Bringing Baby Home - Part 1

July 30, 2015
NURTURING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUR NEWBORN AND TODDLER – BEFORE BABY ARRIVES

Remember bringing home your first baby….the excitement and joy but also the changes this made to the relationship with your partner and to your life.  Your life changed completely and your baby became the focal point of everything.

Having another child also alters the family dynamics and this may well be harder for a toddler than for you.  Toddlers are egocentric and may see the new baby as a rival for your attention.   It is therefore important for them to feel loved and cherished during this time.

Nurturing the relationship between your toddler and baby is crucial – here are some ideas that might help to make bringing home baby a happy time for everyone.

PREPARATION, PREPARATION, PREPARATION

As with most things in life, preparation is key – it is vital that you lay down the foundations before baby comes home.  You will be talking about the baby with your toddler throughout your pregnancy and they will be getting excited too. Bonding can start before the birth.  Encourage your toddler to feel the baby kicking, as well as ‘talk’ or sing to your bump.

However, don’t lead your child to believe you’ll be bringing home a new playmate as they’ll be sorely disappointed when they discover the baby can’t yet play football or with dolls. Newborns can be quite boring to a toddler. Be realistic with your toddler about what the baby will do for the first few weeks – sleep, eat and cry. Talk to your child about being the ‘big brother’ or ‘big sister’ and boost their self-confidence by saying how lucky the baby is to have them to help.

Show your toddler photos of them as a baby and tell them stories of what they were like.  This will show how small the baby will be and what they might like doing e.g.”You really loved us kissing your feet”.

Look out for our follow-on piece – ‘Bringing Baby Home’…….

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