Inside: Find out the easiest tips to help your toddler adjust to new baby by making them feel included, loved, important, and well prepared so you can make the transition easy!
As I stared down at the 2 little pink lines I was immediately excited but my mind began to race…
How can I juggle 2 kids?
Will I be able to divide my love?
How is my daughter going to handle being a big sister?
My excitement morphed into worry because the relationship I have with my daughter is so special that I didn’t know how she would react to the news that I’m pregnant with another baby.
Fast forward 9 months…
And everything turned out great! Actually, better than I could have ever imagined!
I’ll share my exact tips and tricks to help your toddler adjust to your new baby so you can eliminate jealousy and promote a healthy bonding between your newly grown family.
After you implement these tips, your toddler and baby are on the road to truly becoming best friends 🙂
I’ll walk you through exactly the best steps you can take to help your toddler feel included, loved, and fall in love with your new little one!
No time to read this now? That’s okay! Pin it to your favorite board for later!
These tips will cover what you can do to start preparing your toddler for your new baby starting when you first find out you’re pregnant all the way until you finally bring your sweet little one home.
I’ll help you help your toddler feel helpful and useful instead of unnoticed or overlooked.
Let’s get down to it!
Tips to Help your Toddler Adjust to New Baby
The best way to help your toddler adjust to new baby is to actually begin when you find out you’re pregnant.
These tips will help keep your toddler in the loop as your belly grows and help them feel included while you prepare for your new little one.
If you’re already past this part and your baby is here, you can just skip down to the next section of tips!
How to Prepare Toddler for Baby While You’re Still Pregnant
Tell your toddler the news first
The best tip to help your toddler adjust and prepare for a new baby is to actually tell your toddler you’re pregnant before you tell everyone else.
Your toddler is an important member of your little family so discuss with your husband when is the best time to share the big news with your toddler.
You don’t have to tell your toddler right away, just be sure to tell them before you tell everyone else. Even if it’s just a day before.
You don’t want your toddler to be blindsided in front of your whole family with the news. Especially since you don’t exactly know how your toddler will react.
Maybe they need extra cuddles, maybe they’ll need a better explanation.
And giving them this one on one time will start the whole journey in the best way possible!
Have your toddler help with your pregnancy announcement/gender reveal
Now that your toddler knows your big news, let them help you announce it to your family and friends!
Here are some pregnancy announcement ideas with toddler:
- Toddler holds a balloon that says baby
- Have toddler hold a letter board that says promoted to “big sister” or “big brother”
- Take a family maternity photo
Pregnancy gender reveal ideas:
- Have toddler bite into a pink or blue cupcake
- Toddler can hold a pink or blue balloon
- Toddler can open a box with something pink or blue inside
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Show your toddler books about the baby growing
Another really great tip to help your toddler adjust to new baby is to show him/her how the baby is growing in your belly.
You can use a pregnancy book like this one and walk them through how your baby grows every well.
You can also download an app like Baby Center and your toddler can see pictures and videos of your baby growing.
My daughter absolutely LOVED watching videos of the baby growing every week and every month.
We’d talk about how her sisters finger nails were growing or how she looks inside of the belly when she kicks.
You can use this opportunity also as a way to teach how the body forms and grows and go over parts of the body!
Let them help you pick items for your registry
The next step is to get ready for the new baby and your toddler will looveeee this part.
Plan a day to go to your registry store of choice such as Target or Buy Buy Baby.
Have a special breakfast that morning, visit the store, and let your toddler look at all the items you need. Let her/him pick out crib sheets, patterned burp cloths, a cute onesie, and anything else that you allow them to decide.
This will help your toddler feel connected with your baby when they see the baby using the item they picked out!
Show them the bottles, the baby’s crib, and other baby items.
Tell them what each item does for the baby too!
And if the store has a registry machine, let your toddler scan the items- they’ll have so much fun 🙂
If you’re setting up an online registry like Amazon Baby (which is my favorite option!) you can still make it fun by having your toddler help you scroll through items!
Include Toddler in your Baby Shower
Once your registry is all set up, next, it’s time for the baby shower…yay!
It may be difficult to watch your toddler when you’re waddling around at a party dedicated to you so don’t worry about having your toddler be there the whole time.
Maybe your husband can watch your toddler for most of the shower and your toddler can come help you open gifts or take pictures.
My cousin gave my daughter a gift at my baby shower and it was a sash that said “Super Big Sister” and she wore it the whole time!
Buy toddler baby doll
The last tip to help your toddler adjust to new baby while you’re still pregnant is to let your toddler chose a baby doll of their choice that can become “their baby”.
This can be a pretty baby doll or even a spider man plush!
It doesn’t matter what kind of “doll” it is, as long as your child:
- Picked it out themselves
- Learns to care for it
This will come in handy when you need to feed or change your new baby so your toddler can stay involved by taking care of theirs!
Tips to help toddler adjust to new baby when baby comes home
The beauty of having a toddler is they are just a bit old enough to understand more than your baby does. So these tips will help you include your toddler in caring for your baby in simple ways that will have a great impact.
Involve your toddler in everyday baby tasks
Infants need constant care and attention which means that it’s really easy for you to feel torn between your toddler and your newbon.
But it including your toddler in those daily, repetive baby tasks can help you easily juggle both your new baby and your toddler.
I’ll show you 2 easy tips here:
Ask toddler to help with diaper changes
I started off by including my daughter in routines that we would be doing over and over again each day, like diaper changes.
I set up a little toddler chair next to the changing table and would give L different tasks. Such as:
Please give mommy the diaper
Can you open the diaper cream cap?
Please throw the diaper in the trash
Then after a few weeks your toddler will be so used to your diaper changing routine that they will feel needed and helpful instead of feeling jealous or even ignored.
Let toddler help you wash bottles/laundry
If your toddler is old enough to stand on a step stool and help you do some basic chores, this is a great way to help your toddler feel included and adjust to your new baby.
When you have to wash bottles, have your toddler stand on a step stool by the sink and help you rinse or dry the bottles.
When you do your baby’s laundry, ask your toddler to unsnap onesies buttons or throw each piece of clothing int eh washing machine.
Making these everyday tasks into a little game can help your toddler feel even more included and allows them to feel they are helping.
Implement a reward system
If your toddler begins to help you with diaper changes or bottle washing or laundry, begin to start a reward system so your toddler feels like they are working towards something by helping you and the baby.
For every time your toddler helps with a diaper change, give them a sticker. After 20 stickers (or an amount you decide), your toddler can choose one gift out of a special treasure box.
You can fill the treasure box with little items from the Dollar Store or Target dollar spot. Maybe a coloring book or a little surprise egg with their favorite character.
Rewarding your toddler for helping you with the baby will keep them encouraged!
Explain to your toddler what you are doing and why
Toddlers are like sponges. They retain information and process things differently than we do so it’s important to keep them in the loop so they understand what is going on around them.
As you change the baby’s diaper, explain to your toddler how babies go peepee in the diaper and then when they become big girls or big boys, they go peepee in the potty.
As your breastfeeding, explain to your toddler that mommy makes special milk that makes the baby strong and healthy.
As your bottle feeding, explain how feeing the baby sitting in an upright position helps make the baby’s belly less bubbly and gassy.
Use words your toddler will understand but teaching and explaining to them key actions that you do throughout the day will help your toddler feel included!
Have a positive discipline strategy in place
Let’s face it- toddlers can be a handful…and sometimes they can be downright bad.
- Refusng to listen
- Throwing tantrums
- Running away from you
- Making messes
- The list can go on and on.
And if you’re juggling a newborn PLUS a toddler having a bad day, things can get hairy really fast.
The best thing to do is to have a positive discipline routine in place.
Go over the discipline routine with your toddler so they know what to expect when they do not listen to you.
Explain to your toddler how important it is to listen and how they can help you with the baby by putting on their listening ears.
If you’re looking for a positive disciple strategy that actually WORKS, downloadguide this article for my step by step discipline routine.
This is the exact routine I use with my daughter, starting when she was 2 years old!
I created the Positive Discipline Strategy guide with simple steps so you can slowly implement the discipline routine at your own pace and in a way that your toddler will respond well to it.
Download the guide below!
Free Positive Discipline Guide
Have a special snack/treat/show ready just for when you have baby around
There will be many times when you’re caring for the baby that your toddler can’t really help you much.
To be honest, there will be some times where their help will just make the situation harder for you.
And that’s okay!
To keep your toddler calm and not feeling ignored, choose a special treat or snack that they can have during these times.
It doesn’t have to be every day, but your toddler will feel more special by playing with a special toy or eating a special treat instead of potentially feeling unseen.
You can even have a special movie or show that your toddler loves that they can watch just when you’re with the baby.
Use whatever works for your family!
Plan quality time with toddler
I noticed that toddler’s love language is quality time. Special time with mommy and daddy is like pure gold to any little one.
I know when my daughter starts saying “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy” 50 times a day, she’s really craving time with me.
Toddlers just want your attention and when you have a new baby around, that can seem almost impossible.
But quality time doesn’t have to be a 2 hour movie…
- Sit on the couch and cuddle for 5 minutes.
- Play with your toddler and their favorite toy.
- Ask them what they would like to do for 20 minutes and they get to choose the activity.
Anything that give you and your toddler time together where they are your only attention, is great quality time.
So don’t beat yourself up and feel guilty for not giving 100% of your attention to your toddler 100% of the time.
Just plan little pockets of quality time with your toddler throughout the day and you’ll notice any tantrums start to disappear 🙂
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Well there you have it!
I hope this extensive list of tips to help your toddler adjust to a new baby will help you feel confident knowing that you can successfully juggle and newborn and a toddler AND not spread yourself too thin!
Don’t feel guilty for having to split your time between your 2 little ones. They are both getting 100% of your love and care, even if it a looks a little different than it used to.
Remember, the goal is to help your toddler feel loved, appreciated, and important by actively including them in your daily routine with your baby.
Don’t worry, it’ll come like second nature to you <3
You got this mama!
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The special starts today but won’t last long so be sure to…