guest post by leslie lately: preparing a toddler for a new baby
after stumbling upon leslie balbontin on instagram, its clear to say she is a very successful mommy blogger, wife, and creator. she currently resides in texas with her husband daniel and their three children, ava, amelia, and atticus.
with atticus being born just this may, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to have leslie guest post on our blog, and share a few helpful tips from her experience with three children, especially when introducing a newborn to young siblings.
i hadn't thought of these things when my second son was born. we definitely got through the initial jealousy phase... but not before repeated requests from my toddler to return his baby brother to "babies.com" - ha! read on for some helpful tips from leslie...
how to prepare a toddler for a new baby by leslie balbontin
it is always exciting for a family when a newborn baby is about to come home. however, when you have an only child who has to transition from being the apple of everyone's eye, to sharing the attention with a new baby, things can get a little more complicated.
so, are you expecting a new baby soon and wondering how your toddler will react to this? he or she probably has an abundance of questions about why you are bringing another baby into the house. from my own experience, there are two main aspects you should to prepare for: 1) having a good answer to 'how was the baby made?' and 2) helping your older child make the transition into being a big brother or sister. below are some suggestions to help your tot handle the baby's arrival as smoothly as possible.
1. books about a new baby
there are great children's books written to help in this transition; you can get them at bookstores, children's stores, or even online. another way to make it fun is to find a special day to take your child to the library and read about it together. not only will your little one feel important, he or she will recognize that sometimes confusing feelings are universal and it is okay to have them.
2. assist with nursery design
if you will be setting up a nursery for your new baby, having your older child participate will help them feel included. however, if the two of them will be sharing a bedroom, try to allow the older sibling to have a say in how space is arranged, where the clothes will go, and how the baby's equipment will be set up.
3. early sibling schedule changes
you should begin your schedule change if you think it will differ when the baby arrives. easing into any schedule changes gives your little one time to familiarize herself/himself and get more comfortable with it before the new sibling comes.
4. concept of gentleness
although it may seem like the older sibling is not excited about becoming a big brother or sister, that is (almost) never the case! the child just needs time to process all of his or her unfamiliar emotions. playing fun games together can help your child adapt to the idea of sharing. get creative with this one, maybe let them practice with their play doll or stuffed animal. the child or even you, may find this silly but that is exactly the point - making them aware that having a younger sibling will be fun!
5. give a role in taking care of the baby
what you may not know is that your toddler probably wants to take part in caring for his or her sibling. for example, when you're changing the baby's diaper, show him or her how it's done. you can assign him little responsibilities such as picking up toys from the floor, singing to the baby, or bringing the baby's bottle.
no one knows how a toddler will react on the arrival of his or her newborn sibling. having your toddler understand that the next couple of weeks are extremely important, and his or her help is crucial, can make all of the difference.