Children between age 1 and 2 will not understand much about what it means to have a new brother or sister. However, you can help smooth the way by letting your child hear you talk about the “new baby” and feel your excitement. They may not understand why you are excited, but your attitude will rub off on them so that they will feel excited too.
It’s important to give yourself a guilt break too. Keep in mind you may not be able to satisfy the needs of both children all the time – especially not by yourself. If you feel overwhelmed, look to your partner, family and friends for support and an extra set of arms or two.
You can also:
- Look at picture books about a new baby. At the very least, your child will become familiar with words like “sister,” “brother,” and “new baby.”
- When the new baby arrives, try to do something special for your older child. Reassure them that they are still loved.
- Maybe give them a special gift like a teddy or doll to look after, and cuddle and feed while you are looking after the baby.
- If your family is comfortable using the baby’s name before he or she is born, that’s an excellent way for younger kids to get used the idea.
- Once baby does arrive, let them spend some time with each parent, grandparents, or another special adult for some quality one-on-one time without the baby.