Introducing a Sibling to a Toddler
First and foremost, preparation is key. Take advantage of the time you have before baby #2/#3 arrives. Here are some tips to help!
1) Teaching patience through the concept of waiting. This is good even if you don't have a sibling on the way 😉 the key is to introduce the word "wait" or “hold on” in association with something your child is asking for or that you are giving to him/her. For example, waiting for food, waiting to talk to you when you’re on the phone, etc. Repetition is key as well- if your child is verbal, have them repeat "we wait." Teaching this beforehand is better so they don't associate waiting with new baby only.
2) Teach your older one how to interact with a baby through a baby doll. Toddlers will want to sometimes kiss their sibling all over. Thus it is important to teach them to kiss their feet by consistently saying "we kiss baby's feet." Also, it's important to teach them to gently "shush" the baby as they can do that while you are nursing or changing the baby, and that can be their "special job."
3) If pumping, bring the pump out beforehand and get them used to the noise. Let them press the button to turn it on & off - this can be another special job.👍
4) If baby gets their own room/area, spend time in the room before baby comes & make it fun in there for the older child. Create games they only get to play in there. For example, we played the "pillow game" where all the pillows from the daybed were allowed to be thrown on the floor & they get to run & fall down on them.
5) Have your older one help you put things away, like burp cloths, diapers, & pjs. Turn it into a game so they learn what all the items are called. This comes in handy when you need your toddler to grab a burp cloth etc 😉toddlers especially love being told they have special jobs that only they get to do!