It’s a wonderful moment when your toddler meets his new baby bro or sis for the first time. It’s understandable that your older littlie will feel a sense of loss at not being the baby anymore, and possibly resentment towards the usurper of his throne. Spend time, during your pregnancy, with your child to help prepare him and make him feel included in this new big change in his life. Here's how to smooth the way:
Try buying a toy baby to help your toddler embrace big brotherhood. Feeding, dressing and playing with it will make him feel responsible and grown up. Encourage him to cuddle and name it, and play gently with it. When the real baby comes along, your toddler will be less likely to notice that your attention is elsewhere, and his transition from baby to big boy will be easier when he's occupied.
New babies take up a lot of time, but wherever possible, set aside quality time to be with your toddler. Toddlers tend to react to attention deficit with disruption because they don't have the words to say “I need you.” It takes only a little one-on-one time, a short story or a cuddle to remind them how much you love them. And don't forget to tell them.
Toddlers love presents. And who better to give them one, than their brand new baby? So make it a good one, and preferably one that will keep them entertained for a few hours! Your toddler may even like to give a gift of his own, or perhaps even make something special for the baby, like a picture or a mobile.
Show your toddler photos of him when he was a baby, and tell him about all the cute things he did, the noises he made and the faces he pulled. When baby comes along, point out the same things on baby, and the similarities between them. Tell him you loved it when he used to do them, and you still love him now that he's a big brother.
Planning ahead will help to secure a bond between your children, to nurture love and affection in your home, and will provide your family with some truly awesome Kodak moments.