A NEW baby in the home changes the dynamics of family life.

All children are different; some will adjust well to a new sibling, while others wonder when the baby is going back!

Preparing your child for the new arrival and thinking ahead to how you will meet the needs of your newborn, while maintaining a routine for your toddler, will pay dividends.

- Decide when to tell your toddler there will be a baby joining the family – remember toddlers don’t have any real concept of time and nine months can be a long time to wait.

- Choose books that feature a toddler and a baby in the story to help your little one relate to the changes they will experience.

- Talk about being the big brother or sister and how they will be the oldest and will be able to do big brother/sister things i.e. go shopping with Daddy.

- Buy a gift ‘from the baby’ in advance of the birth, and have it ready when your child meets their new sibling for the first time.

- Allow your little one to help with the baby, and praise him for helping Mummy or Daddy.

- Keep to your toddler’s routine as much as possible; routines ensure children feel secure.

- Highlight how baby looks like your toddler.

It is not unusual for toddlers to regress i.e. asking to wear a nappy when toilet trained. Remind them of how they used to be as a baby, get out some old photographs, and celebrate how they have grown and are more able.

See: www.parentandbabycoach.co.uk

NEXT WEEK: Encouraging good study techniques.