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Manage your Toddler
If you are pregnant but you already have a toddler running around, chances are you are probably having sleepless nights thinking about how your little one will be affected with the new arrival. You are probably worrying about how you will cope with another little person while balancing your toddler’s daily routine.
Don’t worry and remember, you will be a baby expert this time around. Before your baby arrives, you should think about some key issues, however.
Informing your Toddler about the New Baby
Don’t tell your toddler too early. Toddlers have a short term memory, so the later you let them know, the better.
Your toddler is going to recognize changes with you being pregnant, such as extreme tiredness, or daddy taking on extra work that mommy usually does. Your tummy will catch your toddler’s eye eventually and that just might be the right time to spill the news! It is better for the news to come from mommy or daddy than a friend or relative. Let your toddler know there is a new baby inside your tummy and allow her to touch it gently.
When you break the news, don’t go into too much detail because your toddler will have only a slight idea about what is too come. Show her books with pictures of pregnant women and babies to give a limited understanding.
Cherish the time you have with your toddler before your new baby arrives because life will be quite different for a while. Give your child some time with the grandparents, aunts, uncles or close friends who will be helping once the baby is born.
Make sure you have prior arrangements for your child’s care. If you plan to have a babysitter, let her start at least a month before the baby is to arrive so your toddler has time to adjust.
You could also send your toddler to a playschool, which will give her the opportunity to make friends and learn.This will also help her adjust to being away from you. This kind of adjustment should be made a few months in advance to the new baby arriving. You need to make sure your toddler is settling in well.
Look through photo albums and show her pictures of her when she was a baby and explain how tiny babies are. It is difficult for a toddler to understand the idea of having a new baby, but children really enjoy hearing stories about when they were babies. Explain how the baby will be very small at first and will grow and eventually be able to do more things.
Don’t tell your child the baby will be a friend because this will unlikely be the case, at least for the first year.If you tell your child she can play with the new baby, she will be very upset and disappointed when she realizes that babies mostly just sleep and cry.
If someone you know recently had a baby, spend some time with them to give your toddler a better understanding of a new baby.Give your baby a doll and show her how to carry it, feed it and put it to sleep.
Encourage your toddler to independently play in her room for short periods of time. This will be very useful when you are unable to play with her because you are caring for the baby.
No matter what you need to work on with your toddler, do it several months before the new baby arrives, whether it be potty training, school, moving to a new bed or room, or spending time with friends or family that will be caring for her after the birth of the baby. Everything will require time and patience.
Coping Around the Birth
Brief your family and friends about how much you want your toddler to know about the baby. If you want to be the one to inform your child about having a new baby brother or sister, don’t let anyone else spill the news first.
The first meet is very crucial and will tell a lot about their sibling relationship, but most do not believe it has any long term bearing. Make sure your baby is laying down before your toddler arrives so your arms are free to cuddle her. Give her your full undivided attention in the beginning since you haven’t seen her for a couple days and then explore the new baby together.
If you have been away from your toddler for two or three days, she may feel upset or tearful. If your child can be in the care of your husband, this is a great time for them to bond.
Try to give your child a special gift on the day you bring the baby home. Tell her it is a gift from the new baby!