Tips To Introducing A New Sibling
Let’s face it, becoming a new mom can be overwhelming. And it’s even more so when you’re expecting your second child. You want to ensure you’re doing everything right for both of your children.
As a mom and pediatrician, I know the guilt and worry that can come with this change:
- you may worry about not giving the same attention to the new baby as you did to your first,
- you may feel guilty giving the baby attention in front of your toddler,
- you may feel sad about not being able to focus on your toddler as you did before the new baby,
- you just may feel like you aren’t fully meeting anyone’s needs.
It’s a lot to handle.
But, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
We all go through these same worries.
BUT… This is the time to be kind to yourself.
Give yourself and your toddler time to adjust; it will take time and you will all have the hand of it.
Some tips to help ease a toddler into welcoming a new sibling:
- Put yourself in their shoes. What if your spouse brought home someone else? What emotions would that bring out in you?
- Reading books about becoming a big brother or sister.
- Try to explain the difference in babies and older kids. Babies cry a lot, they cannot talk to walk or tell me what they need, so they require a lot of attention to meet their needs.
- Aim to finish big task like toilet training, switching from crib to bed months before baby arrives. If not possible wait until baby is settled at home.
- Involve them in the prep- names, toys, clothes etc.
- When they meet for the first time- you can allow the toddler to lead to the show. If they are more interested in toys vs baby go with that. You may also allow another family member to hold the new baby while you introduce them.
- Allow your child to feel all the feelings. Help them feel seen and heard. This is done by acknowledging their feelings and discussing it with them.
- Set a bin up with toys that are played with during feeding times of the baby. Keep these toys just for that special time. This keeps the toys and play time new and fun.
- Every day give at least 15 mins of undivided attention. Allow them to choose what you play, take the lead etc.
- Never blame the baby for reasons you cannot accommodate your toddlers wishes.
- Don’t pressure your toddler to be a big kid now that a baby is in the home.
ENJOY THIS NEW AND EXCITING TIME AS A GROWING FAMILY!