Jealousy is the emotion most evident in a toddler who finds a new BABY in the house when mommy’s and daddy’s time is shifted from the toddler to the BABY.
Here are some rules that may be helpful for you in preparing your toddler for the NEW “Intruder” lol
DO NOT tell the older child that you love him so much that you have decided to have another child. This is like your husband telling you he loves you so much he is bringing home another wife.
DO NOT tell the older child he will have a baby sister/brother to play with. This will not happen for a long time since all a baby does for a long time is eat and cry.
DO NOT leave changes to your older child’s routine , such as sleeping or eating issues, until right
before the baby is born. He may associate these rules with the new baby so do them asap so he does not associate the changes with the new baby.
Here are your TO DO hints
DO tell the older child that the baby will cry (and sleep) a lot. So when you and your child are out shopping and you see a baby crying , just mention it to your child and say that is just a baby’s way of talking to let the mom know that he is hungry or needs his diaper changed. Say, our baby will cry like that, also.
DO borrow a baby for an hour, a few times, when close to delivery so you can sit with your child and talk about the baby’s habits ie what the baby does, how it eats. Say, you are going to have one of these in your house very soon. Also, involve your child in getting the nursery ready.
DO teach your child how to GENTLE. Stroke your child’s cheek softly and whisper in his ear to show him what gently means. You can teach him to be gentle with his toys, animals and other friends.
When the NEW BABY comes home, please do not walk in the house with the NEW BABY in your arms. Mom, your first child will have missed you and will want a hug from you. Not easy when you are holding a baby. Also, make sure the BABY has a new toy for your first child.
I would also mention that the BABY is not allowed to play with your toddler’s toys. This may prevent your toddler from throwing a toy into the bassinet so the BABY can play with it.
Also, the word GENTLE will be a big one when the older child seems to be too rough on the baby. Try not to freak out.
Also, try not to play with the NEW BABY in front of your toddler. Play with your first child as much as you can- the BABY will never know!