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How to Help Your Toddler Adjust to a New Baby

It may be difficult for your toddler adjust to a new baby in the family. 

Helping the toddler adjust to a new baby can be a difficult journey in itself.

Toddlers are at the stage of their life where there are many changes and new things to learn. They may or may not be excited about a new addition into the family, especially if they are the only child.

Before I had my second child, I tried to start early to help my two year old child understand what she would soon be facing. I bought her baby dolls to care for. I let her be affectionate with my stomach as her “baby sister”.

As the big day approached, I was prepared for a transition with my toddler. Or was I?

Here are three big things to remember for helping your toddler adjust to a new baby.

  1. Patience
  2. Communication
  3. Time

help toddler adjust to a new baby

Patience

While your emotions are high at this time, it’s still important to find patience with your toddler for an easier transition.

Your toddler will more than likely start to act out like mine did when I brought home her new baby sister. Not only did she act out, she bounced off the walls for days. She left the house. She was loud and wouldn’t let the baby sleep.

It’s not that she didn’t love the new baby. She was acting our for our attention. It’s just what toddlers do, but with a lot of patience life can get better.

We broke her from acting out with lots of patience. We choose to use the timeout method for punishment, which works great for her.

After giving her one clear warning of time out, we send her to the time out spot for two minutes. This is more than enough time for her. After the timer goes off, we talk about why she went into timeout. Then, we talk about what she can do better.

This method may not work for every toddler, but it works great for our daughter.

Patient communication with your toddler is important for him/her to understand what is going on.

Your toddler will have lots of questions for you.

Communication

Toddlers are very capable of communicating with parents. Parents who know their children are able to communicate with their toddler on a regular basis.

The transition time of helping the toddler adjust to a new baby is an important time to communicate with the toddler.

Your toddler will have so many questions about his/her new little sibling.

It’s important to answer every single questions honestly, gently and in a way the toddler can understand. Help the toddler learn about the newborn, too.

This will help the toddler become more understanding about why the newborn needs something just a little bit more.

Help your toddler adjust to a new baby

Time

The toddler needs time to bond with the new baby sibling just as much as any other family member.

When my toddler asked to hold her sister, I let her. Because, why not? It’s important to me that the siblings bond.

Play time with the toddler includes the newborn. My daughter loved role play and so the newborn would have a role to play as well.

I was hoping to teach her to include the newborn in play, even though she couldn’t really “play” much yet.

My toddler also loves to read books to our newborn. I keep telling her she has such an important job with many things to teach her new sister.

It’s also important for parents to make time with just the toddler. 

Finding time can be difficult with a new baby to care for. I find the best time for cuddling is tucking my toddler in at night.

I also assign play time with my toddler during the newborn’s nap time. Sometimes I have to set a timer, which my toddler is just fine with.

Finding time along with the housework and other work could seem difficult. It’s all about priorities. To me, my children are the most important things in my life.

It’s not only important for me to make time. It’s important that they learn to love each other as well. And it just takes precious time.

help your toddler adjust to a new baby

The Toddler is Important, Too. 

As we adjust to life with our new baby, we can’t forget about our toddler. The toddler’s adjustment may be so much more difficult than the parent’s.

Life will be happy and balance will be found again. Just remember that patience, communication, and precious time are key components of the transition to a happy family unit.

~ Much Love ~

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