7 ways to prepare your toddler for a new baby

You’ve been there, done that and are probably more excited than anxious for the arrival of a new baby - but your toddler might not feel quite as enthused. Here’s a useful guide to help you and your toddler prepare for your new arrival.

Breaking the news

 

Toddlers don’t fully understand what it means to have a new sibling so it’s important not to over-complicate things and keep the language simple and positive when telling them about the new baby.

 

Some kids are naturally more curious and will ask a lot of questions. You should answer them in the same simple and upbeat way.

 

Encourage an interest in the new baby

 

Help your toddler to become excited about the birth and include them in preparations for the new arrival, by

 

  • bringing them along to your scan to hear the baby's heartbeat
  • going through pictures of them as a baby
  • asking them to think of potential baby names
  • letting your toddler help to choose items for the new baby's room, especially if they’re sharing
  • asking for their help when packing a bag for the hospital

 

Visit friends who have babies

 

Give your toddler a chance to see what babies are like and get used to being around them. Paying a visit to friends or family with new babies is also a good way of getting your toddler used to the idea that you can hold other babies but will always love and take care of them too.

 

Avoid big changes

 

It’s understandable that you might need to move to a bigger house during your pregnancy, or your toddler might need to move bedrooms. You may also be looking to introduce weaning or toilet training.

 

If changes need to happen, leave as much time as possible before your due date.  You don’t want your toddler to relate these disruptions to the new baby.

 

Quality time

 

In the last few weeks before your due date, you’ll be bigger and chances are, a lot less energetic. Your toddler will be noticing and becoming more fussy and needy. Giving them loving support and one-on-one time together should ease any fears they have.

 

It’s also a good thing to make special time for just the two of you after the baby is born. Visit the park or read a story together while your partner takes care of your newborn.

Keep your toddler involved

 

Simple things like asking your toddler to pass you a blanket or nappy will help them feel more involved and less jealous.

Ask them to help you pick out the baby's clothes for the day. Or get them to dance and pull faces to make the baby smile.

Don’t force it

 

It’s completely normal for your toddler to develop new fears about being an older sibling. While you should encourage your toddler to be as involved as possible, it’s important not to force things.

 

Find out more about the most common toddler fears and how to deal with them

 

Did you know…?

Your toddler may start to act babyish, asking for a bottle or wetting themselves again. This is completely normal and it should ease as they get used to their new sibling.

 

How did your toddler deal with a new baby? Let us know in the comments

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