How to Prepare Toddler for a New Sibling

Updated on March 03, 2011
C.P. asks from Fort Worth, TX
7 answers

Hubby and I are thrille to be expecting baby #3 but I'm worried about my toddler's reaction. I have two children ages 9 and 2. My 9 year old is super excited so no worries there, but my little one is sooo young, she will be 2 years and 6 months when this baby is born and I don't want her to feel left out or intimidated by a new baby. I also don't think she really "get's it" right now.
Please mommas give me any ideas on how prepare my little one for a new sibling. What worked for you and what didn't so I can avoid it.
Thank you!!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you! I'll get her a little doll and I'll put it in the car seat next to her when the due date is near; I'll tell her there's a baby in mommy's tummy when my belly starts growing. I'm also worried about them getting along and being loving and respectful to one another ugh parenting is not for sissies huh?
Thanks again, and please share any other suggestions I really appreciate it :o)

More Answers



answers from Norfolk on

My kids are about 22 months apart, I put the car seat in the car about a month or so before I was due. Yes you will get lots of questions but you are not doing it for them (strangers or distant family). This did prove to be a great visual and get my older one thinking about her soon to be brother. She was a great help and didn't mind not one thing about her brother. Now that they are 5 and 7...still good relationship but they have their days like anyone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Casper on

With each my my children this one simple thing seemed to make a world of difference. Don't refer to the baby as Mommy's or Daddy's baby. We always would refer to them as OUR baby so that the siblings would understand that it was going to be the whole family's baby and not just for mom or dad. Then when the new baby gets here make a special effort to tell the older child what you are doing. If they need something and you are busy with the baby say to them "When I finish _____ the baby then I will help you." but on the same note, occasionally tell the baby "when I finish _____with your sister, I will help you out". She will get a kick out of the fact that you are telling the baby to wait while you help her.
J.--SAHM of 7

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

One thing that worked great for us was a book named "I'm a Big Brother." We read it every night before bed and before long he was "reading" it to us. It goes through what the baby is like and what the role of a Big Brother is. I am sure they have a ton of books like this that are for Big Sister. The fact that we had talked to him so much and explained to him about the fact that he was going to be a big brother really helped when baby arrived. He is very proud of his little brother and loves "helping out" when he can. When we talked to him we also worked on the boundaries of not getting in his brothers face and that his little brother would be hurt easily. The more information you can give I think the more prepared she will be.



answers from Dallas on

What helped us is we stopped doing the things we weren't going to be able to do once baby was there (carrying older sibling around, moved big brother from crib to big boy bed, etc.). That way he wasn't able to point to baby sister as the reason there were so many changes in his life.

Also, on the day we came home from the hospital, baby sister had a gift for him. We told him that baby sister was so excited to have him as a big brother that she brought him a present. It was a significant gift, and it helped him start with good feelings toward baby.

Yes, it was bribery. But it worked. ;-)



answers from Dallas on

My kids are 2 years and 2 months apart (they are now 3 and 1). When I was pregnant with my daughter, we kept telling my son that I had a baby in my tummy and that this was HIS baby. We would ask him if he wanted to "kiss his baby" or "give his baby hugs" and he would kiss or hug my belly. Too cute. When we decided on a name we would use my daughter's name and still refer to her as "his baby". As we got closer to my due date we would talk about how we had to be gentle around the baby and he really got it. He was super excited when she was born, so we just had to be careful because he constantly wanted to hold her. We also got a book called "I'm a Big Brother!" I think they have one for sisters too. We would interchange the names so they were the kids names. 2 years later, he still loves that book. Congratulations!


answers from Redding on

the best thing we did was bought our little girl her own baby boy (cabbage patch) and presented him to her at the hospital. whenever I needed to do something with baby and she was wanting me too, I would ask her to get her baby and she could take care of her baby while mommy took care of brother. She was 2 years 4 months.



answers from Youngstown on

My oldest was just 3 when my 2nd was born. We also said our baby and he was fine. He liked to help me with his baby bro like getting diapers and "babysitting" while I went into the next room to get phone or bottle or something while the baby was asleep. I did worry about my 2nd when I found out about my 3rd preg. I worried for nothing my boys love love love their baby bro and he is our baby to the point where they think they are his your baby will be fine as long as you involve her a little and still cuddle her too wich I am sure you will. you could buy a book wich i did for my oldest, i would have bought a doll if my oldest was a girl that is a great idea too.

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