A new baby brings both joy and challenges to a family which is why it is vital to learn ways of preparing your toddler for your second baby. Most parents are excited but you might also be nervous about how your older children will react to the newborn once you are welcoming a new baby in the family.
If you have a toddler, assist your child in preparing for a baby and being a big sibling with tactics that can help explain in terms they can comprehend. This will help them understand why babies require special care and attention. Remember that you must be ready with ways on how to handle the first child when second is born.
Ways on preparing your toddler for your second baby
There are a few ideas on preparing your toddler for your second baby. This will help prevent any feelings of sibling jealousy and bitterness. It will also send a message that you will love your child as always so that your toddler will be excited about meeting the new baby.
Provide your toddler an anatomy lesson
Your toddler might find your newborn wrinkly. One way to manage expectations is to take out some photos of your toddler when he/she was a newborn and note down some of the things that make infants different such as:
- Belly-button. Newborns have an umbilical stump that is fastened to their belly button that can last for a few weeks.
- Scrunched-up legs. The legs of newborns are usually creased up from all the time spent within the tummy.
- Softened spots. Newborns have delicate spots in their skulls which is why it is vital to be extra careful with their head.
- Floppy necks. The necks of newborns are floppy. It might take some time before the neck is strong enough to support his/her large head.
Communicate without words
You must explain to your toddler that unlike bigger kids, a newborn does not know how to tell anyone what he/she wants or what is bothering him/her, so he/she cries as a way of talking.
The baby might be telling the family that he/she is hungry or sleepy, needs a diaper change or simply bored. This will help your toddler learn how hard it might be for a new baby sibling.
Look for quiet time activities
A newborn spends most of the time sleeping. Toddlers or preschoolers find this hard to believe. You must discuss with your toddler that babies sleep most of the time since it is part of their growth and development. This is a way of preparing your child for a new sibling.
Once your toddler understands that a newborn sibling requires plenty of sleep to grow properly, he/she is more likely to be more patient and cooperative when it comes to the sleep habits of the newborn. Together with your toddler, create a list of quiet activities you can do while the newborn is sleeping.
Remind your toddler of the womb
One of the ways of preparing your toddler for your second baby is the fact that you are going to hold the newborn most of the time. This can be tough for your toddler to find both your arms and lap occupied by the new baby all the time.
Once you clarify why babies need to be held frequently, your toddler will understand the situation. You can hold your toddler and ask how he/she feels about the rocking motion feels. Enlighten that cuddling makes newborns happy since it reminds them of the sensation while within the tummy. Do not forget to remind your toddler that he/she will still have a lot of hugs.
It is important to note that your toddler might not comprehend how essential it is to be gentle when it comes to handling newborn babies. As one of the ways of preparing your toddler for your second baby, explain that babies need a gentle touch since they are small and not yet strong.