Written on 14 August 2018
Most of the mothers during their second pregnancy are waffling between their pregnancy issues and thinking about how the older child is going to be affected by the new arrival. Raising 2 or more young children together can be a daunting task for parents especially mothers. It might give you sleepless nights because you won’t be able to devote all your time and energy to your toddler. Second-time parents find it tough to cope and successfully manage the housework, sleep deprivation, setting up the new addition to the family and your toddler. Parents need to adjust a lot to meet the needs of both the kids and to handle all the challenges with peace and harmony. Here are a few tips to manage a toddler and an infant at the same time:
Breaking the news- You can’t expect your toddler to keep a secret and that’s why most parents prefer to wait until the first trimester is over. It is best if your toddler hears the news from you and not from other family members, neighbors, or friends. You can tell your toddler that the baby is growing inside your belly and make him/her gently touch your tummy. You can show them pictures of a baby in books, magazines, and newspapers or make them visit a friend with a newborn.
Planning- You must change the room of your toddler early in pregnancy. You must explain to your child about the transition and you are doing it because he/she is growing old and not for the welcoming of a new baby. If you have already given potty training to your little one then it is great to see them dressing up themselves. Remember that to get your attention your toddler may revert to old habits after the arrival of a newborn baby. To develop the social skills of your toddler you must encourage him/her to play with other children in the neighborhood and with their cousins. If the toddler has been co-sleeping with the parents, then slowly graduate your child much before the new Born's arrival. Make sure the process of weaning your toddler has been done several months in advance.
Hospital visits- Arrange a hospital visit for your toddler so that he/she can meet the new baby. Toddlers love to see, hold or touch the newborn baby. Kids need their time to adjust and just make sure they feel secure about your return with the baby. Encourage your toddler to safely hold the newborn baby and gently stroke him/her. You can ask your other family members to involve your toddler in the preparations of welcoming a newborn baby at home.
Accepting the baby- Encourage your toddler to get involved in taking care of a newborn baby because it makes them feel important and responsible. You can encourage them to see themselves as responsible big sister or brother. Always keep an eye on your children whenever you are giving a massage or a bath.
Safety- When any of the parents are not on baby duty then you can ask grandparents to take care of your toddler. Never leave your toddler alone with a newborn baby. When your toddler demands your attention or acts like being a child then instead of avoiding your toddler or screaming on them you must cuddle and pamper them. If your toddler does not want to involve with the new baby then don’t force them to do so.
Managing different eating and sleeping schedule- When your newborn baby is sleeping and feeding through a day and night then the toddler has a different routine already and this might make you feel exhausted. Try to coordinate naps and when your newborn baby is taking nap in the daytime you must spend quality time with your toddler so that he/she doesn’t feel separated, jealous, or ignored. Your toddler can get jealous and frightened if you are completely ignoring him/her after the arrival of a newborn baby. You can ask other family members to take care of your toddler when giving feed to your infant.
Praise often- Reward your toddler with gifts and compliments for being so responsible and showing patience. You must buy toys for both the kids and explain to your child the difference between the toys of toddler and infant. You can gift your toddler a new set of crayons, coloring books, building blocks, play dough, or a sheet of stickers. Appreciate your toddler in front of your friends and relatives.
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