So you have a new baby on the way but are not sure how to prepare your toddler for a little brother or sister? It can be both challenging and exciting for your little one to welcome a new brother or sister! At Sparkles! Early Learning Academy, we have a lot of families with more than one child attending our school. Therefore, we know how the whole transition works & we even help the child & family to get ready for the new transition! So, let’s prepare your toddler for a little brother or sister.
If your toddler is the firstborn, it can get even more challenging since they are not used to having a sibling. Well, whatever the case is, today we will look at proven tips using which you can prepare your little one and even yourself for a new baby. (All these tips are based on our years of experience working with families and toddlers.)
How to Prepare Your Toddler for a Little Brother or Sister
Follow these tips to ensure that there is as little friction as possible between your toddler and the new brother and sister:
Attending a Preschool
In a preschool, a child is surrounded by other children of the same age. As a result, it prepares them to develop the social skills needed to interact with other kids in the class. But, what’s even more important is that it removes jealousy from the equation, among many other benefits.
So, if you still have a couple of months left before the arrival of your new member of the family, then it may be a good idea to find a good preschool for your kid! This will allow them to be with other children, and when the time finally comes for a new baby, it will not be foreign to them!
Additionally, it will also help your toddler learn how to share, play, and even be more independent! All of these things are very important when preparing a child to get ready for a new baby.
At Sparkles! Early Learning Academy, we can help your child achieve all the developmental milestones via play-based learning. From the age of 6th week till pre-K, we stay with our students every step of the way!
Visit Someone with a Baby
What is better than getting your toddler first-hand experience with a baby? If your friends, family, or neighbors have a small baby, then it is a good idea to visit them so that the little ones can see the baby with their own eyes. If possible, even allow the toddler to play gently with the baby so that they can develop a meaningful experience.
After the visit, tell your toddler that a baby ‘is coming to our home soon,’ just like the home they visited. Even if they can’t fully comprehend it yet, it will make your toddler start imagining how it would feel with a baby at home.
On top of that, this will allow them to develop some experience with a new baby. If possible, make multiple visits to help your child get ready for the transition!
If your child is not used to being patient, then it is high time to teach them patience before the arrival of a new baby. When a new child arrives in the home, your toddler will no longer get the same attention and may even have to wait. That is why it is imperative that you teach your toddler to be patient, so that when the baby arrives, it will be an easier transition for them.
An easy way to teach patience to a toddler is to let them wait for a while when they ask you for something. Gradually and progressively, increase the waiting period so that they can get used to waiting, until the point of understanding that things will not happen immediately after requesting something.
Through this method, they will learn that they have to wait and that it is not the baby’s fault when you can’t immediately respond to their request.
Show Baby Pictures
An infant will look different than a toddler, and this can make your little one feel uneasy upon seeing their new baby brother or sister. An easy way to break the ice is to show them pictures/videos of their own when they were a baby!
When they see pictures of themselves as a baby, it will help them understand how a baby looks in the first place. Also, tell them how dependent they were on their mommy and daddy when they were born. This will help them relate to the new member of the family, and also teach them that a baby grows and will eventually turn into a toddler after some time. This way, they will learn that the infancy phase is not a permanent thing.
Give a Gift from the Baby
Who doesn’t like gifts, especially when it comes to children? Another way to create a great bond between your toddler and the baby brother or sister is to create a small wrapped gift for the little one. Moreover, when they are introduced to the new baby for the first time, tell them that the gift is from the baby!
Toddlers love gifts, and at least we have never seen any which refused a gift! So, by giving a gift on their first interaction with each other, you can help the toddler create a loving relationship with the new baby!
Ask for Help with the Baby
With the arrival of a new baby, it is only natural for the toddler to feel neglected or even pushed out. A quick and easy way to solve this is to get them involved in the process. Of course, a toddler may be of little help, but that is not the point. On the contrary, try to get them involved and make them feel that they are helping you and the baby!
For example, you could ask the little one to hand you wet wipes when changing diapers. Another way is to ask the little one to support the baby’s feeding bottle and so on…
This method will help your little one get used to the new baby and even feel a part of the process instead of feeling rejected.
Make The Transition as Smooth as Possible
With the arrival of a new baby, your toddler may have some mixed feelings, and it is perfectly normal. However, the main thing you should do is to help the little ones get used to the transition, and form a loving bond with their new baby brother or sister. And, the easiest way to do that is to follow the tips mentioned above to make it easy for your child and even for yourself! For more information, please contact our center directly, and a member of our team will be more than happy to assist you: 703-810-7792.