Becoming a mother for the first time is quite the experience and it takes some time to adjust. Having a second baby when you have a toddler is also tough. Toddlers can be very demanding and of course a baby needs almost constant care and attention.
In addition to you having to adjust to juggling two children, your toddler will need to adjust to being the older sibling. Toddlers naturally think the world revolves around them, so the addition of a baby into the family can be quite unsettling for a toddler.
Spending some time preparing your toddler for a sibling will be well worth the effort and having a plan of action for how to include your toddler after the new baby arrives can make things a lot easier when the time comes.
It is vital to make your toddler feel loved and included when your new baby arrives.
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1 Buy A Baby Doll For Your Toddler
If your toddler is a girl she may very well have some dolls already, but buying her a new one that is special and to be used to help your child adapt to having a newborn baby will be a good way to go.
Teach your toddler to be gentle with this new doll and how to treat a baby.
This doll can also come in handy after your baby is born too, which I will explain further down.
2 Buy Some Special Books For Your Toddler
There are some excellent books that will help your toddler to prepare for a new baby. Reading with your child is always beneficial and great for bonding, plus you can use this as an opportunity to teach your child in a fun way.
You can start reading these books to your toddler as soon as you find out you are pregnant even if you haven’t told your toddler about the new baby yet.
3 Get Daddy To Jump In
There are going to be lots of times that you are busy with the baby and can’t give your toddler the attention he or craves and is used to. Before the baby is born ask daddy to spend extra time with your toddler and to come up with some special activities that they can do.
This will help your toddler to cherish and look forward to daddy time even more, which will make it so much easier when you are so caught up with your new baby.
It will also give you some much needed rest while you are still pregnant, life is about to become much busier when the new baby arrives.
4 Teach Your Toddler To Entertain Himself or Herself
Yes toddlers are notorious for having a seriously short attention span, but this can be improved. While you are pregnant try and come up with ways that your toddler can occupy himself or herself for a little while, this will really come in handy.
Start by sitting with your toddler and starting an activity, then when your toddler has gotten involved leave him or her to carry on for a while. The more your toddler can be happy playing alone the easier it will be when your toddler doesn’t have your full attention all the time.
5 Come Up With Ways To Include Your Toddler
It is important for your child to feel that there is a new addition to the family and not that there is a new baby to take your toddler’s place. Including your toddler in as much of the baby care as possible will help your toddler to feel part of the team.
Explain to your toddler that some of the baby care mommy or daddy must do, but there are certain tasks that your toddler can be allocated. It is always great for you to start your toddler with taking responsibility and doing some chores.
After my son was born my daughter had the following duties that she loved doing:
- Washing her little brother’s feet when we bathed him
- Getting the nappy and bum cream ready when we changed his nappy
- Choosing his outfit and putting it on the bed in the morning
Whenever I breastfed my son my daughter would bring her doll with and lie next to us on the bed so she could “feed her baby” at the same time. We also bought her a pram for her doll so when I took my son out for a walk in the pram she would walk next to me with her “baby”.
Hopefully these tips will help you if you are pregnant with a toddler. These things helped me immensely to prepare my daughter for her little brother’s arrival. With 2 years and 2 months between my children there have certainly been some trying moments. Just know that when there is such a close age gap while it may be hard in the beginning chances are their bond will be so close when they are a little older.
My daughter is now 5 years old and my son is 3 years old and they are thick as thieves!