When you have a baby, it changes the dynamic of your family. While it may take a bit of time for everyone to adjust, the arrival of a new baby can be a particularly difficult transition for toddlers. Here are a few things you can do to help prepare your little one for a new baby sibling.
Involve your toddler in preparations for their baby sibling
Most toddlers are natural little helpers, so asking your child to help you prepare for the new baby can give them a boost of confidence. Have your toddler help you:
- Unbox nursery toys and put them on the shelf
- Practice reading to the baby
- Put the baby’s clothes into drawers
- Pick out some fun, easy snacks for after the baby arrives
Talk about the arrival of the new baby with your toddler
Being able to talk about how they’re feeling about the upcoming changes your family will go through helps prepare your child. Give your toddler plenty of opportunities to ask questions about their new baby sibling and ask them how they’re feeling. They may not be able to communicate everything that is going on in their little hearts. But just talking about things can help ease their mind about any fears or anxiety they have. You could even pray with them about the adjustment.
Show your toddler that your love for them won’t change with the arrival of a new baby
You absolutely need to be honest with your toddler about how divided your attention may be at times once the new baby arrives. They need to know what to expect. But as you talk about all that’s going to change, make sure you also communicate what won’t change! Talk about how you have room in your heart to love both them and the baby.
Arranging something special like a weekly ice cream date that you can keep doing after the baby arrives may be helpful too. This way, they have something fun that is just “theirs” that they don’t have to share with their baby sibling.