Sibling concerns

How to get your toddler used to a new baby

Q: I am expecting my second child next month. My husband and I are concerned about how my two-year-old son will adjust. Any tips on what to expect and how to make it easier?

A: As long as your son is still getting time and attention from you and his dad, he will adjust. The trick is to ensure that you have some one-on-one time with him. It can be as little as five or 10 minutes when the baby is asleep or with someone else.

When guests come over, make sure they don’t pay attention only to the baby. You might give your son a baby doll so he has his baby when you are with your new baby. He may follow you around and mimic the child care activities. And have him help; he can fetch a diaper or hand you a washcloth.

I should mention that a newborn is not very interesting to a toddler and doesn’t seem like much of a threat because an infant just eats and sleeps. It’s when baby stays awake for longer periods of time, is smiling and able to draw attention that the toddler may become envious or bothered. But as long as your older child doesn’t feel displaced, all will be fine.