Friday, March 31, 2017

How to Prepare Your Toddler for a New Baby

One of the hardest things for me during my second pregnancy was the guilt and nerves I felt about how our new baby would affect my toddler and our relationship. I cried many tears about it and prayed many prayers about it, but knew it was out of my control. All I could do was help prepare his little mind and heart in the only ways I knew how.

Here are some things I found helpful as I was preparing my toddler to meet his little brother... 

Read Books about Babies and Big Brother/Sister: Here are the ones we read on repeat.
Take your Toddler to your Doctor's Appointments: You may think I'm crazy, but I highly recommend taking your toddler with you to your OB appointments. It may be a hassle, but I truly feel it helped Aiden prepare for a baby. He got to hear the baby's heartbeat at all my third trimester appointments and he saw me with doctors....
Share Pictures of your Toddler as a baby: This was a huge help in preparing Aiden for his hospital visit. He had seen pictures of me in a hospital gown from when he was born and was able to make the connection when he came to meet Alder. We read it together in the hospital room as well.
Introduce a baby doll: My sister in law gave Aiden a baby doll a few months prior to Aiden meeting his baby brother. It cried and laughed and came with a bottle. From time to time we would ask Aiden to feed the baby or hug the baby. When it cried we asked him to "pat, pat" the baby. I truly think this helped prepare our little guy for some responsibilities he would have as a big brother.

Other helpful tips:

  • When it's time for your toddler to actually meet the baby, give your toddler lots of attention: I made sure I was the one to greet and hold Aiden when he came in to our hospital room. He sat in my lap and my husband held the baby so I could reassure him that I was okay and that he was still important and loved.

  • Have a present from the new baby for your toddler to open. Our gift from Alder to Aiden just happened to be something that also kept him entertained in our small hospital room. That was extremely helpful!


  • Give your toddler time and grace. They will learn to love your new little bundle in time, but expect some tears and a transition time. 

6 comments:

According to Jax said...

This is a great post! Bookmarking it for the future! (no I'm not preggo) :)

Kayla MKOY said...

How sweet! You are such an incredible momma! Both your boys are obviously SO so loved! :)

The Lady Okie said...

Is it totally weird that I haven't felt any guilt or sadness at all wondering how having another baby will affect R's and my relationship? It seems like so many moms feel the way you did, but I just feel really excited to meet this baby and for R to be a big sister! That said, I'm still 2.5 months out so I guess there's time to start worrying ;) R has a baby doll and is so sweet with it and it's so cute. Your boys are adorable!

Mimsie said...

These are all really excellent and thoughtful suggestions. I can see you making this post into a pamphlet. Seriously.

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

These are such great suggestions! I love how intentional you guys were about this transition! :)

Susannah said...

These are such great tips! We do all these with Caleb as we're preparing him for his baby brother and he is SO excited! He comes with me to my doctor appointments and thinks that the sound of the heartbeat is the sound babies make. He's in for a rude awakening. ;-)