Congratulations—finding out your expecting baby #2 is a very exciting time! It can also cause worry and anxiety over what a new addition will mean to your family. Here are five tips to help prepare your toddler for the arrival of his/or new sibling?

1. Let your child take the lead.

Once you’ve shared the good news with the little person in your life, let them take the lead. Keep the conversation simple and straightforward. Answer questions as they come up. Invite your toddler to feel the baby kick and encourage them to ask what they think the baby might be up to in there. If your toddler doesn’t seem all that interested, don’t push it. There will be other opportunities to get your toddler involved in preparing for the baby’s arrival.

2. Get your toddler involved in the process.
As your due date approaches, there will be clothes to wash, diapers to buy, and a nursery to set up and/or rearrange. Encourage and ask your toddler for help. Should the crib go here or over there? Do you think the baby will like this outfit or that outfit? Enlisting your toddler’s help in this process will help make the transition easier and will hopefully them excited for the arrival of their sibling!

3. Spend quality time together.
Once the baby comes, quality one-on-one time will be hard to find. Spending some time alone with your toddler is important in the weeks leading up to your delivery. This is also a good time to help your toddler understand what to expect once the baby is here. Let them know that the baby may cry a lot, will need a lot of attention, and can’t play much during those first few weeks. This will help your child understand what is to come.

4. Avoid major changes if possible.
Bringing home a brand new baby will be a major change for your first born child. All of a sudden there is a new person in their life and they are expected to share their most important people with this new person. Try to avoid other major changes at the same time if possible. Avoid starting a new school or relocating. Also try to understand if your child regresses in certain areas, such as potty training, during this time.

5. Enlist help.

Get family and friends lined up to help once baby #2 arrives. Having some helping hands will give you more time to focus on both children, yourself, and your partner. Give yourself, and your child, time to adjust and remember that you ARE doing a good job!

Keep these tips in mind to help ease the worry your toddler may face when he or she hears a new sibling is on the way!

How did your toddler handle a new sibling?

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