Arrival of the second baby brings with it some degree of sibling rivalry. This is due to the fact that your toddler used to get your undivided attention until now, which he/she would have to share with someone new. This is bound to create some friction or resistance in their behavior. The situation is stressful for both parents as well as the toddler. It thus makes sense to prepare your child before hand to avoid the hostile welcome of new baby.
You can do so by following the simple ways listed underneath:
1. Prepare your toddler for the new arrival
There is no need to build suspense around the whole thing, lest your older one is caught unaware and not able to adjust. Make your child aware that a newly born baby is going to be a part of family soon enough. Tell your child in a way that he/she feels important and more responsible. They can be told that they are soon going to be promoted because someone little is going to join soon. This would prepare them to be protective of the little one because they are older.
2. Buy some gift for your toddler on behalf of the newly born
You can buy your child something he/she has longed to possess for a long time now. Then present it to the toddler saying that the newly born has got him/her this. This would make the toddlers consider the sibling lucky.
3. Get your toddler involved
When your newborn comes home, do not completely overlook the older one. Always keep them involved in everything that goes around in the house. Make them to contribute in little matters like passing on a nappy, baby powder or a toy, so that they do not feel ignored and left out. Always praise or reward them for their help.
4. Quality time
Although it becomes difficult with the newly born, try to spend some one-on-one quality time with your toddler as well. If your child is school going, spend some time helping him/her with homework or reading bed time stories.
5. No scope for jealousy
It is common for toddlers to develop some jealousy when they see newborn getting all the attention. Explain to them very gently, that they should rather be proud of being elder sibling of the newborn and not jealous. They need to be explained that the younger one is still too delicate and innocent and they should be rather protective and not competing. You need to carefully observe your toddler’s behavior. Sometimes children start to exhibit changes in behavioral patterns. It is likely to happen more, when they keep negative emotions like insecurity, jealousy, anger, etc., bottled up and do not express. In such cases, it is important to counsel them or else it may become a serious problem for them in later years.
Along with the toddler’s participation, it also significantly depends upon you. You should manage your time well and make sure not to ignore your toddler when the newborn comes home. Following the above mentioned simple methods can surely make your life easier.