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The Bump Editors

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?

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.