Preparing your Toddler for a New Sibling

Preparing for a new sibling

 

Practical ideas for Mums who are parenting a toddler while pregnant.

You are giving your child the gift of a forever friend. Take your foot off the accelerator and know that you don’t have to have high expectations on yourself to be the perfect parent.

You are going to have hard days but you don’t need to feel guilty that you are not spending the time you used to with your toddler.

Gentle Hands

Take the learning opportunity when they go up to your tummy to let them know that a baby is in there. Help them to use gentle hands so they know what ”gentle hands” feels like before the new baby arrives. 

Practice where possible. When they go up to a friend’s baby, teach them how to approach the baby. Where to touch them and how to do this in a way that is gentle.

Involve them in the process

If you know you are having a c section or have an induction date then you could try having a countdown so they are aware that they are having a new sibling very soon. Make them feel apart of the process.

Prepare them emotionally

It’s important to prepare your toddler emotionally for the change they are about to experience. Will you need to transition your toddler out of their cot before your third trimester so they don’t feel that the baby is taking their things away.

A month before the baby is born you could create a book for them with simple captions and some photos. What are the things you want your toddler to know about newborn babies?

Avoid the toddler feeling left out

When baby arrives, avoid an escalation in attention seeking behavour by having visitors make a big deal about your toddler when they visit.

If a close family member is bringing a baby gift - can they bring a toddler gift as well?

Can the baby “give a gift” when the toddler first meets their baby sibling?

Daytime feeds 

While the baby is feeding it’s a great idea to have some things to keep your toddler occupied:

  • Toys that the toddler plays from a special box to keep them occupied while baby is feeding that are put away for next time the baby feeds.
  • Have a lunch box packed and have it close to you so if your toddler gets hungry they can have a snack and story with Mum while the baby feeds.

Be organised

  • Before baby arrives ask friends or family members to be around to help with the toddler so they can continue to get out and about while you are healing and bonding with your new baby. 
  • Ask a close friend to organise a meal train/roster
  • Say yes to help people offer
  • Book a house cleaner for a few months so you have more energy and time to spend with the kids.

Our favourite baby products for newborns are here 

If you enjoyed this episode have a listen to these parenting chats:

parenting newborns    Toddler friendly play ideas for when you are stuck at home

 

 

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