Hello, baby num­ber two

Get­ting used to a new sib­ling is tough for your tod­dler. Ann Richard­son tells you how you can ease the tran­si­tion

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents -

MOST TOD­DLERS THINK they are the cen­tre of the uni­verse, so they ac­tu­ally have no real con­cept of what hav­ing a new sib­ling re­ally means.

De­pend­ing on the age of your tod­dler, she doesn’t need to be in­volved in the preg­nancy other than to know that there will soon be a new baby in the fam­ily.

How­ever, it’s when you bring the new baby home that the real work starts. We asked the au­thor of Tod­dler Sense, Ann Richard­son, for a few tips on how to in­tro­duce your tod­dler to the new baby.

WHEN YOU GET HOME

When you re­turn home with the new baby, present her with a gift from her new sib­ling. A doll or some­thing your child will like play­ing with is al­ways a good idea.

SEEK­ING AT­TEN­TION

Your tod­dler will play up and de­mand your at­ten­tion just when you can’t give it, so ex­pect her de­mands to in­ten­sify, es­pe­cially if you have just sat down to feed the baby! To the best of your abil­ity al­ways at­tend to her needs first – this will make her feel se­cure.

STO­RY­BOOKS

Have a pile of sto­ry­books handy, and place one of her lit­tle chairs along­side your feed­ing chair, so that she can sit with you and read a story while you feed the baby. This is a good habit to start, and she will start to look for­ward to this spe­cial time.

MAKE HER FEEL IN­CLUDED

When vis­i­tors ar­rive to see the new baby, let her show them to the nurs­ery, and al­low her to help open the baby’s gift. This way she will feel in­cluded.

NO TOUCH­ING

Avoid say­ing “Don’t touch the baby,” too much. She will con­tinue to do it. If pos­si­ble, ig­nore it (un­less she is feed­ing the baby a sweet, or hold­ing him up­side down!) and never leave her alone with the new baby.

REST­ING

Take the phone off the hook when you are rest­ing, or at least in­vest in a por­ta­ble phone to keep along­side you.

VIS­I­TORS

Limit vis­i­tors to a spe­cific time of the day, so that you are not in­un­dated all day. Vis­i­tors, while hav­ing your best in­ter­ests at heart, can kill you with kind­ness!

ROU­TINE

Stick to your tod­dler’s rou­tine scrupu­lously. It will make the whole fam­ily feel more se­cure.

CHANGES IN BE­HAV­IOUR

Ex­pect a re­gres­sion in your tod­dler’s be­hav­iour. She may de­mand a bot­tle or dummy again, or start wet­ting her bed. Keep calm, give her what she asks for, and know that it will pass with time.

QUAL­ITY TIME

Try to spend some spe­cial time alone with your tod­dler ev­ery day, even if it means quiet time in the gar­den for 20 min­utes or so.

YOUR RE­LA­TION­SHIP

Look af­ter your re­la­tion­ship with your part­ner – re­mem­ber that you are in this to­gether.

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