Tips to help bond your toddler with new baby
So you’re expecting a baby? Congratulations! Although you are probably thrilled, it is natural for you to be anxious about how your toddler may react.
For a toddler that is used to receiving all the attention, the arrival of a new sibling can be a huge life changer. A lot of parents tend to forget this, especially when they are the ones waking up at all kinds of hours during the night. This can also be seen as a positive; this teaches your toddler that they do share their parents with somebody else which is an invaluable lesson for their future.
Below are some tips to help you before and after the birth of your new baby.
toddler books about the arrival of a new baby. Before the birth of your baby, try
and read as many baby related books as possible. A lot of parents have found it
helpful to read books that talk about the arrival of a new baby in the house. These
will explain both how and why new babies need constant feeding and attention.
time around other babies.
If possible try to borrow a baby from family or friends for a few hours. This
will allow your toddler to get used to having a baby around, but will also help
you prepare for handling both your toddler with new baby together.
your toddler in the preparations. Where possible, try and involve your toddler in the
pre-birth preparations. Take them shopping and ask them for their input on choosing
toys and bedroom colours. This will make them feel important and more included
when the baby arrive.
· Include your toddler in conversations. When talking about the arrival of your baby, try and include your toddler. Explain to them about what will happen on the day you go to have the baby, what they should expect and who will be looking after them. Also encourage your toddler to touch your belly and talk to the baby. The baby may find your toddler’s voice familiar and soothing after his/her birth.
· Encourage positive interaction of your toddler with new baby. For example, give your toddler small tasks such as reading the baby a small story, passing you a wet wipe, passing you a nappy. This will make the toddler feel important and go a long way towards creating a bonding with the newborn baby.
· Include gifts for your toddler. It is inevitable that family and friends will come bearing gifts for your new arrival, but may not think of getting a gift for the toddler. Be prepared and get a few toddler toys wrapped up and hidden away ready for these times. It is also a nice idea to ask your toddler to open the baby’s gifts.
· Don’t complain about the baby when your toddler is around. This is a massive life change, so your toddler will be listening to just about everything that you say. If for example you awake every morning and complain about your lack of sleep due to the baby crying, then the toddler may get a sense that it is you against the baby, and will no doubt side with you. It is important that you always try to talk positively about your baby.
· Ensure life stays the same. Understandably your energy levels are going to be low, but the arrival of your new baby should not stop your toddler from enjoying his usual activities. If it is still practical to take your toddler to his favourite playgroup, then try your best to do so. Otherwise, your toddler may get the impression your baby marks the end of all fun activities.