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Written by Adeline
Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant
27 May 2024

Introducing your new baby to your toddler

Congratulations! If you're reading this, chances are you've recently welcomed or are about to welcome a new baby to your family. While it’s a joyous occasion, it can also stir up a mix of emotions for your older child, especially toddlers. Let's dive into some strategies to smoothen this transition and address potential challenges along the way.

Embrace a Little Bit of Jealousy

Recognizing and accepting that your toddler might experience feelings of jealousy is crucial. Instead of brushing these feelings aside, create an environment where your child feels safe expressing them. Acknowledge and validate their emotions, and reassure your toddler that their place in your heart remains unchanged. Encourage open communication channels, allowing your toddler to share their concerns and fears without judgment.

Set Clear Expectations

Maintaining boundaries is very important during this transition period. Clearly communicate what's expected of your toddler as an older sibling. Emphasize the importance of their role in welcoming and caring for their younger sibling. Encourage their involvement in age-appropriate tasks like diaper changes or selecting toys for the baby. This helps nurture their sense of responsibility.

Prepare for Regression

As your toddler adjusts to the new family dynamic, you may notice regression in certain behaviours such as disrupted sleep patterns or potty training setbacks. This is normal and requires patience and understanding. While it’s tempting to revert to old habits for convenience, maintaining consistency is key. Gentle reminders and positive reinforcement can help your child navigate through this phase while feeling supported and loved.

Uphold Boundaries

During times of change, it’s essential to uphold existing boundaries and routines. While it might be tempting to give in to your toddler’s demands, it’s essential to stand firm. Upholding these boundaries is the best way to ease bedtime battles and make your child feel secure about your role as their parent, and helps create a sense of stability and routine.

Create Special One-on-One Time

With the arrival of a new baby, finding individual time for your toddler can be challenging yet essential. Carve out dedicated moments for just the two of you to engage in activities your child enjoys. Whether it’s reading a book together, playing a game or going for a walk, these shared experiences are meaningful to your child, can strengthen your bond and reaffirm your child’s significance in your life.

Introducing a new sibling is a significant milestone for your family, one that requires patience, understanding, and a whole lot of love. By acknowledging your toddler’s emotions, setting clear expectations, and prioritizing one-on-one time, you can foster a positive sibling relationship and create a harmonious environment for your growing family. Remember, with time and effort, your children will forge a special bond that lasts a lifetime.

Article written by Adeline
Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant
Based in Singapore
Trained in the Sleep Sense Program

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