New additions to the family
Although having another baby on the way is an exciting time for you and your partner, the idea of becoming a big brother or big sister can be a little worrying for your toddler. Sibling rivalry is a real thing but as a parent, it’s your job to ensure your children have a loving, supportive and cooperative relationship.
Here are a few tips on how to prepare your toddler for new additions to the family.
Make your firstborn feel included by involving them in your pregnancy announcement.
Tell your child before everyone else
It’s important that your toddler hears your news from you and your partner, rather than someone else. That way, you’ll be able to explain it to them properly and answer some of the questions they may have. Leave it to someone else to tell him or her and they’re going to wind up confused and upset.
It’s best to tell your little one about new additions to the family, shortly before you’re going to tell your friends. That way he or she won’t end up accidentally sharing your secret before you’re ready.
If you fancy doing something creative to announce that you’re expecting your second child, why not involve your little one? That way they’ll feel even more special and happy about becoming a big brother or sister.
Involve them in your pregnancy
Teach your little one the importance of being a good big brother or sister, whilst you are still pregnant. Give them the opportunity to feel your tummy when the baby kicks, talk to them and give your bump a cuddle.
You could also get them to do small tasks when you are in the late stages of pregnancy and need a little extra help. Remember to reward them and tell them what a good big brother or sister they’re going to be. That way they’ll feel involved in your pregnancy and more likely to keep up the good work once the baby arrives.
Teach your little one to care for their sibling by getting them to help you out with little tasks.
Get them to help you with your new baby
Babies require a lot of work and attention, so why not get your little toddler to help out? They can talk or sing to your baby to keep them entertained, help you change their nappy or give them a bottle and help you to bath them. This will show your toddler the importance of caring and looking after their sibling. It will also show that you trust him and that you are all in this together, which will prevent concerns of being replaced by a new addition.
It’s only natural for your little one to feel worried about a new addition to your family. Make sure you take time to reassure them that they’re not being replaced and that you love them as much as you always have done. Try and explain how having a little brother or sister will actually make their life even better, as they’ll have someone to play with, someone to grow up with and someone they can always rely on, no matter what.
Make sure that other adults in your family or friendship group do not undermine your efforts to reassure your child. Remind them that jokes about your little one being replaced or unwanted are not helpful and actually very hurtful.
When it comes to welcoming new additions to the family, paying attention to older siblings is key. The more involved they feel in your pregnancy and bringing up the child, the more likely they are to accept and enjoy their role as a big brother or big sister. Sure, it can be a little worrying at first but providing you go about it the right way, there’s no reason why it can’t be a happy and wonderful time for your entire family, just as it should be.