How Should I Prepare My Toddler for the New Baby?

Our second baby is due pretty soon, and I’m really worried about how our son is going to react. Are there any ways to prepare him for his new baby sister or brother?
ByThe Bump Editors
March 2, 2017
Hero Image

Introducing a new baby to an older child is always tricky; no matter what you do to prepare him, he’ll never be completely ready to share his parents’ attention with a new sibling. Don’t expect the transition to go completely smoothly — bouts of crankiness are inevitable.

What you can do, though, is read him fun books about bringing home a new sibling, like The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby by Stan and Jan Berenstain or Babies Don’t Eat Pizza by Dianne Danzig. Spend time around any babies in your family so he learns how to touch them gently. And, if he’ll be moving out of his crib or into a new room, make the change at least four to six weeks before you’re due so he has time to adjust.

When the baby arrives and people bring gifts, make sure your son gets a few new toys of his own. Encourage him to help so he feels grown up, pointing out all the things along the way that “big boys” can do and babies can’t do. And, when you’re busy nursing the baby, enlist dad to lavish him with extra TLC.

Related Video
Pregnant mom sitting on the couch with her son who is touching her belly.

Montessori-Based Tips for Preparing Your Child for Baby’s Arrival

profile picture of Simone Davies and Junnifa Uzodike
Simone Davies and Junnifa Uzodike
Coauthors of The Montessori Baby
mindy kaling in interview about being a new mom

Mindy Kaling on How She Kept Her Second Pregnancy Secret for So Long

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
hilary duff walking outside in exercise clothes

Hilary Duff Opens Up About Having Mom Guilt During Second Pregnancy

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Pregnant mom sits with her young daughter eating ice cream

7 Ways to Prep Your Child for Baby No. 2

profile picture of Jennifer L.W. Fink
Jennifer L.W. Fink
Registered Nurse
pregnant woman with her young child

Here's How Long You Should Really Wait Between Pregnancies, According to Research

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Pregnant woman standing with her older child peering at her pregnant stomach.

Prepping for Baby No. 2

profile picture of Elena Donovan Mauer
Elena Donovan Mauer
older sibling happily holding her newborn sister

Why Motherhood Was Easier the Second Time Around

profile picture of Natalie Thomas
Natalie Thomas
Contributing Writer
Article removed.