There are lots of funny stories about toddlers accepting or rejecting a new sibling. Thus far the stories I have heard fall into 1 of 2 categories:
1. That’s a neat new toy. Let’s throw it out now.
2. That’s a neat new toy. Let’s take good care of it.
Several articles suggest ways to prepare your toddler for the addition of a new sibling, but even with such planning your toddler may not be able to cope with the change.
My mother likes to tell the story of my younger sister’s arrival and its impact on me.
I’m really glad I didn’t butter-knife my sister to death because once I was able to get past the original jealousy, we became best of friends.
Knowing that genetically my son could go the way of the butter-knife assassin, my wife and I tried the following strategies to prepare him for his sister’s arrival:
- Created a social story showing him that he would soon have a sister and that mom and dad would still love him as well his new sister.
- Talked about the arrival of his sister every day leading up to her birth and about how great it was going to be to be a big brother.
- Gave our son a present when we came home with his sister and also had him give his sister a present.
I can happily report the above strategies worked well. Upon seeing his sister for the first time he gave her a kiss and wanted to pet her. He even meowed at her when she cried.
Additional strategies we use to try to keep the butter-knife out of our son’s hands include:
- Give him a lot of attention.
- Get him to help us with tasks related to his sister.
- Tell him daily that his sister loves him and that we all love each other.
- Have him kiss his sister good morning and goodnight.
- Remind him to be gentle with his sister.
The other night our son proved his abilities in brotherhood when his grandma went to touch the baby:
I’m very proud of our little guy and I hope he continues to be a great big brother. What strategies have worked for you?
4 thoughts on “How To Help Your Toddler Welcome A New Sibling:”
Love it! Grandma be gentle!
He’s a baby body guard.
He is so great with the baby. Except for the time he threw a ball at her head. Though, as well witnessed again today, he just wants to play catch. The gentle gramma comment was the cutest. Though him trying to make her laugh today was probably a tie for first in cuteness.
A lot of cuteness going on.