How to prepare a toddler for a new baby?
The arrival of a new baby brings not only happiness, but also challengers to a family. When first time parents bring a baby to their home, they are more focused on how to take care of a little one. However, within a second baby, different kind of challengers, depending on the first’s kid age, also show up. Parents become more concerned about how big sisters/s or brother/s reacts to a new baby, how we, parents, are going to manage jealously and how we could satisfy their needs.
Preparing older kid/kids in advance can assist to manage the whole adaptation process more smooth, so that parents would not feel guilty and kid/kids separated from the family, when a new baby arrives.
Currently we are in the preparation process, so we cannot guarantee that it works 100% . However, we strongly believe in that, cause we are focused on different aspects from the telling about a new baby to involvement and setting a special time to our older kid. Moreover, we have already noticed changes in our kid’s attitude toward a new sister’s arrival, which means that we are moving to the right direction.
Telling about a new baby
Telling your older kid/kids about a new baby is the first step in the whole journey. Our kid was the second person whom we told this new to, although he was not impressed and happy about a little brother or sister.
The reasons for telling the news so early is so he has more time to adopt to this idea, and he feels included in the whole process.
Moreover, if a pregnant women has morning sickness from the very beginning, as I did, so it is essential talk to your kid/kids and to tell the reason for that. Some might think that kid/kids are for young to talk to and understand these things. But, believe me, they are not. Otherwise, they could not understand why are you are feeling this way every morning, and kid/kids might feel anxious about that. Honesty, in all cases, is the best way to avoid hidden negative emotions and rejecting consequences.
Bring kid/kids to the first scanning
The second decision that we have had to make was, if we should bring our son to the first scanning. I had doubts. I have read and talked to the people I know and their opinions have separated. Some said that I should not do that, cause this is the thing that kids should not see, in case of the doctor announcing bad news. Just few of them said that I should bring him with, cause he is a part of the family and should be included in this process. Within all these advantages and disadvantages in mind, I have decided that it would be the best to take him with. I have also discussed with my husband, what we should do in case of bad news – he and our son should leave the room and so we should talk to our son about that at home, when emotions settle down.
All went better than we have expected. During the scanning our son was sometimes holding my hand and keep looking at me, if I am ok. That was the curtest thing 🙂 This decision has changed a lot. From that moment until now he is in love with his new baby sister: he keeps kissing my belly , asking question about a new baby and even giving his favorite toy to her.
Involve your kid/kids into a name picking process and baby’s room decoration
As the pregnancy speeds up, we begin to think about possible given names, all the baby stuff that we need and baby’s room decoration. Involving your kid/kids into these processes helps them to feel an important part of a change.
Therefore, we have asked our son, how he would name a new baby (you will be surprised about kid’s imagination 🙂 ), which name would he choose from the ones that we, parents, found potential or which toys would he choose to decorate a new baby’s rooms.
Reading kids appropriate books about pregnancy and a new baby
I have got this idea from a doctor (not as a patient, but as a friend). We have talked that our son should soon start going to the school and how can I help him to prepare for that. Books was one of the option. Then I thought, why I cannot do the same in regards to the pregnancy and a new baby’s arrival.
Thus, I began searching for a kids appropriate books about pregnancy and a new baby at home in the local library. I was so surprised how interested our son is in reading these kind of books and how many questions he has. Be prepared for variety of question, such as: “where the baby come from”, and keep in mind his age 🙂
Setting aside a special time spend with you kid/kids
As I mentioned earlier in my post (“How to teach kids cleaning up their toys?“), a daily routine is healthy for kids development and for parents too. To make your kid/kids even more secure when a new baby arrives, establishment of a daily ritual helps to reach that goal.
Our personal small ritual every day is reading a book in the evening. We plan to continue doing that after a baby arrives. It becomes not only an essential apart of his daily routine, but also a time spent with mom or dad only. I believe, he would even more appreciate this time after our family grows up.
Currently we are in this process and expecting a baby soon, thus, I cannot confirm that it works. However, I strongly believe in these methods. We do believe that within the appearance of a new baby our efforts, to make our son feel safe and happy, do not end. We will be continuous involving our kid into all possible processes, and continuous explaining and being honest about new things.
To be continuous… 🙂