How To Introduce Your Toddler and Siblings to New Baby
Tips and tricks from a Mom of 7
How to introduce your toddler and siblings to your new baby is a question I get asked a lot as a mom of 7. It is such a fun and exciting time as your family grows to include one more! Today I’m sharing a few of my experiences over the years and what we have done so check out my tips on how to introduce your toddler and siblings to new baby.
You’ve done the prep and delivered this new bundle of joy. Now it’s time to bring baby home, heal, nurture and introduce him or her to their siblings. It can also be stressful and overwhelming. The family dynamic is changing plus your toddler is dealing with so many emotions not to mention your own due to hormonal changes.
I want to start off by saying there is no perfect scenario since each child is their own unique individual and you as their parent knows them best.
Keep your expectations realistic. Try to time the introduction at a time you know your toddler is happiest whether that be after meals, naps, playtime, etc. Also understand that if they are not embracing their new sibling immediately that does not mean it was a failure encounter. Stay positive and encourage your toddler to come close to see new baby.
Discuss the exciting promotion to big brother or big sister and how fun it is to have a younger sibling before introducing new baby.
When baby #6 was born my toddler did not understand, even with the prep and discussions we had about a new baby being added to the family. He did understand once we brought his new baby brother home. He was curious but kept his distance the first day. The second day when new baby cried he went over to the crib to check on him and by the afternoon was coming over to pat his head while I was nursing him.
On the big day, let your naturally curious toddler get close and touch baby to create a special bond. Talk about gentle touches and safety right away so your toddler and siblings understand the boundaries of what they can and cannot do around your newborn.
Involve your toddler hands on in some of the care for your new baby. Helping is a great way to get them involved from getting blankets, wipes, diapers and bottles for you. Your toddler will love to feel the accomplishment of helping you care for their new baby sibling. My toddler is very curious and hands on so the best way for him to adapt and embrace change is to jump in and do it.
I make sure to compliment their good behavior, set boundaries for not so good behavior and reinforce safety rules such as not giving the new baby toys even though we encourage sharing since new baby is not able to play with them yet.
My older children are all familiar with this routine and excitedly want to rock, hold and feed the new baby which depending on their ages I have incorporated into our new baby routine. It is a great way to promote bonding and give you a little break! My oldest two are 12 & 9 years old and love to feed and burp the new baby with my supervision. I love Nanobebe bottles – easy to clean, mimics breastfeeding, easy to hold and my newborn easily drank from it. I also didn’t notice any difference breastfeeding him afterwards which I have with other bottles.
*Disclosure: These bottles were gifted to me but all opinions and ideas are my own.
As important as it is for your toddler and siblings to bond with new baby it is equally important that you have time to bond with new baby, heal and carve out some time for your kids. It may feel like there is not enough time in your day between the demands of a newborn and healing. Try not to get overwhelmed and break things down.
One thing I try to do each day is sit with one of my kids before bedtime so I can check in and make sure I hear what is going on with them. During the day, when baby is sleeping spending some one on one time with your toddler is important especially as they learn to share Mommy’s attention with new baby.
Which of the above did you use when introducing your toddler and siblings to your newborn? Or let me know of other tips you used! I hope these suggestions on how to introduce your toddler and sibling are helpful to you as your family grows. Thank you for stopping by!