstains Bears’ New Baby by Stan Berenstain
For more tips check out these great resources
I hope some of these ideas help! If you liked this post please visit my Parenting Page or my Parenting Tip Pinterest Board!
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