Within a few weeks we will be welcoming our baby girl into the world. Over the past 6 months we have been trying to prepare our son for becoming a big brother. I feel like my toddler has already had to deal with so much change due to me being sick earlier in the pregnancy, COVID-19, and now I am just too pregnant to be a fun play companion for him. I see him struggling to adjust to all the changes. He loves to entertain, and like many toddlers he struggles with sharing attention. In those moments that the focus is not him there is an increase in challenging behaviors. Teleworking has been good practice for us all on trying to balance giving attention to him and completing work tasks. He has improved on keeping himself busy during those moments in which he can’t engage with us.
I wanted to share some resources and ideas we have been using to help our son prepare for a new baby. We have been using a baby sister doll to teach him how to be gentle. He is not gentle with much, but he is so sweet to his baby sister doll. It has been a great teaching tool on how to care for baby sister and keep her safe. We have watched different videos with new babies with their siblings. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood has some amazing videos on preparing for and meeting a new sibling. We often refer to the episodes to continue discussion on baby sister coming. We have included him in picking out baby toys that can be passed on to his sister, picking out baby clothes, and preparing her crib. We have had ongoing discussions on how he can be involved with his baby sister once she is here. Over the course of the next few weeks we will discuss who he will be staying with while I have the baby. I am having a C-Section, so we have had ongoing discussions about being gentle with me and not wrestling. That is still a work in progress. I know to some degree he is processing it all because he often includes baby sister in the family unit when playing with trucks, dinosaurs, and stuffed animals. He also likes to act like a baby. My husband and I have had conversations on what behaviors we might see from our toddler once the baby is here, and how to support him as he adjusts. Below are some links to resources we have found helpful.