Ask Kat: Introducing Toddler to Baby
As the mum of three small boys, an expert in baby products and a no-nonsense parent, resident blogger Kat Armstrong always seems to be called upon by friends, family and strangers to answer tough parenting questions. We thought it was high time she shared this knowledge with you, and her series Ask Kat was born. If you have questions for Kat, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do we introduce our baby to our three year old son? He’s been very excited about the idea of having a new baby, but we’ve heard horror stories from other parents of older kids trying to harm their younger siblings.
Introducing a new baby is stress inducing due to the horror stories people seem to have. We’ve found that our kids reacted very differently depending on a number of factors. When our second born was due, we talked about the baby a lot. Like a lot. Probably too much. This lead our eldest to lash out and be very jealous when his brother was born.
Looking back, I wish we’d been less heavy handed about “yay baby!” and been more focused on explaining that mama needed to spend some time helping the new baby and may not always have her hands free. I wish that we’d spent time focusing on filling up our eldest’s emotional tank, instead of putting pressure on him to understand what it means when a baby is around.
Luckily for us, by the time the third baby came, #1 was a wonderful help (because he’d been through it before) and #2 wasn’t phased (we think in part, because he’d never been alone as an only child). If you focus on the positive, and don’t over do explaining the new baby, I’m sure that it’ll be just fine.
Good luck and congrats!