I have been receiving tips here and there from tuned in parents related to young only-children and/or toddlers who are jealous of a new baby. This is a great topic relevant to so many families, seeing as how there are now seven billion people in the world and counting. Here’s a compilation of those helpful tips provided by your fellow tuned in parents.
Start preparing your toddler for Baby’s arrival long before the due date.
When the baby arrives, so many changes will occur that your toddler may develop resentment toward him. Adjusting your toddler to the new changes beforehand, as best you can, may prevent this from happening.
Involve your toddler in as much of Baby’s preparation as possible
Enlisting your little one as a helper to assist with preparing Baby’s room, supplies, etc. while rewarding her with treats for being a helpful big-sister-to-be, will help her own her new role before Baby even arrives.
Don’t make promises of an instant playmate.
Promising your toddler that she’ll have a new brother to play with will disappoint her, for she’ll have to wait an awfully long time before she can safely do so.
Tell your toddler to expect a lot of crying.
Be real with her. The more prepared she is, the less of a shock it will be. And while you’re at it, go ahead and tell her about sleep interruptions, spit-ups, and projectile poop (well, maybe leave the last one out — might be a little too real).
Make a “playdate” with your toddler and a baby before your newborn arrives.
Try to have your toddler spend a little time with an infant — in your supervision, naturally — so she can get acclimated to their nature. Teach her how delicate babies are and how to interact with them gently.
When Baby arrives, introduce your toddler and newborn along with a gift to your toddler.
This helps your toddler’s first impression of the new addition to the family be a positive one. She may even learn to see her new brother as a gift. Wouldn’t that be nice? And remember to be as affectionate with your toddler as you are with your new baby.
Stick to your routine.
Remember that new-baby-schedule prep you initiated before your newborn arrived? Well, keep it as consistent as you can. It will make all the difference for the whole family, especially your toddler who may still exhibit some transitional anxiety. Kids crave structure and consistency.
In addition to family time, schedule individual time with your toddler.
Family bonding time is vital for obvious reasons. However, your toddler is still coming to terms with having to share her world with another person. Regular quality time with her and each of her parents can help mitigate any lingering feelings of toddler jealousy or sibling resentment.
Cut your toddler some slack.
This means it’s only natural that she’ll want to mimic being a baby again and regress in some ways. Chill out on reaching some of those scheduled milestones for the moment — she’ll only resist your efforts and feel more anxiety, anyway.
Give your toddler time to adjust.
Don’t try to rush a process that takes time. Do your best and let time do the rest.