Helping Toddlers With New Siblings
There's no foolproof way to introduce your preschooler or toddler to their brand-new younger brother or sister, but you can smooth the transition. Your toddler may become angry and jealous if she arrives home to discover a new baby is in her "castle" with her mommy and daddy. The hospital is a neutral location -- make the introductions there, then you can all leave and take the new baby home together.
Some parents like to have a ritual for their children to welcome their new brother or sister into the world. A gift from your toddler to the new baby as well as gift from the baby to your toddler can help ease that first meeting. It also gives your toddler something to play with at the hospital when she loses interest in the new baby.
To make sure both of your children are getting the attention they deserve, set aside at least 20 minutes of one-on-one time with your older child who may feel left out during feeding and changing times. Include her in these activities.
Let her have a baby doll of her own to care for while you're caring for the baby, saying, "Your baby needs changing, too." If she isn't interested in caring for the doll, have a special toy or book reserved only for feeding time to help keep her safe and occupied.
Both parents should make an effort to take your older child on dates -- a trip to the playground, movie theater or library will go a long way in reassuring her that there are still some great perks to being the big kid.