How to prepare toddler for the arrival of a new sibling
When the parents decide to plan for a baby, they have to keep in mind about their physical and mental health, financial condition, and other things. While planning for the first child a parent may have their anxieties, but for the second child, they can rely on the learning curve they’ve had during their first baby. However, the biggest challenge of bringing the second child into this world is to raise two babies at the same time.
One big challenge that may arise for parents with a toddler for an older child is that sometimes your toddler may consider the newborn as a rival. Because child psychology is extremely sensitive, parents have to be extra careful and have to take necessary steps to prepare their first born for the arrival of the new guest into their lives.
Here are a few things you can do to prepare your toddler for the arrival of their new sibling:
Try to make familiar your toddler with babies pictures
As a toddler, your child may have no clue what his/her new sibling will look like. So arrange some babies pictures and show these to your toddler. You can also show your toddler the photos of his/her newborn stage. So your toddler will get an idea he/she is going to have a new sibling. When showing the pictures, talk to them about how much their sibling will need their love once they come into their world to build a positive impression in their minds about their new expected sibling.
Teach them ways to interact with the newborn
Make your toddler understand that the newborn won’t understand language. Instead, he/she has to use hand gestures to communicate with the sibling. Give your toddler some idea that the upcoming baby can’t express the need for sleep, hunger, or the feeling of hot and cold. When your toddler will understand how the newborn will communicate, a strong bondage will start to form between them.
Try to teach him/her games that make less noise
A newborn passes most of the time sleeping. A newborn may be too sensitive to sound. But don’t tell your toddler not to play at home. Before the baby’s arrival try to teach your toddler that his/her sibling will need to sleep more so that the baby can grow up like his/her elder brother/sister. Try to teach your toddler some games which make less noise.
Give some idea about newborn’s food
As a toddler, your first child may have already started to eat some of the adult’s food. But try to make him/her understand that the baby can’t eat food like him/her. Try to make your toddler understand that milk is the only food for the newborn. So when your newborn will need to breastfeed, your toddler may learn to take the situation easily.
Hug your toddler frequently
When the newborn has arrived, your toddler may have the hunch that he/she is not getting the attention anymore. So try to keep him/her beside your newborn all the time. Hug your toddler frequently. Make your toddler understand that you have to keep the newborn in your lap for a while. So he/she will not consider the newborn a rival.
Familiarize your toddler with newborn’s duties
Before the arrival of the newborn, give your toddler an idea that he/she is not a child anymore. Your toddler will feel important and have a sense of responsibility then. For the practice, you may teach your toddler with a dummy toy how to feed it or how to change the diaper. You may teach your toddler to sing the lullabies to the newborn. These steps will help to make your toddler feel more involved in the process of raising the newborn.
Naturally, the first child enjoys the full attention till the second one’s arrival. So the toddler may not accept the newborn very enthusiastically. So, before planning for the second child, you should prepare your first child mentally for the situation. Make your toddler understand that you love both of them equally and regularly reinforce that.