Have you just had your second child and wondering how to deal with a new baby and Toddler problems?
You Can Solve Those Teething Problems.
Here are some tried-and-tested ideas to help your eldest child cope with the new arrival.
If you haven't yet had the baby, you still have a chance to prepare your toddler as much as possible for the upheaval ahead
Think ahead to how you want the first meeting between the new siblings to go. It helps to be flexible - choosing the right time and who is there for example. With a new baby and Toddler, its still the toddler that need more attention.
Mums - if you have a partner, he should definitely take a more proactive role with your eldest. Sometimes you have to spell out your needs, their head is still spinning as well.
Accept any offers from family and friends to take your toddler out for an hour or 3.
There are no gold medals for coping with 2 young children when you are physically weak, and still possibly establishing breastfeeding.
Having friends over who have young children themselves can be a great relief for your child. Other toddlers have a limited interest in newborns.
It is also helpful to break up that parent-toddler-newborn emotional triangle for a short time. Your toddler is not the only one who has to adapt to the new dynamic.
As soon as you can get out of the house - this is my number one toddler and new baby tip, something that everyone I speak to agrees . Going anywhere takes you out of yourself, and if you walk, the exercise will reduce your stress levels.
If your toddler is already toilet trained, expect potty training regression if your toddler This is extremely common and rather than worry about it, be thankful if it doesn't happen! Follow the link for some helpful tips on this.
It might help you to realize this: what your toddler finds difficult about a new baby - i.e. adapting to their new role as big brother/sister - is not so far removed removed from the other intense developmental changes that characterize this age group. Every child between 1 and 3 is having to constantly learn new skills.
Think of this as the gold medal at the developmental Olympics!
The most striking thing that I notice talking to parents with toddlers and newborns is just how often they speak negatively to their eldest child. Irritation, growling and even shouting at your toddler start to become commonplace. They all come with a nice big side order of guilt.
Seeing a new baby and toddler together, remember the toddler is still a baby, so you should not expect them to mature over night.
At exactly the time when you wish you could be more patient with your eldest child, you feel constantly exhausted. Add to this a high probability of attention seeking on your toddler's part because she feels sidelined by the new baby, and phrases such as 'good boy' and 'well done' become nothing short of a miracle.
'Who's my special girl/boy?' - engages your child by getting them to answer 'me' and confirm in their mind how important they are to you. Notice this does not compare your toddler to the baby. 'Who's my favourite?' has no place in parenting 2 or more children. Don't be tempted.
'(Name of baby) is looking at you' - encourages your tot to take an interest in the newborn.
'(Name of baby) likes it when you dance / play with your doll / stroke her hair' ...or any other activity that is meaningful to your toddler. It helps her see the baby as a person that she can engage with.
'(Name of baby) likes/loves you' - when I said this to my son, he replied 'I don't like Tom (the newborn)'.
I was actually happy he said this, as it gave me the opportunity to deal with it by shrugging it off and underplaying it. 'That's alright, sweetheart' I said and carried on as normal.
Later I asked him if he loved Tom. A very serious and vigorous nodding was my answer.
Happy new baby and Toddler!
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