Prepare Your Toddler For Another Baby
Do you already have a toddler at home now that you are pregnant with another baby on the way? I know it may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Young children, especially toddlers, can’t really prepare for another baby, well not in the same way older children can. They simply don’t always understand the way older children do.
So Just How Much Do Toddlers Understand?
Having to preparing a toddler for the arrival of a new sibling can be difficult, and this is simply because they cant understand things they way older children can. Even if your toddler may have felt his, or her, new brother or sister kicking in your tummy, doesn’t mean that they associate the kicking with an actual person.
Remember that young children will not remember what you have said from 9 months ago, so when you want to start teaching your toddler about what is going to be happening in the future, you will want to start bringing this new information about when you are about 6 months pregnant.
Keep your explanations short and simple, and don’t overwhelming or her with too much information right in the beginning. Keep the amount of information in small doses, but on a regular basis.
Preparation That Works
One of the best methods for preparing toddlers for the arrival of a new brother or sister, is to make big changes well before the birth, instead of just before or just after.
When you and your partner or family talk about the baby to your toddler, you definitely don’t want to tell them that the baby is going to be someone they can play with. A better approach is to read books about babies to your toddler, and to look at photos of your toddler as a baby with them. Talk about how they were as a baby, and how you looked after him or her.
Again, if you are going to be buying nursery equipment or baby clothes, to do so as far in advance of the birth as possible. This will give your toddler time to adjust to the new clothes and equipment.
As your due date draws closer, you will want to prepare your toddler for what is going to be happening. Explain that you are going to be going to the hospital, and that you may be a few days. You can even check with your hospital, as some hospitals even offer “sibling tours”, especially for this type of situation.
On the actual day that you are going to be going into the hospital, or when you go into labor, do not leave without saying goodbye to your toddler. No matter what time it is, it’s better to have to wake your child, than to have them worrying that you are hurt.
After the Birth
One thing is for sure, your toddler will want to visit you in the hospital, and the last thing on his or her mind will be meeting their new sibling. They will much rather tell you about what they have been up to, and this is important. It is vital that you focus on them during these early visits.
You will also want to have prepared family and close friends for your strategy. It is vital that they make the “big brother/sister” feel special. And one of the best ways of doing this is that they greet the big toddler first, and make time for him/her before making a fuss over the new baby.
Dealing With Jealousy
No matter how hard you try, and how well you think you have prepared your toddler for the new arrival, jealousy is going to happen. If fact you may find your toddler regress developmentally, constipation, urinary accidents and other infant-like behavior are all common and you should not be concerned.
try and spend as much time with your toddler as you can. Time where it’s just the two of you. Let your partner take the baby for an hour or two while you and your toddler do something you would normally have done, or something a little different.