Emily prepares her toddler for the new baby
Tips for preparing a toddler for a baby.
When you're expanding family it's such a both exciting and nervous time. When you have a child already I think your main focus is how they will react. Will they love the baby, will they get excited, will they act out and feel pushed aside?
I know when I was pregnant with my second, we tried as much as we could to involve my toddler and I do feel it worked. I'm fortunate that so far we've had nothing but love between my boys and it does make me wonder if perhaps it's due to the way we treated both the babies arrival and my pregnancy. Today I'm going to be passing on some tips, that might help you if you're expanding your family.
- Buy a present - Be sure to buy a little present from the baby to your toddler and give it them when they first meet, it makes the occasion very exciting and gets them off on a good foot. It's also nice to take the toddler out when pregnant and let them pick a couple of bits for baby, even if they're awful, let them. They'll feel a bit proud when baby wears or uses the things they have chosen.
- Keep routine - Something that was super important to us was that we kept Noahs routine as normal as possible. We didn't pull him out of nursery for his day and a half when the baby was born and we tried to just potter on as if nothing happened. I think stability is something little ones thrive off and of course there is enough upheaval with a new baby before you start altering your other childs routine too.
- Make time for them - When baby is napping, do as much as you can just one to one with your other child. It'll be tempting to do the bottles, or vacuum because you have 10 spare minutes. But that's ten minutes your toddler could have your absolute undivided attention. I felt as though I was forever saying 'One minute Noah, I'm just doing ** with Patrick' so it felt nice to have those moments where we could spend just us.
- Involve them - Keep them really in the loop when pregnant. A good way is taking them a long to the occasional midwife appointment, midwives are usually great and make such a fuss over other children in a really positive way. This helps them feel special too and that it's something happening to you all, not just mummy and daddy. Positives into negatives - It's so easy when the baby is here to start saying 'Oh no don't be too loud' 'You're being too rough, be gentle' etc, which can easily give a knock to a toddlers confidence. Instead try making them into positive instructions such as 'Oh remember how big and strong you are, so we must use our really, really gentle hands, the baby isn't big like you'. It works wonders.
- They're my top tips for helping a toddler transition into being a big brother or sister with a little ease. Don't forget there are lots of books out there that you can read in preparation to get them really in the zone for their siblings arrival.