Congratulations! You are pregnant again! It’s so exciting to introduce a new baby to the world, but wait, you already have a thriving toddler. Some toddlers do well with new baby, other times, toddlers are very resentful. It can be a confusing time for toddlers because they don’t have the capacity to understand that a sibling is a permanent family member that cannot be tucked away like a doll.
Our toddlers have had all our attention all their lives and now they are forced to love, and accept a crying, loud baby. It can be very overwhelming.
My son was 14 months when I learned I was expecting our second. I felt very unsure about how he would react to the whole situation. He just started going to a caregiver’s home where he had friends and I just started back at work full-time. The bigger I got, the less I can do with him. He was no longer able to jump on me, be held as much, and mom was always saying “I’m too tired”. Since I had a high-risk pregnancy last time, I took things very easy. In many ways I felt guilty that I was forcing my son to accept that his time will be always divided.
One day when I was talking to my mom about these feelings, she said something profound to me. I am the eldest of three kids and I wanted her opinion on this subject. She said to me:
“The greatest gift I could ever give you was to give you a sibling”
At first I didn’t know what that meant but after having my two boys, I can completely agree. You can buy all the toys in the world for your child but giving life to a permanent playmate, buddy, and lifelong friend is immeasurable. Sure my boys fight but they also miss eachother when they don’t see the other. They are polar opposites in personality but work together well to get into mischief.
Alot of my success in helping my toddler succeed as a new brother is because of the four simple and easy tips I’m about to give you. These tips can be used all at the same time.
Here are the 4 Quick Tips:
- Get a doll (gender of the baby): If you are having a boy, get a boy doll, if you are having a girl, get a girl doll. If you do not know what you are having, try finding one that is neutral. The point of this exercise is to display actions you would like your child to use when the baby is here like gentle hugging, gentle kissing, soft touches on hands and feet. Also to say, when your little brother/sister comes… etc.
- Buy books on having a sibling: You can go to any bookstore and ask for books introducing children to new babies. Buy one and read as often as you can. You can point to the baby in the belly and say “That’s your little brother or sister in there”
- Get them involved in the preparation of the sibling: Toddlers can choose the clothes to bring to the hospital and a stuffie to give to the new baby. They can help pack the diaper bag with you for the hospital.
- Help the toddler bond with the baby before: Try things like singing to the baby belly. Help your toddler talk to the belly and say things like “I think your little baby brother or sister would love to hear you talk about your day”. Get them to gently rub some cream on the belly and hopefully they can experience a kick!
That’s it! These tips made a world of difference for my son. He knew exactly what to do when he saw his brother. He kissed him and was so very happy! Thanks for reading and I hope much success for you and your children. Tell us if you have used any of these tips and if they worked for you.