Tips to Help Toddlers Adjust to a New Sibling

We are always happy to learn about growing families here at Adventure Learning Center, but your 2 to 4-year-old may have difficulty adjusting to a new sibling. This can especially be true of the oldest who has enjoyed the perks of being an only child. Adding a new member to the family can be an amazing time for your children. The following tips to help toddlers adjust to a new sibling may really benefit your family.

Prepare the Older Child for the Baby’s Arrival

Help Toddlers Adjust to a New Sibling

Preparation is everything, it is said about many things. Preparing your older child for the arrival of a new sibling could be an essential element that smooths the transition. Here are some ideas:

  • If the older child must move out of the crib or change rooms because of the coming baby, make the switch as early as possible. This way, he can get accustomed to the changes before the baby is born.
  • Using age-appropriate communication, talk about the coming baby. Have your child help you set up the nursery; and explain about the way newborns are always just sleeping, crying, and eating until they get bigger.
  • Talk about where the baby will be born and bring your child for a brief visit to the facility ahead of time. Explain to your oldest that he or she is about to be a big brother or sister, which is an important role.
  • There are several books widely available in public libraries and bookstores that help prepare older siblings for a new baby in the house. Your oldest may benefit if you read one of them to him.

Assign Special Jobs

Your child may feel better about all the changes if he has something you are depending on him for. There are many jobs he could potentially do to help you, such as bringing you clean diapers, swaddling blankets, or baby clothes. If he shows an interest in bath time, give him the job of washing the baby’s legs—though it may be best to wait until after the belly button has had a chance to heal. Little jobs can go a long way to helping your older child feel valued and important.

Ask for His Advice

Another way to involve your toddler is to let him make choices related to the baby. Ask if the baby should wear the yellow or green onesie. Ask what song he thinks the baby would like to listen to. Ask if he thinks the baby would like to see him jump or dance, which will give him the joy of becoming the focus of attention. Understandably, learning to share parents’ attention is often the most difficult part of having a sibling. Acting as a team in the decision making, for the small decisions, can make the older sibling really jump into the role of big brother or big sister.

Make Feeding Times Special

So much time is spent feeding a newborn, whether the baby is breastfed or bottle-fed. Establish a favorite activity that your older child enjoys and keep the supplies handy in the spot where you like feeding the baby. The activity may involve listening to recorded children’s stories or watching while he builds with blocks or draws a picture. Including big brother or sister in this special activity will keep them from feeling left out.

Look At His Baby Pictures Together

If you kept a close record of baby milestones for your oldest, it could come in handy when he’s in the throes of adjusting to having a sibling. Look at his baby pictures together and talk about what happened when he was born. Taking a look back on his or her time as an infant can offer some fun perspective for your child. Point out similarities and telling stories about their firsts can help them feel more attached to their little brother or sister.

Schedule a Tour at Adventure Learning Center

If you are looking for a daycare for your children, we would love it if you would visit our center. We value each child as an individual and enjoy nurturing their growth. From one child to a full house, we are happy to care for your family. Schedule a tour of our daycare facility, which is located at  850 New Ballwin Rd. in Ballwin, MO. Or call (636) 394-0600 today.