Congrats Mama, you have a new baby on the way. There’s so much to prepare for already, having to think about how to help your first born get used to not being the baby anymore can be really stressful. Here are some helpful tips straight from our pediatrician on how to help your toddler adjust to having a new baby in the house.
Have photos of older sibling around the bassinet
When your older child comes to the hospital to visit, show them their own photos so you can make it about them instead of just the baby.
Don’t hold the baby when older child comes to visit
They want to feel like you’re still their mommy and if they walk in and you have a new baby in your hands, that’ll make them feel like they’re already #2 for your love. Instead play with or engage with your older child first then have them wheel in the new baby in the room for the introduction.
Make sure to have a small gift for older child:
Pick up a small gift for your older child and tell them the baby wanted to get them the gift. And vice versa. Have them gift the new baby something small as well.
Have your visitors help your older child feel special:
When new guests come to visit, tell them in advance to pay attention to your older child first. Even if it’s as simple as acknowledging them first, giving them a hug or a small gift. The purpose is to make sure the older child doesn’t feel forgotten. Have a bunch of small gifts wrapped at the house that you can have your guests give the older baby to make them feel special.
Prevent regression in your older child:
To help your older child not regress, whenever the new baby cries, make sure to let your older child know you don’t like it when the baby cries. This will help make sure your older child doesn’t regress and start crying to get attention from you, the same way the baby does. Same goes for running to the new baby when they cry. Give it a quick pause, especially if you’re in the middle of an activity with the older sibling.
We also asked our Instagram family on some tips and below are some more helpful tips shared with us.
- Have older child help when organizing babies’ clothes in the dresser. Make a painting for the new baby and frame it.
- Have a gift ready for older sibling from new baby. Also, the first time that older sibling meets baby make sure you guys are not carrying the baby.
- Include them in everything. Let them help with feeding (if bottle) and diaper changes, maybe picking out outfits so the older child feels like it’s her baby too.
- Schedule to Spend time alone with older child in and out of the house when baby arrives.
- Best advice I was ever given was get the older child involved in picking up certain essentials to bring you and have them be the little helper.