July 27, 2022 4 min read
It helps to reveal the big news about the time that your baby bump starts growing. This will help them associate the growing bump with the fact that a little baby is growing inside you.
As for the baby’s arrival, associate it with something they can understand, such as a season or a holiday. For example, if you are having a December baby, you can tell them that the baby will come around Christmas. Or you can tie up the baby’s birth with a time they can relate to - such as ‘just a few days after Mummy’s or Daddy’s birthday’.
To help your toddler transition to become the older sibling, talk about how everyday things would change once the baby comes. This will help them prepare for the actual time when the baby comes.
For example, you can talk about how the baby will have bath times, feeding times, and play times. You can also use a doll to demonstrate. It’s also a great idea to ask for your toddler’s help in these tasks. This is a good way to lay the foundation for getting them involved with the new baby when the time comes.
You can start the conversation by reading them a book about human anatomy. You can also show them pictures of when they were a newborn to help them understand how babies grow.
Toddlers can sometimes be quite rough in the way they handle things such as their toys. Model gentle handling so that they don’t inadvertently hurt the new baby. Again, using a doll or a soft toy should help in this.
Also, make sure your interactions with your toddler are in line with the behavior you expect from them. So, treat them gently and speak softly to them.
Your toddler is still quite young to take any real responsibility. But letting them know that they are the older sibling and that you need their help to take care of the baby can be a good idea.
This is also a good start to help them become a little independent in everyday tasks such as winding up their toys, self-feeding, brushing their teeth, etc. Remember that your toddler will still need plenty of supervision. However, this will trigger the process of making them a little independent.
Help them prepare for this by gently letting another caregiver take more responsibility. So, for example, if you are the one to wake them up every morning and get them ready for school, let daddy take over.
The bond that siblings share is one of the most beautiful bonds. By preparing your toddler in advance, you are helping create the bond faster. Just know that some toddlers might be more averse to the idea of sharing their parents with another baby. However, know that with a little patience and love, they can soon grow out of it.
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