This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.


Introducing your toddler to the new baby

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
Introducing your toddler to the new baby

Pregnant mum

How do you introduce a new baby to its siblings?

Parents agonise over this as much as anything else to do with bub. My little sis gave me this idea as one of her besties has just had her second child recently. And Miss Freya has a new sibling due to arrive very soon too! Oooohhh!
Relationships with siblings should ideally start from when you are showing the signs of pregnancy, i.e. a large bump! If you start the conversation off too early then junior will get bored. Remember any toddler has a short attention span and time is fluid. So best to leave till after 20 weeks or even nearer to term.

There are several books that you can read to your toddler to help them get the concept.

My sister has tried this with Freya but not much luck. She's less than interested. Hopefully not a sign of things to come! Some books that cover this topic are:
  • Ouch in my pouch - Jeanne Willis (a real Aussie theme!)
  • I just couldn't wait to meet you - Kate Ritchie
  • Waiting for Baby - Rachel Fuller
  • My new baby - Rachel Fuller
  • Little Hippo's New Baby' -  Harriet Ziefert and Emilie Boon
  • Za Za's baby brother - Lucy cousins
  • Hello in There - Jo Witek

Other things you can do to help the process

  • Buy a present for the toddler to give to the baby. 
  • Buy a present from the baby for your toddler. Ideally giving it on the first meeting.
  • If you're having your baby in the hospital try and make sure the new baby is in the cot when the toddler/child arrives. Then your arms are free to greet your child and give them a big hug and have a cuddle. If you're holding bub when your child walks in to see you, they may feel that you have replaced them with something small and cute and feel jealous.
  • Let them go over to the cot in their own time, don't force any interaction. Remember its all about them. They need to feel special and loved, no matter how excited you are about the new baby. First impressions and meetings are important to do sensitively. Put yourself in your toddler's shoes. They've been no 1 in your life for so long.
  • Praise any positive interaction you notice between toddler and baby. Label the praise so the toddler connects what he is doing that is liked by you. e.g. 'Freya, your little brother loves the nice gentle strokes you are giving him', eye contact and modelling behaviour most helpful too.
  • Get them involved in helping you do things for baby
  • Visit friends who have new babies and baby
  • Expect some regression in behaviours, this is normal and to be expected. See my blogs on toddler behaviour to help you get some help with this.
  • Leave things like potty training till your new baby is a bit older and you have time to give it the time and concentration it deserves. If you start just before the new baby arrives your toddler may regress anyway.
  • Keep your toddlers routine. Regular meals and sleeps help everyone. Make sure that the key caregiver knows your child well and their routines and likes and dislikes so it feels easy and seamless. Routines create security and reduce the stress hormone cortisol and increase the feel-good endorphins.
  • You may want to organise childcare before the baby comes along so your toddler doesn't feel 'shipped away' somewhere new.
  • Jealousy is normal and to be expected. They have been your number one for quite some time.
And most importantly don't worry it'll all work out. Relationships take time to establish and take baby steps. Be kind to yourself and accept any help that comes your way.

Here are some links to some further reading you will find helpful

Preparing your toddler for a new baby


Introducing baby 1 to baby 2


New baby: preparing your other children


Managing bedtimes with a young baby & toddler


Your toddler & sibling rivalry


Life in the fast lane with 2 children under 5


Learning to share


Prepare your child for a new baby


Help a sibling adjust to a new baby


Do you need toddler sleep help before baby arrives?

You get access my 3 decades of experience as a registered midwife and child and family health nurse when you join my online nurture sleep program.


? FOODS that promote baby sleep
⏰ ROUTINE: easy, flexible, sleep-ready
? ENVIRONMENT: getting it right
?? DEVELOPMENT: changes, how these affect sleep
? SLEEP METHODS: secret tips that will change your life

It will stop the guesswork and give you:

A tried and tested approach (20 years of helping families with baby & toddler sleep)
Gentle baby sleep methods
Holistic assessment
Nurture & Nourish nutrition program – all recipes have sleep-inducing ingredients and a perfect balance for a good nights sleep
Access to a closed Facebook group for one on one support from Karen and 90+ timecoded Facebook Live videos
Prevention for under 4 months so no need to do sleep training ever
And all at a low $97 for a very limited time

new babynew baby

← Older Post Newer Post →