A new baby in the house can be a challenging feat for mom and dad, but can be downright scary for an a toddler whose world is already well-established – without a baby around. Having a new sibling doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Once your toddler gets used to the new baby, he may begin to warm up to the idea. In fact, he may even want to help you with the baby. There are many ways you can allow your toddler to “help” you, allowing him to feel like a “big boy” and encourage bonding between him and the new baby.
Let Him Help With Diaper Changes
When it’s time for the baby to be changed, ask your toddler to bring you a diaper and the wipes. Let him hold the baby’s hand or sing the baby a song while you change the diaper. When you are finished, your toddler can help you throw the soiled diaper away and help you put the wipes away.
Let Him Help at Bath Time
Bath time can be a crazy time, especially if your new baby doesn’t like water. Bath time is also a great opportunity to allow your toddler to help you. Your older child can sit next to the tub with you and help you talk to the baby. He can get you the shampoo or baby soap, or even bring you a washcloth. You can let him help you dry the baby off. Your toddler can help you pick out an outfit for the baby to wear. He can also help hang up the towel once baby is dry.
Let Him Help at Meal Time
If you are formula feeding your baby, let your toddler help you make a bottle. You can let him turn on the water to the sink. He can also help you to “find” a bottle and nipple. Ask your toddler where the baby’s formula is and see if he can help you retrieve it. Your toddler can even help you shake the bottle.
Let Him Help With Burping
While your toddler may be too small to hold the baby himself, you can let him rub the baby’s back to help with burping. This will encourage gentle touching and will let your toddler feel very helpful.
Let Him Sing to the Baby
A simple, sweet way to encourage bonding between siblings is to have your toddler sing with you to the baby. Whether you are rocking the baby to sleep, playing on the floor, or putting him in his crib, let your toddler sing songs with you to the baby.
Let Him Tickle Toes
Let your toddler tickle the baby’s toes. See if he can gently play “This Little Piggie” with you. Ask your toddler if he can find your baby’s ear, nose, arms, or hand. This will help your child learn anatomy, but he will also learn how to be gentle when touching the baby.