Every child is different when it comes to introducing a new baby, some children find the adjustment very difficult and may regress, others adapt quickly. Often the older the child the easier the transition. If your child is under two they may still be needing the attention a baby needs and may resent having to share his parents love with another baby. An older child tends to be more independent and less needing to be babied hence more likely to adjust quicker. All children have a desire to help which can be used in their favour and to your advantage when the baby arrives. Getting your older child involved will help them not only to feel needed but help them see their place in the family unit as being important. First children who have been doted upon since an early age find it difficult to share their parents attention with anyone.
There are some things that can ensure a smoother transition such as making changes two or three months before the baby arrives. This may include changing bedrooms or moving from a cot to a bed. Enrolling your toddler into activities away from mum, where they can mix with their peers and learn to be less dependant on mummy. This will also give mum time alone with baby. Don’t leave making these arrangements to the last minute as you may find you run out of time if baby arrives early. Talk about the new baby and where he/she will be sleeping etcetera.
Let your toddler know when you are going to hospital and have a gift from the baby to give to their older sibling.
When baby has arrived the less changes your toddler goes through the smoother his transition. Be prepared with activities to entertain him/her when you are feeding the baby. Spend quality time with your toddler when baby is sleeping. Reassure him/her with lots of cuddles and hugs during this time.
Out side help is best utilised to enable you to spend more time with your older sibling.