Managing a Toddler and New Baby

If you’re planning on having a second child while you still have a toddler, there are a few things you will probably want to know. It will be tough to juggle between the two, but it will be worth it!

A newborn requires a lot of attention, but a toddler will get jealous and begin to feel like they no longer matter to you. It will be overwhelming and, at times, heartbreaking. A mother never wants to have their children feel like they aren’t loved or appreciated.

One good thing about is that you’ve already mastered the ropes with bringing a newborn baby into the world. You know what to do and have learned what works and what doesn’t. However, you probably have some concerns with how to manage them both and avoid sibling rivalry.

That’s why we’re here. We want to help you take the stress of juggling between two children out of the way. This is why we’ve put together our top tips for managing a toddler and a new baby.

Announcement

One of the most difficult things is figuring out when and how to tell your toddler that a new baby is on the way. On one hand, it’s exciting… they are going to be getting a new brother or sister. On the other hand, maybe they don’t want one.

You want to make sure that they actually understand what you are telling them. For instance, it’s much harder to explain the situation to a 2-year-old than it is to a 5-year-old.

When

Deciding when to tell your toddler can be tough. You want them to understand what you’re saying while still giving them enough time to be able to mentally prepare for the new baby.

We seem to think that a golden moment is when you’re about done with your first trimester. If you wait longer, they will notice that you’re starting to get a little rounder and will start to ask questions.

If your children are a bit older, elementary school age, you can tell them whenever you and your partner decide is right. They have a better grasp on timelines and will begin to share the excitement with you!

How

Telling your child is important both in timing and the way it is done. Whenever you talk to your toddler about something serious, it will be easier and exciting when it’s a turned into a surprise. Since younger children are more responsive to visual stimulus, consider using an ultrasound or involving them in a prenatal visit.

Since social media is a popular way to announce a pregnancy, have your toddler be the one to share it with the world. Have them wear a shirt or hold a sign announcing they will soon be a big brother or big sister!

However you decide to tell them, the important thing is that from then on you involve them in the pregnancy. It will make them feel important and proud to become an older sibling.

Preparation

After you’ve shared the news with your toddler, you should start to prepare them for what to expect when your newborn comes. This will help to ease the transition and will get them excited for their younger sibling.

Some great ways to prepare them for what is to come is by telling them stories of what they were like as a baby and the way that you took care of them. Show them pictures to accompany the stories and any fun videos you might have. It will make them feel more connected to the newborn when he or she arrives.

Being honest with them about how a newborn acts will help. Talk with your toddler about how they mainly just eat, sleep and cry. It is important to mention that they need a lot of attention since they are unable to do anything themselves. This way, when they arrive, your older child will be more prepared.

When a child is involved in something, they don’t feel neglected. Talk with your toddler about how they can help when the baby comes. Then you will not only have an extra hand, but your older child will feel honored to be able to help.

Another important thing to explain to them is breastfeeding. They might not fully understand it and will get jealous about all the time you spend with the newborn. When they understand why you breastfeed and how it works, it makes things go more smoothly. If you need a little more help in this department, you can take them to a La Leche Meeting!

Finally, spend as much time as possible doing things with your toddler while it’s just you and them. Since life will be different once the new baby comes, cherish the time while you still have a 1:1 relationship.

Birthing

When you go into labor, you aren’t going to be focusing on your toddler. Make sure you and your partner create a plan prior to your due date, and explain it to your child. Have your toddler spend time away from you during your pregnancy so that they are comfortable with it when you go into labor.

Another crucial period of time is when your toddler meets your newborn for the first time. It’s very likely that this will take place while you’re still in the hospital. Our advice is to have the newborn in his or her cot when your older child first arrives. This will allow you to show affection to your toddler while you introduce them to the newborn, which is important after spending so much time away from each other.

Newborn Days

When you finally bring your new baby home, the real fun begins. It will be hard, but you will make it through! In order to help ease this tough time, we recommend some of the following tips.

  • Don’t worry so much on how clean your house is. When you return from the hospital you will have a lot of changes, and you shouldn’t stress about all of the little things. We don’t recommend letting it get into hoarder status, but don’t get too stressed about how things look.
  • Involve your toddler with things that you do with the baby as soon as possible. When you do this, also let them know how important they are as an older sibling and how much it means to you that they are helping.
  • Ask your older child for advice. Simple decisions like clothing or how to make her smile will make your toddler feel important and proud to be involved.
  • Accept help when it’s offered. Everybody needs a hand here and there!
  • Try to prepare some meals before your due date. Crockpot freezer bags are wonders and will replenish your nutrition quickly and easily.
  • Keep toys and books for your toddler in a child-safe area where you plan to nurse. This way, you are able to give attention to both children while nursing without worrying about anyone getting hurt.
  • Every now and then, spend some one-on-one time with your toddler so that they know that you still love them as much as before their younger sibling arrived.

Conclusion

Remember, this is an exciting time for you and your family! You are growing and adding another bundle of joy to the world. At times it might be tough, but eventually your children will love and cherish each other as much as you love both of them. The most important rule is to breath, everything will be fine! If you are a mother of two, comment below or post on our Facebook page some tips you found worked for you! A community of support is always better than reading.

In addition, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, expectant mothers are eligible to receive an electric breast pump covered by their insurance provider! Just head over to our page and browse our selection.

 

SOURCES:

http://www.medelabreastfeedingtips.ca/having-a-second-child-tips-for-managing-a-toddler-and-new-baby/
https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a563449/how-to-cope-with-a-toddler-and-a-new-baby
http://www.familytimes.co.nz/managing-a-toddler-and-a-new-baby/
http://www.beautythroughimperfection.com/toddler-and-new-baby/

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