Needless to say, it can be an adjustment for your first born when a new baby is going to be joining the family. A little confusion and even some jealousy can be normal when you bring a new baby home, but with some planning and preparation, you can make it easier on them and you.
1. Tell your older child a couple months before baby is due even if you aren’t sure they will fully understand. While a toddler may overlook your changing body, go ahead and explain it to them and let them get used to the idea. Encourage your child to talk to the baby in your belly or even sing her favorite song. The more your child bonds with the baby before the birth the easier things will be when you bring baby home.
2. Help your child understand what a new baby is and what it will mean that a new baby is joining your family. Toddlers that have not had much experience with babies will need a little help understanding. Point out babies while you are out of the house, read books to your child about babies and becoming a big brother or sister, show them pictures of when he was a baby and try to answer all the questions your little one may come up with.
Photo by Carolyn Ann Ryan
3. Buy your baby a new baby doll and even some gear like a doll carrier or stroller. Explain to your child that while you are taking care of the new baby they have a big job of taking care of their new baby. This is also a great way to teach your child how to hold and be gentle with the baby before the new baby arrives.
4. Ask your child to be your special helper to prepare for the new baby. Allow your little one to feel involved in decisions like picking paint for the nursery or new clothes for the baby. Your little one could even help decorate by drawing a special picture that would be framed for the wall. If you are transitioning your toddler to a big kid bed, now is a great time, and the crib can be passed down to the new baby from your older child.
5. Get your child a special gift just from the baby. Giving your child a gift from the new baby on when the baby is born is a great way to make them feel important! Children see this small gesture as a really big treat and that they are important to the new baby.
*this post contains affiliate links*