It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve been able to post! Due to some technical issues with our server, the site was down for a little while, but now that we’re back up, I’m so excited to share this new post with everyone.
Things have been so busy around here lately (blog & home) that I haven’t been able to share some exciting news. I’m pregnant! Again! And baby #2’s due date is just around the corner this summer. Since the moment I found out I was pregnant I have been scouring the internet for any tips on how to prepare Harper to be a big sister. Turns out, our little almost-2-year-old already has some incredible instincts of her own.
The good news is you don’t need any fancy, long-winded parenting books to teach you how to prepare your 1st child for baby # 2 – all you really need are a couple of solid, time-tested techniques and your toddler will be proudly wearing their big sibling hat in no time.
How to Prepare Your Toddler for Baby # 2
1. Belly Talk
Teaching your toddler about personal space can be tough. They thoroughly enjoy crawling on your head, kicking you in the face, and “playing” with your hair (just me?). So when you become pregnant, you suddenly find it pertinent to teach them to respect your changing body.
One easy way you can do this is by talking to your toddler about your growing belly and explaining to them that “Mommy is growing baby sister (or brother) and we have to be very careful around her belly.” Simple as that. You’d be surprised that after hearing this 87 times a day, every day, they really start to get the picture. This also helps to send the message that one day soon, there will be an actual little sibling around.
Harper loves to lay on my belly and talk to baby sister. She is even starting to understand that sometimes mommy needs to sit or not pick her up because of my growing belly. Sometimes she’ll even point to my husband’s stomach and say “no baby sister” – she gets it.
2. Baby Talk
But not the kind of baby talk you’re thinking of! Although it wasn’t so long ago that your toddler was a baby themselves, it’s not exactly like they can remember what it’s like to be a baby – all the crying and constant feeding and changing…and the crying. So how to prepare them for this?
Get them an inexpensive baby doll and teach them how to take care of it! You’d might even be surprised about the little things they innately know how to do without even being told. Some of the things Harper likes to do with her baby are:
- Feed her with a little baby bottle
- Pretend that she’s crying and then rock her/sing to her
- Tuck her in at naptime and bedtime (even in random places like the kitchen floor)
Harper has even begun to understand that when a baby cries they need “milk” (as she says) or they’re “sleepy”. The more you reinforce these concepts before the new baby comes, the easier it will be to remind your toddler of these things once the baby arrives.
3. Book Talk
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and toddlers are visual learners – big time. That’s why I’m currently obsessed with these personalized picture books from I See Me! We got Harper The Super Incredible Big Sister book and needless to say, she is super excited about it. It came with this adorable little medal for her to wear and since we gave her the book, she never wants to take the medal off.
Setting your toddler up for success as a big sibling means instilling confidence in their abilities to be the “big kid” and not the baby anymore. I’m sure this book will also come in handy once baby # 2 arrives!
As you can see, she loves to sit on mommy or daddy’s lap and read her Super Big Sister book. The book came personalized with her name and a little dedication page from Mom & Dad, so she really knows how important she is.
Since we have been engaging in so many conversations with her about her baby sister, this book has become the perfect reminder of what it means to be a good big sister and how important that role is for her.
Have any tried and true tips or pieces of advice to share on preparing a toddler to be a big sibling? Please share below!
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Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest product review. However, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting this incredible brand!