Toddlers are the most curious creatures in the world, and when they’re suddenly presented with a new baby in the house, they’re obviously going to have a LOT of questions. In today’s video, I’ll tell you why it’s so important to maintain the boundaries you’ve already established, and how to do so without causing a lot of uproar and jealousy.
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You know I have had three children and I can remember when I was expecting my second that I had some concerns about my toddler, I was worried or, you know, feeling a little bit unsure of how I was gonna handle two children and also how my toddler was gonna respond to a new family member.
So I wanna share some tips today on how to navigate this experience so it goes a little smoother for both you and your older child.
The first thing to remember is that this is going to absolutely cause a little bit of insecurity on your toddler’s part. He was, or she was the center of attention for a year, two years, three years or more and now that attention’s gonna have to be shared and so there’s just a natural reaction to that to have a little bit of sensitivity to it, a little bit of insecurity. That’s just human nature.
So there’s no way to get around that so my advice is to just accept it, okay?
Now the biggest mistake I see people make when this sort of experience arises is that they realize it that their toddler is feeling insecure, so their reaction to that is to give in.
They start letting their boundaries slide, they start breaking their own rules with the toddler and that actually is the worst thing you can do because what it does, is it teaches your child that, you know what, now nothing is the way it was. Now not even rules are the same, not even boundaries are the same, there’s this new little person here that’s dominating the attention and it just actually ends up making them feel even more insecure because now their little world is rocked in all kinds of ways. So don’t do that.
And know that by staying strong to your boundaries and your rules, especially around things like sleep time is so important to help your toddler feel secure and comforted through this experience of a new family member.
Now here’s some good news too is if you get your newborn onto the Sleep Sense program right from the get-go, I definitely have a newborn chapter that I think you should check out, then it also makes the experience a little easier on your toddler, I can remember my oldest son, Charlie, being really excited when the baby came out because the baby spent a lot of time in the room sleeping, you know we had a very strict schedule with our second child and our third and we knew what we were doing and off he would go to take his nap and then he would come out and have his feeding so every time he came out, you know, Charlie was really excited to see him because he also went away, which is really important, and the attention could be back on him.
Now one thing you’re going to need to keep an eye out for is that there is always always a regression either around sleep or potty training when a new baby arrives, so just keep that in mind that there’s going to be a little back step. For example, there might be some accidents happening in the potty training world, even if you’ve really had success for a few months, just keep going, right?
Just keep your expectations the same, keep your rules the same around that, don’t let them slide back into diapers now that is not the right thing to do, just push forward. Also around sleep there might be some protests now with your toddler, it’s time for his nap, he doesn’t want to take his nap, he’s fighting bedtime, there could be a little bit of pushback or fighting of, usually, bedtime.
Again, don’t give into that, that’s really the worst thing you could do, you just have to stay strong and keep those expectations and boundaries the same.
You can alleviate some of the guilt you might be feeling by doing other things like carving out some one-on-one time with your toddler, that’s so important, it doesn’t have to be big, lengthy, long excursions but even if it’s just a half an hour of you and the child, no baby around just reading or playing or coloring or going for some ice cream, or having a little outing together that’s you know just a little bit of one-on-one time, that’s really gonna help your toddler feel that he’s still important to you as well.
Thanks so much for watching today, sleep well.
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