Growing your family is one of the most exciting experiences you can have.
As your children grow, introducing a new baby to the mix can certainly come with it's fair share of challenges to navigate. If you're expecting another baby and you're worried about how you'll acclimate their siblings into life with a newborn, don't worry, you aren't alone.
The anxiety of how to best introduce your little one to the nest is one of the biggest worries of expectant parents.
Dont panic, it'll be fine!
Be the Voice of Your Baby
Since your baby can't speak up for themselves, you'll have to step in to help your toddler better understand what it's like to be a baby. Parents can take advantage of their children's fascination with newborns by explaining why babies do different things. Saying things like "when the baby cries it means they need something or they're uncomfortable" or even "when a baby holds onto you, they're showing you how much they love you" can help toddlers understand all the new sounds and actions of this new addition.
Spread the Praise
A newborn is constant spotlight and that can feel defeating or even threatening to a toddler that doesn't understand. When people comment about how beautiful or well behaved your baby is, be sure to interject that now you have two beautiful babies that are well behaved and amazing. Hearing parents tell strangers that their other kids are equally as important can be a huge sigh of relief to your little one and it takes the sting out of sharing the spotlight.
Double the Gifts
While most friends and family won't think to bring two of everything, having a couple backup gifts for your child to unwrap can help this process feel more like a celebration for them too. You can help change their mindset of them being the recipient to the giver by encouraging them to unwrap gifts and present them to the baby. Toddlers find it rewarding to be in control.
Highlight their Talents
Is your little one great at sports, drawing or singing? Highlight their talents by reminding them how great they are at these things and how lucky the new baby will be to have such a great teacher. Some kids even like to teach the newborn some tips in their first days home! Everyone needs a reminder sometimes about how talented they really are.
While it's all well and good to say you'll be able to evenly split your time between your kids, it just isn't realistic. When you can't devote one on one time to your older kids, sharing time with your baby care is a great way to do it all. While feeding the baby, you can read books to your toddler or watch their favorite movie. Plenty of hugs and cuddles are a must. Postpartum doulas can also help ease this transition through sibling care or infant care so you can get that much desired one on one time in with each child.
It's not as tough as you might think!
Although it's certain that you'll have some setbacks, tantrums or meltdowns from your little one about all the change at home, preparing them for the baby's arrival can make a big difference. Learning to change your language and the way you support your older children can help them feel empowered and confident when they realize they'll always have your heart.