How to prepare your toddler for the New baby arrival
As I am entering my 3rd trimester, I am feeling a little bit anxious about the fact that I am going to juggle two little ones at the same time. Having a toddler is challenging yet alone a newborn on the way!
I talked to few friends who have been there before me to get some tips and advices on how they handled this situation. In my case i have a toddler with almost 4 year age gap, which I am assuming should be easier , but a lot to do since she is fully aware and can cope with the idea. I definitely experienced some changes in Naya's behaviour, she became more anxious during nursery drop off. It would literally take me a while to convince her that i am coming back for her.
" Prepare them physically"
And by that i mean if your toddler is between 2 - 4 yrs old and not yet potty trained, this is the right time to do it. This will boost their in-dependency and self confidence, bonus point ! You won't have to change diapers for both.
I personally started to give Naya more duties , like brushing her teeth, washing her hands, getting her stuff, helping around in the house..etc. This will teach them patience which is something you really need them to understand and accept. Trust me you won't be able to fulfill their demands immediately with a second baby on hand. A little bit of "waiting" training will come in handy.
" Prepare them Emotionally"
Accept your child's feelings and try to understand that it is a bit overwhelming for them. Make sure to comfort and assure them you will always love them. Try to make them help you with the baby, during bathing, feeding time. Praise them on their patience and kindness towards the newborn.
I personally took Naya with me to few appointments so she could see the baby and to connect with him, showed her pictures and videos of her when she was a baby, and now she became a beautiful big sister, independent girl and mommy is very proud of her.
There is no doubt that when the time finally comes and she actually sees the baby home and that he is not going anywhere, there might be few regressions to old behaviors, just try to be extra patient and understanding.
One of the things i am doing is giving Daddy few more duties to bond more with her, to help me when the baby is finally here, for example daddy reads the bedtime story, they go grocery shopping and play together a lot. Be ready for the hospital visit ! I got Naya a t-shirt saying " Big sister " so she can wear and start acting as the big caring sister. I will definitely not be holding the baby at that moment and make sure to give her my full attention and warm welcome.
Have a safe delivery mama.
The party Mum