Introducing your toddler to a new baby

Introducing your toddler to a new baby

A new baby is a wonderful thing - but tots might not be happy about sharing your time once the baby arrives

2

I’ve just discovered I’m pregnant for the second time. We’ve been trying for a couple of years so are very excited and really want to tell our four-year-old. How long should we wait, and do you have any advice on what we should say?

At four years old your daughter will have lots of language skills and understanding, so I don’t think there’s any reason to wait before telling her the news. It’s different with a very small child who has no concept of time, but she will understand a little about months and events – so you can help her relate to it by explaining that the baby will be born ‘after your next birthday’ or ‘before Christmas’. You can explain that the baby grows inside your tummy and let her feel the baby kicking. She is likely to be quite excited at this age.

You can also prepare her by reading stories about having another baby in the family, and being a big sister, and let her play ‘babies’ with a doll and pram if she doesn’t already do this. She will probably want to help you a lot with the baby, fetching nappies, splashing in the bath and so on, and it’s good to encourage this.

However, it doesn’t mean you won’t see any signs of jealousy at all. Having had your undivided attention for four years, she might well be a little bit put out, so do be prepared for that too.
You’ll also find good advice on nhs.uk and, of course, in the Parenting Skills section.

Eileen Hayes

 

Eileen Hayes is a family counsellor, parenting and child behaviour expert, and chair of the Brazelton Institute UK, experts in baby communication. Got a question for the panel? Email [email protected].

RELATED ARTICLES

Related Articles

Ten tips for breaking it to the firstborn
Parenting
Ten tips for breaking it to the firstborn
Ten tips for breaking it to the firstborn Having a second baby is exciting for...
Breezy mornings overnight oats
Recipes & Food
Breezy mornings overnight oats
Breezy mornings overnight oats Mornings just got easier. BAM! Zero mess and a...
Luxury log cabins for the perfect winter escape
Travel
Luxury log cabins for the perfect winter escape
Luxury log cabins for the perfect winter escape Luxury log cabins, hot tubs and...
Where to ski when tots are in tow
Travel
Where to ski when tots are in tow
Where to ski when tots are in tow Dreaming about hitting the ski slopes with...

children-losing-their-appetite-for-real-foodToddlers

Children losing their appetite for 'real' food

Our little ones are growing up thinking chickens don’t have bones and apples don’t have cores
the-secret-lives-of-totsToddlers

The secret lives of tots

What’s your little one getting out of their playdate? We find out what goes on in the sandpit
peppa-pig-autumn-winter-seasonsToddlers

Celebrate the seasons with Peppa Pig

Peppa’s back in a winter fun-filled adventure
win-one-of-three-super-yummies-discovery-packsWin

Win one of three Super Yummies Discovery Packs!

We’ve got three exciting Super Yummies Discovery Packs up for grabs.
win-one-of-15-doc-mcstuffin-toy-hospital-sets-worth-over-75-eachWin

Win one of 15 Doc McStuffin Toy Hospital Sets, worth over £75 each

Enter our competition for your chance to win one of 15 prizes
win-a-dreambaby-sparkling-christmas-bundleWin

WIN a Dreambaby sparkling Christmas bundle!

Win all these products to help make life with little ones safer and easier