By Nandini Aravind
How to cope with the arrival of a new baby and toddler?
So you have decided to jump back onto the saddle and start everything from scratch again. But you have begun to have sleepless nights already thinking about how your little one will respond to your love being shared with a tiny, needy baby!
Even if your toddler shows excitement for the arrival of her sibling, it all may change once the baby does arrive. The way your toddler behaves will partially depend on her temperament. Children who are sensitive take more time to adjust to the baby. Children who are flexible take lesser time.
There may be many incidents of acting out and temper tantrums, usually your child will act out through regression i.e. asking for a drink from baby’s Sippy or wanting to wear a diaper etc. She may even try to get your attention by yanking on the baby’s arm or snatching his toys. Taking care of two kids as been happening since many years, all it takes is some open communication, few ground rules and undivided love.
Here are few tips on how you can cope with a baby and your toddler-
Keep her involved:
You can make your toddler a part of yours and baby’s routine by giving simple tasks like fetching a diaper or baby’s clothes. While you give baby a bath you can ask your toddler to apply soap on baby’s legs. When baby cries you can teach your toddler to pat gently on his back or talk softly to baby.
Get your toddler to entertain:
Toddlers have a natural sense to sing, dance and make faces and no one is better audience than a appreciative baby. She will enjoy getting baby to laugh and also feel special and needed.
Acknowledge your child’s feelings:
All these years she has had you for herself and dint have to share mommy with anyone. It’s tough for a little mind to understand or comprehend why mommy is busy with baby and not spending time with her like before. Rather than yelling or scolding her be compassionate towards her feelings and try to talk it out, ex you can say ” I know you are feeling sad right now do you want me to hug you…..”! ” I know you want to spend time with me but baby is small and needs my help why don’t you join me….”!
All your child needs to know is that you understand and acknowledge her feelings.
Spend lone time with your toddler:
If you are lucky to have social support at home, then leave baby with grandparents or with daddy and go outing alone with your toddler, do those things you did before baby came into your life. If it’s tough to go out, spend time with your toddler at home maybe when baby is asleep or with daddy. Doing this will make home feel secure and that you are her mom as well as baby’s.
Let her do her thing:
If your toddler doesn’t show any active involvement in the new baby, then don’t push it. Let her take her own time, sometimes this kinds of “ignoring” behavior is their way of coping with change and its very temporary and they will come around in no time.
Try to cherish and spend most of your time with her before the baby comes, it’s worth making most of this one on one time you’ll get with your toddler. Also you’ll need to make sure she spend more time with the people who will be taking care of her initial while you will be busy with the baby, let her spend more time with grandparents, uncles and aunts or cousins who are waiting to help you with once baby is out.
All the best mommy!