Help Your Toddler Welcome a Newborn Sibling

Help Your Toddler Welcome a Newborn Sibling

Happy National Sibling Day! Here at Moms on Call, we hear stories, the good ones and the bad ones. This is especially true during huge life changes, like bringing home a sibling. But we have great news.

Here are a few fun moments from a file we call “Bringing home your sister or brother.”

Oh, and just to be fair, no matter what they say at first….they are going to love this most beautiful and unique playmate, future confidant, and loyal minion. How do we know? Because love does not subtract, it multiplies.

What they say

What we are afraid it means

What it really means

Response that serves the good in them

“When can we take it back?”

They hate their sibling.

There is something different in their world and they need time to get used to the new normal. 

“I know this is change and we are all here to stay. We’ll all figure it out together.”

“This one is broken, it cries too much.”

They are not developing appropriate feelings toward their sibling.

They want to know what is normal and how to respond. This is new to them.

“Babies cry sometimes, it is totally normal.” Then you can instruct your toddler to say and do something which helps their toddler minds to adapt. Tell your toddler to say “It’s OK baby’” and then tell them to pat the baby’s leg and go back to playing. Reassure them that the baby will love to know that they care even if the crying does not stop right away. (If we avoid over explaining but give them something to say and do, we teach them how to engage in healthy ways).

“I don’t want to hold her, she poops.”

They will never bond with each other.

Toddlers have a way of telling the truth. It is OK to validate that truth.

Bring humor and levity to this response. “We are going to potty train her as soon as she is ready, until then your job will be to get the wipes when I say code word ‘Stinks McGee!” This is a team effort!

“I want you now!”

They feel replaced.

They are making room in their lives and learning to wait, to be patient and to accommodate someone else.  

Love does not subtract…it multiplies. You have brought home a whole other human being for them to show love to and who will show love to them.

The biggest things to remember are that our toddlers are strong, adaptable and resilient. They also say some of the sweetest things and grow to be some really amazing big siblings. We always say to treat this time like you are bringing home the best thing that ever happened to your older child and they will see it that way too. Through it all the most powerful thing to remind yourself as you make this wonderful, exhausting transition is that love does not subtract, it multiplies. 

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