It’s an exciting day in our family – we are welcoming a new nephew today! Little Zachary makes his way into the world and I can’t wait to meet him! Although, I fear our meeting may be delayed, thanks to my pesky cough and stuffy nose. And while his parents (my husband’s brother and wife) are anxious to meet him, Zach’s big brother, three year old James is just as excited too!
My girls are twenty months apart and I remember it was pretty tough juggling a newborn and a toddler the first few months. Maggie was very interested in “who” this new baby was joining her family. She was anxious to “help”. And while she was still a little too young to really understand what was going on, she definitely knew things were different.
Here are a few things that we did to help ease the transition of a new baby in the house.
- We gave Maggie her own “baby”. She loved (and still does) taking care of her baby doll. We role played with Maggie leading up to the time of Molly’s arrival. Diaper changes, naps, bottle feeding – this little baby doll was great practice!
- We included Maggie in everything we did for baby Molly. Even though, she covered her ears from the baby’s crying – she loved watching Molly during bath time. I also used a changing pad on the floor for diaper changes so that Maggie could be right in the middle of the action. Keeping things at her eye level helped her feel included.
- Praise, praise and more praise! Make sure your toddler knows they are being a great sibling! While a lot of the attention may be directed at your newborn, it’s important to make your other kids feel special too! A special treat or some one-on-one time with Daddy worked for us!
What tips do you have for moms introducing a new baby to a toddler?! What worked (or didn’t) work for you? How did your child react to a new baby?