preparing toddler for new baby
Tips and Advice

11 Awesome Tips on Preparing A Toddler for a New Baby

I love, love, love activities with the kids, but sometimes I also get questions from moms. Every once in a while I decided to write a post about it 🙂

One of the most common questions that I see in the online mom world includes the topic of preparing a toddler for a new baby! So I decided to put to a post with some tips I learned!

If you have had a chance to look at the about me section of this website, you have probably noticed that at one point in time I was in full preparation mode for a baby on the way with a toddler at home!

Not only was preparation my focus, but as you can guess, I had been doing research and talking to loads of people as well. So take a look below and get some benefit from the many many hours I poured into this topic! 🙂

If you want even more tips when you’re done, then check out my Pinterest account for more ideas! Go To the Mom Tips Board!

Getting Nervous About Adding a New Addition To The Family With A Toddler At Home. Don't Be!Check Out These Amazing Tips on Preparing Your Toddler For A New Baby


Taking Time to Prepare Your Toddler

1. Help your toddler become familiar with the baby’s name! 

This one was very important for my family. My toddler wasn’t two yet when I found out I was pregnant, but over time he became super familiar and almost attached to the baby’s name before he realized it was a name. He would say it all the time. So when  he finally meets his baby sister, there will already be some familiarity, toddler and babytaking the shock out of such a huge family change for our little ones. So talk to your little ones throughout every day.

2.  Find Children’s books


Welcoming a new brother or sister, taking care of a new baby, etc. For the past few months, I have been reading a great book to my son before bedtime called Big Brother Daniel. The book has repetition, which is great. And in my case, the was spot on because the little boy was is being introduced to his little sister. There are loads of other great books out there to read as well, and they are not hard to find.


As for parents, learning materials are also available to understand pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, and questions, such as ‘How does a surrogate work?’, essential to clarify concerns. Aside from books and magazines, numerous apps and online communities provide information on these topics. Many workshops are available to learn about baby care, breastfeeding, sleep training, and child development.  

3.  Tell them stories and show them pictures about when they were a little baby!

You will be surprised how fast your toddler picks up on the idea that babies exist in the world and they are not one anymore! Making this fact a positive thing now will hopefully reduce any possibilities of jealousy or regression once you bring the new addition to the family. Every time my toddler sees a baby picture of himself now, he yells “baby!!”. LOL

4.  Foster close relationships with other adults

This one was very important to me as a Stay at Home/Work from Home mom. I was used to it being just my son and most days of the week. However, fostering other close relationships with adults in your child’s life can be a HUGE help. If your toddler is able to spend time with daddy, grandparents, or other family/friends without your presence, the benefits would not only show up while you are “away” giving birth, but also when the new baby arrives. I was fortunate enough to have my mom and dad close by so that they could build a close relationship outside my husband and I. If you are in the position to do that same, please give that some consideration!

5 . Keep a consistent routine

This will help your toddler feel more in control once the baby comes home and inevitably some of the familiar aspects of life start to change. My husband would tell you that I LOVE routines, just as much as my toddler does. He eats and sleeps at a certain-ish time, has a great bedtime routine, a compact bedtime routine on late nights, and pretty much is aware of what is happening or going to happen throughout the day. Of course we must always be flexible, toddler life can be crazy, but it allows my toddler to feel in control. The great thing about this is that I am able to give my parents a routine they can follow thats give him familiarity when I am gone, and when the baby is here I will make adjustments where necessary. It’s a win-win for everyone!

brother kissing baby prepare toddler

6.  Tackle any major changes in your toddler’s life before baby

OR after everyone has adjusted to the new baby.  For example, potty training, being introduced to daycare,  or even moving your toddler out of the crib right before the new sibling comes can be too much of an adjustment for your tot. Right now, just weeks before my baby girl arrives, I am focused only on involving and preparing my son for what’s to come.

Additionally, you can designate a special area or a “big sibling corner” in the nursery or the baby’s room where your toddler can place their artwork, toys, or handmade gifts for the baby. Plan regular one-on-one activities, like a trip to the park or a bedtime story, to reassure them that they’re still very important to you. You can also throw a “sibling party” or have a family celebration where you talk about all the wonderful things they can teach and share with the new baby.

7.  Present the new baby as a special gift sent just for them

They will have a best friend for life. Talk about their friends who have siblings and how they always have someone to play with and someone to help them when they need it. You can explain, ‘So, just like your friends, you’ll have an incredible playmate and a loving helper in your new brother or sister. They will be your partner in fun and your companion in life’s journey. It’s a special bond you’ll cherish forever, just as your friends do with their siblings.’ Additionally, help your toddler understand the needs of a baby and how they can be a great help.

8.  Involve your toddler along the way!

I know it can be nerve racking sometimes (haha) but if possible, take your toddler/children to a few appointments with you. Evening visiting the hospital will create some involvement and familiarity, which is key! Seeing an ultrasound and hearing others talk about a baby has been very helpful. Include them in helping with diaper changes, feeding the new baby,  etc. Not forcing, but allowing your tot to decide when he wants to help is key.

9.  Make sure to communicate with your toddler feelings

Toddlers understand much more than we think they do!  I talk to my son about how mommy still loves him the same even when the baby comes, how the baby may cry or eat often, and even how he will still be able to have his own toys and space. This conversation can be continued will after the baby arrives!

little sister big brother

10.  Give toddler the same attention

I have already put ALL of my family on noticed to please address my toddler before you address the new baby!  haha. I will even take it a step further and make sure that someone else is holding the baby when he gets to see mom again for the first time! It is something simple to do to help the transition.  A great idea is to focus on fun and creative activities with your children like the one found in this post.

11. A gift from the baby

Now this advise I received from a great pediatrician as well as many other experienced parents. This gift will be “from the baby”. Awww, how adorable 🙂

Video is a also a great tool! Here is a cute video about becoming an older sibling.

I would say if you can try some of these tips, you will have created some healthy expectations for your toddler when it comes to welcoming an addition to the family.

However, at the end of the day, remember that no matter what, everything will work out fine! Even if your toddler goes through a stage where he doesn’t like this new change, this to shall pass! Parenting is a challenge and at the end of the day, if things don’t go out way, we make the adjustments and keep it moving.

Good Luck!

Please share below if you have any tips or advice! I would love to get some input.


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  • Dan

    I’ll be a father in 7 months and my wife and I want two kids 🙂 This is a very helpful list when it comes to creating a good balance with two small children. I can certainly see how neglecting the older child can happen once the baby arrives, but you provide some very good ideas on how to avoid that. My sister has an 18 month old and has another due in a couple months. I’m not sure how she’s going to include her oldest in helping with the new baby, because he doesn’t even talk yet. Do you have any tips that I could forward to her?

    • Kayla Hollomon

      Sure! And congratulations to your sister! My son is just over 2 years old so there isn’t a huge difference in age. Even around the age of 18 months toddlers are often able to retrieve a diaper or even sit beside mom and help hold the bottle when the baby is being fed. Because he/she is a younger toddler I would also suggest carving out time alone with them and also being very patient with the reaction her toddler may have to the baby.

  • Frankie Trillz

    Your tip are great and they help me think in a beautiful new way when I vision how to deal with a toddler when a new born is on their way. I think it is great to prepare the mind of the toddler to be ready to except the new baby to the family and to keep giving him the attention he need even though their a new baby. This was informative thanks give more tips.

  • Eric Cantu

    What a great post. I think so much of the focus goes to the new addition that we can sometimes forget about teaching the older brother or sister of their new role. Nicely done.

  • Will

    Great article Kayla! My wife and I recently added a baby girl to our family, so this article rings true for me. My son was a little over 2 years old when our daughter arrived. Unknowingly, we used a lot of the tips you discussed here. Including our son in the process really helped, made him feel like it was “our” new baby. He was (and has been) very excited about having a new sister ever since. Thanks for the great advice. P.S.- my son has recently been following my daughter around copying everything she does…it was kinda cute at first, but now its getting kinda annoying…he can talk fine, but runs around the house grunting like she does…Any tips on how to squash this? Thanks.

    • Kayla

      Ha! My son was a little over two when my daughter was born as well. The funny thing is he did the same thing, whining a little more like the baby and wanting to be fed lol. As long as you and mommy continue to show give him some attention with and especially without the baby around, he should work through the phase on his own. I also recommend rewarding good behavior so he knows what is expected of him! Gotta love our toddlers 🙂

  • Rob S.

    Hey Kayla 🙂 Love your article! It’s been so many years since my wife and I went through this. But your tips are excellent because it’s very important to keep your toddler not only busy, but still having that feeling of love and that they are needed with a new baby coming along.

    And I think it’s equally important for them to participate and feel the love for their new sibling. I love the idea of books. Kids love books! It sure is better than the tablets of today!I also agree with keeping to a routine. It makes it easier on everyone! What is your advice about teaching the toddler how to handle the new baby?

  • Dale

    Hmmm where were you a couple months ago.  Our son and daughter in law just had their 3rd baby 2 weeks ago and yes they are dealing with some jealousy.  They are very good at keeping the kids involved but its very difficult some days.  Would you have any advice on how they should handle things after the baby is born?  Either way I will show them this website because I believe there is a lot of great info here

  • DorcasW

    Hi; I can understand how jealosy can creap in when a new baby arrives without the toddler syblin knows nothing about the arrival.therefore is is of importance to sensitize your toddler about another addition to the family before the arrivial. 

    I would not give a toddler full hold of my newborn baby.

    However, I would allow my toddler to touch and hold hands as a means of sharing in the fun.

    Do enjoy your babys


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