From making sure they can look after themselves to helping them grow up to be…
Bringing your new baby home can be an awe-inspiring but overwhelming experience. This is especially apt if you already have small children. A new baby is a big change for everyone in your family, even more so for a toddler who has been the star of the show and the centre of attention for a couple of years. It goes without saying that most of your attention will be spent on smoothing the transition and welcoming your new arrival; it’s almost impossible to continue with your previous routine, which is something that your toddler will notice. We’ve put together some handy hints to help you with this new phase in your family’s journey by giving you some ideas about what to do with your toddler while looking after your baby.
It’s safe to say that most of the time you’ll have your hands full with a new-born, so why not turn the act of fetching and carrying items you need for your baby into a game for your toddler. If you praise and reward your toddler for bringing you things or doing a bit of light tidying, like putting toys away, then you can have an extra small hand to help you.
While you’re feeding and comforting your baby, you could read to your toddler, put a film on for them to watch or just let them snuggle next to you on the sofa. Trying to include your toddler in your routine with your baby gets them used to this new experience.
Make Presents for the baby
Set your toddler off on an arts and crafts task and get them to make a present for their new baby brother or sister. It’ll keep them occupied and also start to build their bond with their sibling. Painting a picture is a great idea or drawing one if you want to keep things as mess free as possible!
Try to make sure that you set aside some special time that you spend with your toddler, one on one. It might be difficult, but it’s important that they feel special too, because these are formative years for them as well. In the long run, it’ll strengthen their bond with their baby sibling, because they’ll know that they’re still special and will get to spend valuable time with their Mum and Dad.
Let your toddler get involved in caring for your baby. From time to time, if you’re feeding your baby from a bottle, you can get them to help. You can get them to pick out a nappy or decide on what clothes your baby wears. This will teach them valuable lessons about caring for other people and will get them involved in the process, which means they’ll begin to understand how important it is that you spend lots of time with your baby.