How I'll (Hopefully) Help My Toddler Adjust To The New Baby

I think it's natural to moms of more than one child to worry about how their older child will handle the new addition.  I am really blessed in the so far, my kids have ha a fairly easy transition!

However, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit that I'm still worried about how Clarice will handle this new baby.  I've been worried each time, so this is nothing unusual, but I'm particularly concerned for my youngest darling this time because she seems to be currently thriving in her role as the youngest.  She thinks my lap is her spot, and gets upset if even one of the older kids sits in my lap.  She likes to be carried as often as she can get away with it.  She is a ham and loves being the center of attention.

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These are my strategies for making the transition on Clarice as easy as it can be, but I'd love to hear more ideas if anyone has some!

1.  Talk to her about the baby as much as possible.
This is always easier when my belly gets bigger, but I will point to my stomach and say "Baby in there!"  It was surprising with my other kids how much this helped it sink in.

2. Read books about new babies.
Tommy Nelson just came out with a book called God Bless Our Baby and as soon as I saw it, I snagged it!  It's super-cute, and details all the fun and sweet things that come with a having a new baby - like making them laugh, helping with bathtime, and having a new friend.  It also has pages that talk about things like mama's growing belly, feeling kicks, and staying quiet while baby sleeps to help little kids know what to expect. I also LOVE that they have one page that includes adopted families.  I think this will be a fun book to get my younger kids excited about having a new baby around!

3. Work on being "gentle".
Lots of practice with baby dolls, stuffed animals, and people, and excessive praise when she succeeds.

4. Put the baby down sometimes for lots of snuggles after baby arrives.
I always try to be aware that  all my older kiddos need some extra attention and love after the new baby comes home, especially the child that was just ousted from the youngest position.  I will get as much snuggles in with my new munchkin as I can, but I also want to make sure to intentionally put the baby down so I can hold or play with my other kids.  They need to know they are still just as important to me, even though babies take more time in the beginning.

5. Ask the big kids for help.
My kids feel so useful and proud of themselves when they are able to help me - and a little praise goes a long way in making them feel loved and needed!  For Clarice, I'll ask her to bring me a diaper or wipes so that she can feel a part of taking care of the new baby.

What am I missing?  Were any of you worried about one of your kiddos with a new baby on the way?  How did it play out?

Note: I received a copy of "God Bless Our Baby" from the Tommy Mommy program in exchange for the review in this post.  This is my honest opinion!  Also don't miss my giveaway of this book on Instagram!  Double entries if you enter on both my accounts! @CallieNicole7 and @ThroughCloudedGlass

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The Lady Okie said...

I think maybe I'm just being naive about it, but I am honestly not worried about R transitioning to a big sister role. Is that weird? I just assume she will get the hang of it, and at daycare they tell me that she's really helpful in her class and sweet with the babies. But these are all good tips and I'm sure we will have an adjustment period for sure! I'm just not really worried about it. I have other things to worry about like how we are going to pay for two kids in daycare...

Callie said...

I don't think that's weird! You know her and her personality...that's why I'm worried about my toddler though, because I know her personality, ha!

Elizabeth said...

Well, ours are 4 years apart. I think it is hard to predict exactly how your child will react. A few things were unexpected. My son is REALLY loving, but that got to the point of aggression when we had the newborn. He was always pouncing on her, so keeping her safe was a priority. He already kind of makes her fall down sometimes, but it's not as scary now, and I think she'll learn to hold her own. I can trust him to take away choking hazards or watch the baby while I go to the bathroom, but it really depends on what mood he's in, because if he's cranky he can do the opposite! My son also got into the "playing baby" thing, which surprised me since he was 4 years old. He was always climbing into the baby seat/stroller/etc, taking her teethers, wanting to put a diaper on, talking baby talk, etc. Probably my least favorite game! He is too big for me to lift, but I try to hold him on my lap as much as possible. So, I guess jealousy manifests itself in different ways.

Also, I guess I should have realized that kids don't do math like we do. I might plan "quality time" into my schedule, but in my son's mind, I should always be available to him. Just because we played all morning doesn't mean I'm off the hook for the rest of the day. He doesn't understand that if he gives me 20 minutes to put the baby to bed, he can have 2 hours of just me. He had me to himself for 4 years, though.

Laura Darling said...

I have no kids so I have zero advice, but it sounds like you're doing a great job to me! :) I'm sure she will thrive in her new role as big sis!

Tayler Morrell said...

We have a 2.5 year old and a 4 month old. We did all the first 4 things. We also had our son help choose stuff for our baby girl...he got to choose pacies for her, dolls, clothes, etc. to buy in preparation. Then, we also had him help choose when she came...he got to choose her entire outfit and bow even if nothing matched at all.

Rachel said...

The youngest kid in my family definitely has the "baby of the family" sort of personality...and sometimes you wonder how much of it is her nature and how much of it is the fact that she did turn out to be the very last baby. All the rest of us were pretty close in age so no one was the baby for very long, but little Sarah sure cherishes her role!

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