Bringing your new baby home is an incredibly exciting time. Yet your toddler might not be quite so happy about the arrival of his new sibling …
Instead, after years of being the only child and the centre of your attention, he might find it hard to accept the arrival of his new little brother or sister.
Here are the 11 things that will happen when your toddler’s adjusting to your newborn:
Your toddler will be VERY cross with you
You love your cuddles with your older child.
But from the moment you bring the baby home, your toddler refuses to let you cuddle or comfort him. And instead, he ONLY wants daddy.
Which means as much as you don’t want to admit it, you strongly suspect your toddler hates you. Sob.
Rest assured that he doesn’t hate you. Instead, it’s just a way of him expressing his feelings of upset about the arrival of the new baby.
And before long, he’ll back back on your lap for those lovely hugs.
Your toddler will start hitting the baby
Even if your toddler’s always been the most placid child in the world, the arrival of a new baby brother or sister can change all that in an instant.
And instead of the big brother cuddles you were hoping for, he spends most of his time trying to hit the baby. Usually with a hard plastic toy. Aaaaagh.
This sibling rivalry is quite common and it’s important to try and stay calm if this happens.
Never leave your older child alone with the baby and, to give him the attention he craves, always praise him when he’s being well-behaved.
His sleep will be disrupted
You were prepared for your newborn being up most of the night for feeds.
So why is it you seem to be up with your toddler – who’s slept like a dream since he was a few months old – more than your new baby in the night?
While sleep regression is quite common in toddlers, it’s probably no surprise that it’s coincided with the arrival of the new baby.
Make sure you stick to his bedtime routine and be consistent. And have a huge coffee in the morning to get you through the day. Snore.
The tantrums will be EPIC
Thought you’d seen the worst of the terrible twos? Add a new baby in the mix and those tantrums reach a whole new level.
In fact, as a mum of two (or more) you’re bound to have had days where your toddler is lying on the floor screaming, your baby is crying in her bouncer … and you’re in tears wondering what on earth you’re meant to do next.
Deep breaths – these tantrums are quite normal. Remember your toddler can’t control his emotions, so try to comfort and soothe him.
Bribery is your friend
Okay, you know you’re not meant to bribe your child.
But when you’ve been up all night with your baby – and your toddler looks set to kick off – a new toy or comic provides the perfect distraction.
And might even give you the chance to have a cup of tea. Hurrah.
Cuddles will be scary
Phew, your toddler finally seems happy about his little brother or sister and wants to give lots of cuddles.
Which would be sweet, if those cuddles didn’t quickly turn into him lying on the baby and smothering her.
You’re pretty sure this isn’t his intention (well, you hope it isn’t). But while your older child learns how to be gentle with the baby, make sure you never leave the two of them alone.
Your toddler will refuse to use the potty
You worked hard to potty train your toddler before the baby arrived. But now, he happily wets his pants on an hourly basis.
Again, this regression is quite common and could be him trying to get your attention.
Trying to spend time with him on his own can help, as well as giving him lots of cuddles. (Assuming he’s forgiven you by now for bringing a new baby into his life!)
You never get time to just cuddle your baby
When you had your first baby, you spent weeks just cuddling him. But with a toddler in the house as well? Not so much.
Instead, your older child will insist on sitting on you – and the baby – at every opportunity.
Oh well. You’re pretty sure neither of your children will be this keen on cuddles when they’re teenagers, so may as well make the most of them now …
Your toddler will not want you to feed the baby
Newborns feed as often as every 90 minutes … something your toddler is NOT happy about.
Especially because this means not only are you holding the baby, you can’t even play with him.
So unless you’re a multi-tasking whizz who can breastfeed a baby while doing a jigsaw puzzle with a toddler, you’ll need a plan B.
Why not make up a special Feed Time Box for your toddler. Fill it with toys and snacks that he can have while you feed the baby. Result.
Screen time will become your savior
Yes, you’ve read all the headlines that say too much screen time is bad for children.
But quite honestly, when the baby is crying and your toddler’s having a meltdown, putting the TV on is the only thing that restores peace in the house. (Not to mention your sanity.)
So whether you switch on Peppa Pig or let your toddler loose with the CBeebies app, DON’T feel guilty.
And besides, you’re pretty sure Peppa can teach your child some important life lessons. Right?
You worry they'll NEVER get on
Some days, it can feel as though your toddler will never accept his new sibling. (Particularly after he’s whacked her with his Paw Patrol toy. Again.)
But rest assured that in a few years’ time they’ll be the best of friends. Promise!