It can be difficult to know how to prepare a toddler for a new baby. I know each child is different in adapting to change… including toddlers who are expecting a new baby brother or sister!
After working with 1000s of parents and having 2 of my own, I have learned a few tips and tricks on helping kids adapt to the change of the growing family.
1. Talk with your toddler about the new baby
If your child doesn’t understand why a new baby is coming, many Child Psychologist experts say talking with your child about the new baby is one of the best ways to prepare your toddler. It is important to plant the seed that change is coming, and a baby is on the way. Having open conversations about your child’s feelings, validating them, and making sure they feel just as loved is essential to help them through the transition of the growing family can help them process their feelings.
2. Giving kids the option to help and lend a helping hand
This is what helped my oldest adjust the most. I gave my firstborn age-appropriate tasks like making sure I take him to the park to get my exercise, asking his opinion on outfits, and choosing the best bedtime story to read to both my kids. It seems to help him feel important and part of the family.
We also have a tradition of the oldest members of the family creating a special love for the new baby in our family. Our parents started one for my oldest while we were pregnant, then my son helped me make one for his baby sister when I was pregnant with her. It’s been years, and those 2 stuffed animals are still well-loved and thought after.
3. Helping your toddler with choices throughout your pregnancy and those first few months of transitioning
Helping your toddler with options on how much they would like to be part of the transition has helped so many parents with toddlers. I recently photographed a family who showed this attribute so well. They gave their toddler the option of photos to take big sister wanted to hold the baby or talk to the baby. I loved watching the parents vocalize options for the big sister as she learned her independence and adjusted to it too. How exciting welcoming a new member to the family can be. It also has a special note at the end of additional advice to help you in the transition.
4. Read children’s books to help show examples of how other children handle the big change.
I have gathered a list of 6 Top Recommended “Books To Help Prepare Your Toddler For A New Baby” HERE.
I hope these tips help you to know how to prepare a toddler for a new baby.
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