My son has been the center of attention for the past two years and all of that is about to change. We have a new baby due in the next couple of months and although it is very exciting I wonder how my toddler will react to the change.
In order to prepare him for the transition we have been taking a few steps to introduce him to the baby before it arrives. Obviously there is no way to prepare him completely as he is just over 2 and this is a very abstract concept.
Here are some of the ways we have helped introduce the new baby without it actually being here yet.
(This post contains affiliate links. To read our full disclosure policy click here.)
One of the best ways to prepare children for new experiences in their lives is through literature. Head to your local library or Amazon and snag a few toddler friendly books about new siblings (this has been our favorite.) I would start doing this as early as possible. Stories are a wonderful way to introduce unfamiliar concepts and ideas to young children.
Baby doll play is a great way to introduce the concepts needed in order for our toddler to understand a new baby. Show your toddler how to be gentle and explain that a baby is much smaller than them. Pretend to change its diaper or feed a bottle to it. Giving their baby kisses and putting it “night night” may become one of their favorite ways to play.
You may think it is easier to plan your doctor appointments around preschool or times when your toddler isn’t with you, but I would bring them with to a few appointments if it fits your schedule. Unless they are old enough to understand then the ultrasounds would NOT be ones to bring them to because of how long they are.
Stick to having them tag along during the short 10 minute check ins and when your bump is visible. During my last appointment my son was up on the table with me while we listened to baby’s heart beat. She even let him help measure my growing belly which he enjoyed.
At home he know likes to pretend he is a doctor and will check the baby’s heartbeat. He seems to be getting more interested in my growing belly all the time!
Talk About It
Take time to talk about the arrival of a new baby from time to time. Take out the little clothes and show them to your toddler and talk about how their will be a new baby here soon to wear them. Let them know that you are excited to have them with you as a big helper.
Look at the babies room together or let them help you put some things in it. Explain to them that they have a room full of big kid toys and the baby has some things that they will need too.
Let Them Help
There is a lot to do before a new baby arrives so include your toddler in the process. This could mean helping you wash and fold the baby clothes. Let them see you put sheets on the crib and talk about how this will soon be where the new baby sleeps.
If you are getting out bottles, toys, and baby equipment explain to them why. Let them explore the things a bit but let them know they will be used for the new baby. Explain to them what things will be used for. For example, let them know that the Bumbo chair is a seat that helps babies sit because they can’t on their own.
Establish a fun and simple activity that you and your toddler can do together before and after the baby that allows you to enjoy time together. This could be art/craft time (these are the activity plans we use) or a subscription box that you both can look forward to (Green Kid Crafts or Kiwi Crates are available for toddlers.)
It could even be something like baking a favorite treat or maybe having a picnic in the yard together. Keep it simple and something you feel you can commit to even when things get a bit more hectic with the arrival of a new baby.
What did you do to ease the transition from one to two? Stop by the Mindful Parenting for Babies and Toddlers and let me know!
Related Posts You Will Enjoy