A new baby on the way? How to help your toddler prepare.
28 June 2017
A new baby is on the way! It's gotta be the most exciting news of the year! But how do you break the news to your toddler?
The thing is, your toddler might not even understand what being pregnant means. So here are a few tips that might help with helping prepare them for a new baby sibling.
Blurting out to your toddler that you are pregnant the minute you find that double line on the pregnancy test, probably isn't the best time. 9 months is a long time for a toddler to wait. So sometimes it might be best to wait to tell them until your in your second trimester and your bump is visible. Obviously the timing is different for everyone, but just make sure consider all your options and reasons before you tell them. The timing could make all the difference between acceptance, rejection or confusion.
Side note: See our top 10 pregnancy announcement ideas
Don't tell them that they are going to have a new sister or bother to play with straight away. They need to know in advance, the baby isn't going to be able to talk or play straight away. The new baby will probably cry alot and need alot of attention and help from their big sister/brother. Obviously sugar coating is a good idea, but you don't want your toddler expecting to be able to play with the baby straight after they are born. A good idea is to take your toddler to visit a newborn baby so they get an idea of what to expect.
Books & Photos
The best way i found to show my toddler about what to expect with a new baby sister or brother was through story books. There are fantastic stories out there that explain what is going to happen. The best was Za Za's baby brother by Lucy Cousins. Below is the video version of the book.
What better way to get your toddler excited about the coming baby in getting them to help choose a name? I know you have to be pretty brave to try that, but maybe give them a choice of two options for a middle name? Just be prepared if you offer this to them you follow it through. I personally didn't do this, but some people suggest it. You could also give them the baby's name as a secret that they get to know other than anyone else because they are the special big sister or brother.
Going on an adventure to the shops to buy a special present for the baby is a great way to get your toddler excited. Get them to help pick out a special blanket, or a teddy. Making them start to feel like a sister or brother can be a good chance to help them sort through their feelings and get excited.
Getting ready for the hospital
Soon it will be time for you to go to hospital and have the baby. This means time away from your toddler and other children. Make sure they know in advance that you will be going and how long roughly for. Get them to help you pack and get ready to go. Choose what items to take for the new baby. This will give them time to adjust to the thought of you going for a few days and letting them know that the baby will be coming home with you.
[caption id="attachment_4911" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Introducing baby to your toddler[/caption]