The first time around, when you bring home your newborn, you are focused on figuring everything out together. Just you and them.
The second time around is a little different. As you have a toddler to contend with. You need to make sure that they are comfortable with the new addition to the family and they have an understanding on what is going on.
I’m no expert, but, Mole seems to be so content with her baby brother, that I thought u’d share with you some tips we did prior to Frankie’s arrival and how we introduced them both.
Tips to introduce your toddler to your newborn during pregnancy
Whilst pregnant with Frankie, I gave Mole a baby doll to play with. We was lucky really as she really took to the doll. Together I would teach her how to care for the doll by feeding it a bottle and loving it with kisses and cuddles but most importantly being gentle. If Mole wasn’t interested in the doll that day, then I would pay no attention to it and just leave Mole to play with toys she wanted to instead.
Talking to my tummy
We would have fun and point at my tummy and say “baby” so Mole would get some understanding that there was a baby inside my belly. When Frankie was kicking, i’d let Mole feel his kicks and say “baby”. I doubt she truly understood I had an actual baby inside me but it was a fun bonding session.
Tips to introduce your toddler to your newborn
The first introduction
Personally, I didn’t want Mole present at the hospital. I don’t think its the place for a toddler running around, and I knew I would not have the energy to deal with tantrums if she played up. I wasn’t too sure on how my delivery was going to go too, so I made sure to have childcare in place. It was good to spend time with Frankie getting to know him and as the first few days of a newborn is demanding, I was able to give him my full attention. That being said, it was super hard not to see Mole for a couple of days because I rarely leave her.
To make the introduction fun for Mole, we turned it into a game of finding baby. Frankie was asleep and settled in his bed so me and Mole went on the hunt for him. When she found him, it must have felt rewarding for her. turning the whole experience into a positive one. The main reason I did this was so she didn’t feel replaced as she might of if I was holding him when she first saw him.
Rewarding good behaviour
Whenever Mole was positive towards Frankie by kissing him or being gentle, we would be really over the top with saying “well done” making her feel like she was being a very good girl and giving her lot’s of attention for the right behaviour.
Solo time together
Mole was use to seeing me alone without Frankie. It had always just been me and her. I felt that it was still important to give her that same experience when possible. I would either do her bedtime one night just me and her or whilst Frankie was napping, we would read books together or do Arts and Crafts.
A lending hand
I really include Mole when it comes to changing Frankie. I ask Mole to get me his nappy or if she wants to sit and help. Obviously if she isn’t interested I would never force her, but she actually seems to find it fun and loves the responsibility.
On nights where i’m solo parenting, I bath Mole first and then bathe Frankie. During Frankie’s bath, I ask Mole if she wants to come and help wash him. Or ask her to choose a book for the bedtime story.
You will always have that fear during your second pregnancy if you will be able to give both your children the attention they need. The answer is yes you will. You will find your own way of making it work.
If your toddler seems to not be interested when you introduce them to their new sibling. Don’t force anything. Give them time and continue to stick to your routine and give them both praise and attention.