How to introduce your baby to their big brother or sister

by Lauren Abbott

Introducing your child to your new baby is a daunting but nonetheless exciting prospect.

They may have felt the kicking, poured over the scan photos and helped you pick those first new items of clothing - but the reality of a crying, demanding, attention-grabbing baby in their house could be very different.

Parenting coach Judy Reith explains it is perfectly normal for a toddler to react badly to the arrival of a newborn, however prepared parents think they might all be.

Follow this advice for a happy introduction to family life
Follow this advice for a happy introduction to family life

She said: “At two, your older child will be affected by the new arrival. You may experience regressing and her not wanting to do anything for herself, which will give her the attention she craves.”

Ignoring the baby where possible and keeping your toddler’s routine as normal as possible is among her top tips, while also allowing your older child to try and express or explain exactly how they are feeling could also help.

Mrs Reith added: “Some parents find their older child is protective and loving towards the baby but their behaviour towards them deteriorates. You can help her express feelings by drawing simple faces that show feelings such as happy, cross or unsure.

“Feelings can’t be helped, but you can help them to manage those feelings.”

Spotting the signs of hunger, the need to sleep or exercise will also help stave off those moments when toddlers can prove to be quite a handful.

While reassurance and lots of extra cuddles will go a long way in ensuring the older child doesn’t feel left out together with some conversations about how they were as a newborn and how quickly things change.

And when it comes to visitors – careful planning may be required with a toddler around – possibly asking family and friends who want to give the new baby lots of attention to come when your toddler is asleep or at nursery.

Judy Reith concluded: “Having some patience and calm will create the right atmosphere at home, which will help them and you enormously to have the space to adjust.”

Judy Reith is the author of ‘7 Secrets of Raising Girls Every Parent Must Know’.

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