If you are expecting a new child and you have children already you will need to worry about more than just how your body is changing. It is really important to prepare the child you already have for the new one or you could be in for some big behavioral problems. Here are some quick tips for preparing your toddler for the new baby.
This would be a great time to pull out the family album and look at the baby pictures with your child. Remind him what it was like to be baby. You may want to ask them questions like, “Do you think it will be a boy or a girl?” Or “Do you think the new baby will have as much hair as you?”
Don’t sit and tell them how cute and fun it will be when the new baby comes. Be honest and tell them that for the first couple of months you will be having to devote a lot of time to the new sister or brother because they need attention when it comes to feeding and changing diapers etc. Make it clear that the new baby won’t be a playmate right away and that they will spend most of their time sleeping, eating and crying. Emphasize the fun things you can do with babies like tickling their feet and singing to them.
If your gynecologist allows you to bring your child to a visit, bring them and let then listen to the baby’s heart and look at the sonogram as you have it done. Your physician does not allow this? Then take the time when you come home from an appointment to share the milestones your pregnancy has made and let him feel the baby kicking in your stomach.
Through the use of videos, movies, books or whatever method you have at your disposal, share with your child a story about what it is like to be a brother or sister. A couple of books I would suggest are “Best Big Sister” or “Best Big Brother” by Karen Katz and “I Used to Be the Baby” By Robin Ballard. If they can’t understand a video or book, try a picture book.
Help your toddler feel like part of the whole process by letting him help you get the nursery ready. Take him shopping with you when you go to get those much needed diapers and onesies. Let him pick out one of the onesies to give to the baby as his gift.
Prepare your child for what will happen when you go into labor. Tell him who they will be staying with so that they won’t be surprised. Take him shopping to help him choose a small stuffed animal to pack in your bag to take to the hospital. You may also want to help him pick out something they can give the baby when they come to visit, likee a picture frame to put the new baby’s picture in.