The excitement you feel over having a new baby soon is hard to deny. However, your toddler may not understand exactly what it means to welcome a new life into the home. As a result, you want to help ease your little one into this transition by using a few creative techniques.
Involve Your Toddler in Making Decisions
Before the baby is born, begin including your toddler in some small decisions. While you might initially scoff at the idea of your toddlers picking their siblings name or selecting a theme for the nursery, consider if it would actually be harmful in any way to ask them what they think about these decisions. You could look at lists of baby names together or ask them what they think about their top choices. When you’re at the store, you can narrow down the theme yourself and then ask your toddlers what specific items they like. This will help them feel included in the process of welcoming the baby, instead of fostering resentment and the feeling of isolation.
One of the best ways to prepare your toddler for the new baby is to read some books. When your kids are toddlers, they may not have tons of social experiences, but fiction can always help bridge some empathy gaps. Books can help them to get an idea. Many different books exist that can help to get your toddlers excited and assist in quelling any concerns that they feel about welcoming the new baby into the home.
Buy Toddlers a Present
As you prepare for the new baby to arrive, you are buying your baby plenty of items, from toys to clothes to whole pieces of furniture. Also, people are probably bringing and sending you presents, especially if you are having a baby shower. As a result, your toddlers can begin to feel left out. While you don’t want to make everything about presents, a small item can make a big difference in helping them feel appreciated during the busy months.
Talk about the Future
While making promises that you can’t keep, such as ones about large family vacations immediately after the baby is born, is not the best plan, that doesn’t mean you can’t begin to make some loose plans about life with a new addition to the family. However, you can talk about the future in more general terms. For example, your toddlers might get excited if you tell them about the games that they will be able to play when the baby is older or how they can help to take care of the baby. Your toddlers may worry that they are going to be left out, and these conversations can ease that worry. Maybe even just planning small family outings together can foster communication and quality time together.
Preparing for a new baby involves a number of tasks. But don’t forget about helping your toddlers ease into the transition during this phase. If you are nervous about giving birth and making this transition, reach out to us. We’d love to help you feel completely comfortable with every aspect of your experience.