For some kids it’s easy, they want to do everything to help and are happy to be a big brother/sister. For other kids it’s hard. Like really hard. They cling to mommy like plastic wrap clinging to a piece of cheese. It’s just who they are! The best thing to do is start getting your child adjusted to a new baby beforehand.
Below is a list of 5 ways to help your child adjust to a new baby, before and after the birth!
1. Books for toddlers
There are many books for toddlers to help them get adjusted to the new addition. I read this book to my daughter before my son was born. She was only two at the time, but she loved the book and loves it to this day. Now she is six, a great big sister to her siblings and takes her job very seriously!
2. Offer to babysit a friend’s baby
Get your current child used to other children in the house, even if it’s just an hour or two. Your friend will probably be happy to run to the grocery store or get that haircut she has so desperately needed! It’s not enough for your child to be okay with having other kids around though, they also have to see you giving love and affection to another child. This can be one of the more challenging parts of accepting a new sibling.
3. Don’t blame the baby
Words have weight. If you can’t go the park at the moment because the baby is sleeping, or you can’t give them your attention because you’re changing the baby, do not mention baby! Instead say something like this “You want my attention. I can’t give it to you right now, but as soon as I’m done we can go read a book.” or “You want to go to the park right now. I think that’s a great idea, let’s pick out the toys we are going to take and make a plan to go later this afternoon.” These statements do two things, shows your older child that you acknowledge the wants and offers alternatives to keep her satisfied. It does all that without instilling a sense of blame on the new baby.
4. Involve your child
Make your child a part of the new baby’s story. Let them help you pick out a name or clothes or decorate. Task them to make a card for the new baby. Grab a washcloth and have them “wash” their
brother/sister in your belly. After baby is born have them help you with diaper changes bottles, grabbing pillows whatever you can do to make your older child feel like she is an integral part of the new baby’s life.
Every time you see your child doing something wonderful and sweet, make a positive comment about their action. “You are doing a great job playing gently with your brother” or “You are really sweet to kiss my belly! I’m sure your baby sister knows how much you lover her!”
This is a just a small list of some of the many ways of helping to avoid toddler jealousy. What have you done to help introduce a new baby? Leave your tips in the comments!