Sunday, July 02, 2017

How to get your toddler to accept the new baby

The bun is in the oven..... again. You are expecting number 2 and will soon be a mother of 2. Will you have enough space in your heart to love another child? How can you get  your toddler to accept the new baby? These are questions that often race through the thoughts of a mother when she is expecting her second child.

Quite often, I get these question from mothers "Will I love my second child as much as my first child?" I always tell them that the more the merrier. The more children you have, the more chance you will have of receiving unconditional love, for that is the kind of love that children give. Unconditional love.

The more children you have, the more love you have to go around your house. Eventually they always come back to me and say "I never knew I had it in me to love another." It happens all the time. As a mother, you have the capacity to love as many children as you have.

However, what about your toddler? Will your toddler accept the new baby?

The key to acceptance is involvement. Involve your toddler every step of the way. Here are some ways you can involve your toddler in welcoming the new baby to your house.

  • Bring your toddler along to doctor visits
  • Show your toddler scans of the baby and explain to them where the head, hands etc are
  • Let your toddler feel your bulging tummy and talk to baby
  • Say "our" baby and "your" new brother or sister whenever referring to the baby
  • If possible, bring toddler along to the hospital to take baby home
My toddler accepted her newborn baby brother with ease with her complete involvement every step of the way. We didn't have anyone to watch her while we were at hospital during the delivery, so we brought her along. She was there to see baby as soon as he was cleaned. She slept on a sleeping bag together with daddy in the hospital room while mummy was breastfeeding baby. All the nurses thought she was adorable, this little girl in pink who didn't mind sleeping on the sleeping bag. We had wanted a bigger room but it was unavailable so we had to make do with a sleeping bag and she thought it was rather fun to camp out. 

When we went home, our toddler went home along with us together with the newborn. We had our new extended family. Our toddler did not have to be separated from us during the process. She did not have to be taken care of by grandparents or aunts and wait anxiously at home for the newcomer to take over her position on the pedestal. She was part of it all. 

I can't repeat it often enough. The most important way to help your toddler accept the baby is to involve her every step of the way, whenever practical. Good luck and congratulations on your new extended family.

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