There has been a lot I’ve been doing to prepare for baby #2: reinstalling the infant car seat, dusting off the pack-in-play, and pulling baby clothes out of storage. But the one thing I didn’t have to do the first time around is to prepare a toddler for baby #2.
So we have been in full-force-toddler-prep-mode these past couple of months in preparing our toddler for a new sibling. We’ve started to read books about having a baby in the house. The books by Joanna Cole are our favorite.
But I am also a fan of the ISeeMe books. We love the Super Incredible Big Brother/Sister books. They are personalized with your children’s names. It is great if you already know what you are going to name the new baby. Just order them in advance since they do take some time to be made and delivered.
We also explained to my son what are the baby items we have pulled from storage, and for what they will be used. We have gone on a hospital tour just for siblings his age, and he has come with me to some of my doctor’s appointments. Yet, another idea I had heard about is to start carrying around a “baby” to get him used to seeing something in my arms and occupying my attention. Plus, having a ‘practice’ doll could be a good opportunity for him to practice holding the baby too, and learning to be gentle around one.
Preparing a toddler for a new sibling
The Charisma Brand sent me a complimentary Adora baby doll from their Playtime Collection to use in my baby-prep. Their dolls are machine washable and have a silky body with soft vinyl hands, feet and head so it minimizes any accidents (to my children or the doll). So I felt comfortable having my toddler carrying (and potentially throwing) one around. The baby powder scent (though he may not know it) is another sub-conscious prep for him.
I have spent the past week finding opportunities to use the Adora Doll and to get him engaged. Let’s just say that it has been a challenge, but he finally started to get into his new baby sister doll.
He would put her in the Tiny Love 3-n-1 Rocker Napper.
And carry her over for a Diaper change (we may have to work on this a bit…)
We practiced sitting down and holding the baby.
He would check on her to see if she was sleeping.
And try to make her laugh.
Or help to feed the baby.
Granted, he knows it is not his actual baby sister because he will still come over and check on my stomach and say “Baby Sister coming soon.” But it has been great practice and a fun experience, with an absolutely beautiful Adora Doll. Hopefully, in a year, his baby sister will be playing with an Adora Doll of her own!
What ideas do you have to get your toddler ready for a new addition?
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This is great. We talked about the baby in my belly once she started to ask questions. She would sing to the baby, talk to the baby and give hugs and kisses to my belly. We brought things out slowly getting ready for baby to come and talked about how Coraline used them when she was a baby. We got the books but she was never interested. Once we picked her name, daddy taught her to say her sisters name for about a month without me knowing so i would be surprised when i had the baby and Coraline knew her name. She was super excited when her sister arrived shouting “hooray hooray” when her grandma told her the baby was here. She has been nothing but an awesome sister!
Good luck mama!
girl i can honestly say, the only thing i did both times (i’ve got teens 17 months apart and toddlers 14 months apart) was tell them mommy had a baby in her tummy and explain that the hand me downs and the new clothes and the crib was for the baby and both times i both toddler beds and great sheet sets so the older of the pair felt happy about giving up the crib.
worked out pretty well, though both times the older toddler spent weeks asking me when the baby would go home! lol
these are great ideas you have above, i wish i knew someone who was pregnant lol
Your son is adorable and seems so ready to have a new sibling. I posted on some more books and ideas for introducing a new baby to sibling here:
My best idea is to have a gift from the baby at the hospital to hand to your son the first time he sees the new baby. He will wonder how on earth the baby pulled that off! And also to warn grandparents and friends to fuss over HIM not the new baby when they first come over.
We loved Za Za’s Baby Brother — a realistic scenario of feeling upstaged by the baby. And I love the Frances books. A baby sister for Frances will also help articulate the mixed emotions that he might feel once the baby is here.
You sound very prepared so I am sure that it will go smoothly!