I have been through this a time or two. Preparing a toddler for a new baby can a difficult task. Toddlers have a hard time understanding things they can not see. Even if they do understand that a new baby is coming it takes time to get them to understand what is coming up and how things are going to change.
When to tell your toddler about the new baby
It is best to wait and tell your toddler about the new baby until you are a bit further along. Toddlers are not the best at understanding that some things take time. When we announced our newest baby to the children my toddler insisted I had to let the baby out that day so she could cuddle it. Patience is not a toddler’s strong suit.
Creative ways to make a new baby fun for your toddler
Make the idea of a new baby fun and exciting. We surprised to toddlers with a My Heart Baby’s Beat Bear Giraffe and they could not be happier. You can’t get much more fun than these cute stuffed animals and the Giraffe was just perfect with the kids being all hyped up over April the Giraffe having her baby boy.
This adorable toy lets you record your baby’s heartbeat at your ultrasound. When you give it to your toddler they can listen to the babies heart beating over and over again. My girls love to cuddle their Giraffe while they wait for their new baby brother or sister.
Get your toddler their own baby and baby supplies like a swing, crib, and high chair so your toddler can take care of their baby while you take care of yours. Start stocking the dolls “nursery” area as you stock your babies.
This is a great way to get your little one excited about the new baby. To make it even more exciting have the new baby give your toddler the baby doll as a gift when they come home from the hospital.
Tips to make the translation of a new baby easier on your toddler
Talk to your toddler openly about the new baby: Talk about how the baby can’t really do much at first and what your toddler can do with the new baby. Toddlers are still in that helpful phase and loves to be helpful to mom so take advantage of it and enlist your little one to bring you fresh diapers, blankets, and other small things that make them feel useful.
Don’t allow anyone to tell your child they are being replaced: A common thing people love to joke about when you have a new baby. This is unacceptable and children need to be told that they will always be loved and will never be replaced. Your child needs reassurance.
Make one on one time a priority: When the new baby arrives home, be sure to sneak some one on one time in with your toddler. I know this can be hard but in the end is worth the work to make that time.
Read books about new babies: Reading books about new babies can help your toddler understand what to expect when the new baby arrives. Look for books that are age-appropriate and discuss the arrival of a new sibling.
Involve your toddler in baby preparations: Involve your toddler in preparing for the new baby, such as choosing baby clothes or helping to decorate the nursery. This can help your toddler feel involved and excited about the new arrival.
Talk to your toddler about what to expect: Explain to your toddler what will happen when the new baby arrives, such as the baby crying or needing a lot of attention. This can help your toddler understand that they will still be loved and cared for, even with a new baby in the house.
Spend special time with your toddler: Spend one-on-one time with your toddler, such as reading books or playing games, to help them feel special and loved.
Practice baby care with a doll: Encourage your toddler to practice caring for a doll or stuffed animal, such as feeding and changing its diaper, to help them understand what it will be like to care for a new baby.
Set up a special space for your toddler: Set up a special space for your toddler, such as a reading nook or play area, to help them feel important and valued.
Manage expectations: Manage your toddler’s expectations by explaining that the baby will not be able to play or interact with them right away, and that it may take time for the baby to become more active and playful.
Bond with both together after the baby is born: Use the time you are breastfeeding baby to bond with both baby and toddler. Snuggle up on the sofa and read books to your children. This is a great way to raise lifelong readers and make your toddler feel loved with a new baby in the house.
Books to help your toddler understand about new baby
Books are a great way to help your toddler understand a new baby is coming. With stories created to ease your child’s fears and explain the baby in your tummy at a level your little one can understand the options are endless. Here are some of our favorites.
More about the My Baby’s Heartbeat Bears
These cute bears are perfect for celebrating your pregnancy with your loved ones. You can enjoy cuddling it while you wait to hold your baby in your arms. Personally, I wish I would have had one with the baby I lost a little over a year ago. That loss was so hard and it would have been a comfort to have something sweet like this to remember my lost Angel while I healed.
These bears and other cuddly buddies from the Giraffe to the turtle, lamb, and all of the other 35 adorable options make a great gift for a new mom to be or the excited grandparents to be. These are just such a cute idea. They ship really fast as well so you don’t have to worry about if you will have it in time.