7 ways to help your toddler adjust to a new baby

Follow these easy steps to ensure that your older child and baby become the best of friends.

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Don’t be surprised when your firstborn misbehaves after the new baby arrives. He’s no
longer the centre of attention or the only kid. Now, he has to share his parents’ love and affection with a tiny little thing who seems to do nothing but cry.

Not surprisingly, your toddler cries and demands attention, too. He might even regress and refuse to use the toilet, wet the bed, or act helpless, needing help for simple tasks that he’s long been able to do himself, like dress or feed himself.

Don’t force them to share — there’ll be sibling rivalry if you ask your sharing-averse toddler to split his toys with a new sibling.

Invite your older child to help with simple activities like reading aloud to the baby, putting baby’s socks together, getting diapers. But don’t force this “big sibling” participation.

1. Be prepared for aggression Never leave your older child alone with the baby. Let your toddler know what is acceptable and not acceptable. Explain that you love him, that it is okay to feel angry, but it is never okay to hurt the baby. 

2. Give a positive spin Don’t blame the baby and say things like “We have to go home now because baby needs a nap”. Say instead, “When baby naps, we can read those library books we borrowed”, or “After baby wakes up, we can go to the playground”.   

3. Get her involved Invite your older child to help with simple activities like reading aloud to the baby, putting baby’s socks together, getting diapers. But don’t force this “big sibling” participation — by making him feel like he has to do this. When he does help, thank him.