Here are some tips on how to give your toddler attention with a new baby in the house.
I am now a mom of 5 under 8. Three of those five are 3 and under. I thought things were crazy before but now it is a whole new level. While it is manageable, it has it’s challenges.
One of those challenges has been making enough time for my toddlers so they don’t feel like they have been replaced. I want to make them feel special even though we have a large family. With each added baby though, it obviously gets harder.
After we brought our fifth baby home, my daughter loved it but she was clearly telling me that she wasn’t getting the love she needed. She loves the baby and loves playing mom so it was hard to tell that she was being affected.
I had to brainstorm ways that I could give my kids more attention, even while multitasking the many more tasks of the day. Here are a list of ideas that will work for you guys too.
How to Give Your Toddler Attention with a New Baby
Be aware and make sure you are playing with your toddler.
This sounds so obvious but it is so easy to forget to give your toddler one on one time. With a new baby, your toddler might not get your full attention but if you can put your baby in a wrap and focus on your toddler. Even reading books to your toddler while you feed your baby is a good way to make them feel loved. If you need to, set a reminder on your phone to remind you to play for 20 minutes.
Include Your Toddler in Baby Activities
Your toddler might be feeling jealous with the new baby, but if you can give your toddler some responsibilites to help with the baby, it helps them feel involved. Make a bottle and help your toddler feed the baby. Let your toddler pick out baby’s outfit. Have your toddler grab a diaper and wipes. Toddlers love feeling like a big kid and always want to help out. Use this to your advantage.
Even my one year old likes to help out by bringing me the baby’s blanket or pacifier at times. Any age loves doing what mommy does and loves helping out. Make sure you acknowledge this behavior and praise it!
Give your toddler a baby doll.
Let your toddler do what you are doing! Don’t try to force this on them but let them naturally start playing mommy or daddy.
Sometimes, you need to ignore the baby and respond to toddler first.
If your baby is crying and your toddler is crying, it is okay to leave your baby crying for a few extra minutes. Try to tend to the toddler first so they don’t see the new baby as being chosen over them. Your toddler is the one who is really noticing who you are choosing first.
Take your toddler out for a date.
If you can make it work, leave the baby with daddy or get a babysitter. Make time for just you and your toddler and do an activity they will enjoy. Let them pick out what you are going to do. If for some reason you can’t make it work, get them to have special time with daddy or a grandparent.
Get out of the house.
When you are cooped up all day, you can get really crabby. Same with your toddler. Get out for a walk or go to the park. This helps with keeping your toddler distracted.
Don’t make other big changes at this time.
Potty training, moving to a toddler bed, or taking away the pacifier needs to be done at another time. Your toddler’s world has already been rocked so don’t take away anything or add on anything new.