When I was pregnant with my second child, I was excited. But I was also concerned about how my oldest will adjust to the new member of our family.
I had heard stories and seen for myself a kid how was an only child not adjusting well to their new brother or sister.
My mother reminds all of the time how I was an only child for a short time and was jealous of my sister when she was a baby. It was so bad that I snuck into her crib one night a bit her!
So when I was pregnant I knew that having a new baby brother or sister, especially for toddlers, can be intimidating.
Your toddler will have lots of concerns but may have trouble voicing them. There are some things you can do to make the transition easier for them. Let me show you.
A good time to talk to tell your toddler about the baby
To a toddler, sitting in time out for a couple of minutes seems like an eternity. So as you might imagine, 9 months is more than they can handle!
That’s why it’s important not to tell your toddler too early in the pregnancy.
In many cases, you can wait until months before the baby is due to tell your toddler about it.
Or if they start asking questions about your bulging belly, that’s a good sign that it may be time to spill the beans. Your pregnancy will make more since when they see evidence of your growing belly.
When you do tell your toddler about the baby on the way, keep it simple. Telling them that one day they will be a big brother or big sister is a great way to start.
How to help get accustomed to the idea of a new sibling
Once you have told your toddler that they will have a new brother or sister, they will probably have lots of questions.
Younger toddlers, however, will not know how to put all of those questions into words. You can help by giving your toddler as much information as possible in terms that they can understand.
If you have a friend or family member who has a newborn, taking your toddler to spend some time with her is a great idea.
Seeing a baby live and in person will let your toddler see what it does and how it must be cared for.
If you don’t know anyone who has a new baby, you can get out the photo albums and show your toddler what she was like when she was a baby.
Transitioning your toddler’s things to the baby
If you are going to be giving your toddler’s crib to the new baby, it’s a good idea to go ahead and put them in a toddler bed well in advance.
This will give them time to adjust and keep her from having hard feelings toward the baby about it. The same holds true if you are moving her to another room.
My son used the high chair for the longest time. If when we had trouble getting him in and out of the high chair, he still wanted to be there.
Once I was about 6 months pregnant I transitioned my son out of the high chair and into a booster seat.
It was a while before the baby could sit in the high chair, but there was no meltdown when I put the baby in the high chair for the first time because my son was in love with his new booster seat.
If you plan to let the baby use your toddler’s old toys and outgrown clothes, asking your toddler first will help avoid any ill will.
Tell your toddler what a great big sister or big brother they will be and that their younger sibling could really use those clothes and toys that are packed away in the closet.
Preparing your toddler for the arrival of her new brother or sister in advance will give her time to get used to the idea.
By the time the baby gets here, they will be excited about its arrival.
There may still be some sibling conflicts. But having most of her questions answered will make your toddler feel better about making room for one more in the family.
This post is a part of the series 31 Days of Parenting Tips for Busy Moms With Young Kids. Each day throughout the series I am discussing a different topic regarding parenting young kids. I’d love for you to follow along and share this series with moms who may need some support or just to hear that they aren’t alone in their journey of raising young kids.
Find all of the posts in one place on the series homepage: 31 Days of Parenting Tips for Busy Moms With Young Kids