How to Help Your Toddler Adjust to a New Baby
Toddler Adjustment to Addition of a New Baby
The addition of a new baby to your family is so exciting! Let’s be honest though… it totally changes things. As parents we have mentally prepared ourselves that life is about to be different. On the flip side of that our poor toddlers have NO clue what is about to happen. This blog post was created to with you in mind. Keep reading to learn how to help your toddler adjust to a new baby.
Welcome Home Little One
My toddler Jaycee could not wait for the arrival of her little sister Kaylin. She would ask me daily, “Mommy are you going to the hospital to pick up Kaylin today?” I thought I had done a pretty good job of preparing my toddler to adjust to the addition of our new baby. We had read the children’s books about being a big sister, new babies, and the addition of a new baby. We made sure to get her a babydoll, and we had played “baby” for weeks. She was beyond ready for her baby! (or so we thought)
Fast forward to when we brought our new bundle of joy home, and she was not too thrilled to have a screaming baby taking her attention. Lets just say my toddler did not adjust well. Adjusting to our new baby did not go quite as planned.
She began to act out, and became extremely jealous. I got some great advice about jealous siblings, and I want to share it!! Oh and on a side note, Jaycee may look like an angel—-DON’T be FOOLED.
Tips To Help Your Toddler Adjust To New Baby
In a case where both children are crying, always go to the oldest child first. Make them feel like they are your 1st priority. Soothe your toddler, and then move on to the newborn. Babies cry… A LOT so a few extra minutes of screaming may rattle your nervous, but will make the older child still feel like they matter.
Make a BIG deal to your toddler about spending time together. Seeing their sibling continually having your undivided attention can lead to resentment. You will find it is hard to actually stop and play with your child, so make them feel included in your daily task. Toddlers love this. For example, “You’re mama’s big helper; we are folding these clothes TOGETHER”.
Include your older child in the care of your newborn. Seriously, give them a strong sense of ownership. “We need to change your baby’s diaper”; “let’s feed your baby”; “Help me get your baby to stop crying”. Hopefully this will make them feel like they are a part of the chaos happening in their home, and help them to adjust to the new baby.
I promise it will get easier after a month or so when the newness wears away, and when schedules get back to normal. Your toddler will eventually settle in and fully adjust to the addition of the new baby. In the mean time use these simple tips to help your jealous toddler learn to love their sibling. Hang in there mamas! Trust me I feel your pain.
Wait..don’t go. Read more about raising toddlers HERE