One of my concerns when I was pregnant with my little boy Blake, was that when he was born, if my little girl Lyla would be okay with all the changes that would occur. Being the first born can have it’s perks of having a lot of attention and not having to share. So, I was really hoping that she didn’t find the new baby to be competition, feel left out, or for her to be jealous of him.
You have a new precious little one in your arms and loving every minute of it. But.. your toddler is right there trying to get up on your lap with you and your new baby while you are feeding them, or they are talking to you loudly when you are getting your new little one to sleep. Does this sound familiar?
A new baby takes a lot of attention and care. A lot of this time spent with the new baby can make your toddler feel second best if you are not careful. Here are some ways to make your little one still feel included.
Making Time For Your Toddler After Your New Baby Is Born
Set A Special Time Together
I know how wonderful it is to have a new precious baby in your arms again. This time though, you have a toddler too and that sometimes makes it a little bit harder to get things done and have even a small of time to yourself. Finding time for your toddler is also important though. Try to take out at least an hour out of your day to spend non stop quality time with them. I know you probably spend more time with them than just an hour. Just make sure that you have at least one hour just you and your toddler time, with no distractions.
Probably the house needs to be cleaned, you maybe just want to sleep, or there is just too many things that need to be done TODAY.
I know it was hard for me sometimes to stop stressing about the house and the things I needed to do. After awhile though, I found that those things, were exactly that... things. I realized, so what if all the laundry wasn't done in one day, so what if there were a couple of dishes in the sink, and so what if the house wasn't completely perfect everyday. ( Not that my house is EVER "perfect".)My toddler needed me to be there for her and feel appreciated.
Cleanliness IS important but always having a perfect house isn't! 🙂
Try to set at least an hour a day to spend with just your toddler.
Right after your new baby goes to sleep, spend some special time just you and your little one. That one hour or more is something that your toddler will appreciate everyday and feel extra special about ( because they are.) 🙂
Take advantage of every moment to spend with your little ones.
Include Your Toddler
Even while you are tending your new little one, including your toddler will help them feel connected to their sibling and help them understand they are still loved. Try to spend time with them when they are wanting your attention. It may be difficult to include them, but try to find some way in which they can help you or your baby. Even if it is chores like letting your toddler get you a diaper while you are changing your baby's diaper and throwing the dirty diaper in the diaper pail when you are finished. Don't forget to wash your hands together too. Little things add up. Any time you see an opportunity to spend with each other, take it.
Limit Screen Time
Is your toddler always "interrupting" you while you are on your phone, computer, or watching TV? This can definitely be an indication that they are needing your attention and you might be on your chosen screen of choice for too long without being there for your little one. Too much technology, takes so much time from your little ones throughout the day. Take notice, of how much you use it in one day. You might be very surprised at how much time can be spent looking at a screen instead of your children.
TV can be a way to spend time with your little one but do not let that be the only thing you do together. I am not against watching TV. Maybe try to set a limit, perfect for your house. Set either a time limit or a designated amount of TV shows or movies that you can watch per day or week.
Always checking your phone and browsing through notifications can be very time consuming throughout the day. I am exceptionally guilty of this one. It has definitely become a habit that I am breaking myself from. I usually only give myself personal time on my phone when I am nursing for a long time or when everyone is asleep. Turning some of your notifications off or all of them will help you not be on your phone as often.
If you are a work from home parent, then you are probably on your computer a lot. Juggling, working at home and kids can be difficult. Setting work hours for yourself is a great way to keep work and home life separate. Just because you have all your work at home, don't let it intrude into the time spent with your family. Family is always more important. 🙂
Do Chores Together
If you are having a very busy day and need to get lots of cleaning done, then let your toddler help you. You might not exactly be spending one on one time together but work builds character and is a great accomplishment for little ones. Working together happily, creates a special bond with your little love and is still a way to spend time together while getting some chores done at the same time. Here is a list of 7 Fun Chores To Do With Your Two Year Old.
Add all these tips together and I hope you find that you have more time to spend with your toddler.
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