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Is Your Toddler Ready for Baby Number Two?

by Tania Cowling | February 22nd, 2016 | Infants/Toddlers, Social
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infant and toddlerYour baby is growing up and becoming a more self-sufficient toddler, so this may be the time to start thinking about expanding your family and giving your first child a life companion. Basically having a sister or brother to love and be best friends forever.

Of utmost importance is that your first child understands that his needs will always be met and that you will always be there for him. Yet it’s important to discuss how the new baby will create changes in your household. Routines will be a little different, so it’s time to have a talk!

What to Expect Discussion Topics:

Babies cry a lot. Explain to your toddler that the baby can’t talk yet, so he/she will cry when they need something. And they have a different sleep schedule than the older sibling.

Babies are different than older children as they eat different foods, they can’t sit up, talk, or move on their own. They even like different toys than their older sibling.

Talk about the do and don’ts with the new baby. Tell your toddler how and when she can hold the baby, help feed the baby and diaper him/her, and when it’s the appropriate time to play together. Your older kiddo wants to feel capable and important in the family and not always reprimanded and hearing the words “no” and “don’t” all the time.

It’s a parent’s responsibility to find one-on-one time together. Remember, your toddler was your first darling and you must find a block of time each day to show it. Whether it’s reading a book while cuddling together or making a craft, make sure to spread the love each day. Ask your toddler what they would like to do with you during their special time.

Create a photo book of your first child so he/she can review babyhood. Gather pictures of your toddler at birth at the hospital, getting a bath, being fed, playing together, and sleeping in the crib. Look at this book together and talk about the memories. Leave this photo album accessible to your toddler when he needs to review it.

Read books about the arrival of a new baby. My favorites are: Babies Don’t Eat Pizza: A Big Kids’ Book About Baby Brothers and Baby Sisters by Dianne Danzig, The New Baby at Your House by Joanna Cole, and My New Baby by Rachel Fuller.

Expect Some Regression:

It’s not unusual for toddlers to regress to baby behavior when the new arrival is in the house. You may see them asking to be held, for a bottle, pacifier, and for baby toys that were once forgotten. Some younger toddlers even revert to diapers when they have potty accidents. Toddlers want to feel the security they once had as an infant. Don’t get angry or criticize. This behavior should pass in time as the toddler realizes that he is still a big part of the family unit. Hopefully your toddler will adopt the mantra, “I’m a big kid now,” just like the commercial.

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