How these 13 mums prepared their toddler for a new baby sibling

by Jane McGuire |
Updated on

Getting your toddler ready to welcome your new arrival is often a worry; how do you help your little one understand they’ll be sharing mummy’s time and attention from now on? To find out more, we asked our Mother & Baby mums to share their top tips – one to read if you’re extending your brood.


How to prepare your toddler for a new baby sibling

baby number two tips1 of 13

1) Get them involved

"Talk to them a lot about the baby, show them the scan photos and share the excitement. Also talk about things you can do when the baby arrives – like making footprints with paint and singing songs to the baby, so they know they’ll still be involved when the baby arrives."

baby and toddler2 of 13

2) Bring them along

"Take your little one to midwife appointments with you so they can listen to the baby and read books about birth and babies."

story time mum reading with children3 of 13

3) Storytime works wonders

"Find books to read at bedtime that help explain what’s happening. One of our mums recommends ‘There’s a house inside my mummy’, which really helped her three-year-old understand her pregnancy."

Toddler touching mum's tummy4 of 13

4) Touch your tum

"Encourage your little one to touch your tummy and feel the baby moving."

Pregnant woman carrying toddler5 of 13

5) Important decision-making

"Involve your tot as much as you can; take them shopping and ask them to pick clothes and toys for their new brother or sister, or ask them to help decorate the nursery."

mum and toddler6 of 13

6) Bring it to their level

‘We spoke to him about it and at the time he had an obsession with dinosaurs, so we explained that it was like I was growing a dinosaur egg in my tummy. He spent the first six months telling people we were having a baby dinosaur, but they bonded before I even had her and are best friends now!’

mum and toddler on train7 of 13

7) Play guessing games

"Get them involved from the start; when you go for your first scan, tell them it’s because you’re finding out if there is a baby in mummy’s tummy. Play games guessing whether it’s a boy or a girl. Just keep talking about it at every stage so by the time the baby arrives they are more than ready to welcome their new brother or sister."

toddler playing with doll8 of 13

8) Role play

"Lots of mums recommend buying a doll for your little one, so they can feed and bath their baby when you do. Louise told us she also got a changing bag, bibs and bottle for the doll, so they could copy and understand once the baby came along, without feeling left out."

mum and daughter9 of 13

9) Show them how important they are

"We made our daughter a hamper with a ‘congratulations you’re a big sister’ card, in which we explained how proud we were of her, a book about being a big sister, and a t-shirt saying ‘I’m a big sister’."

smiling toddler10 of 13

10) Get them a gift

"Buy your little one a present from the bump for when they come and visit you in hospital."

children baking together11 of 13

11) Show how they can help

"Talk about the baby and help your little one understand the jobs they’ll be able to help you with once their little brother or sister arrives. Get them to choose a toy for the bump and if you want to, ask them to help you pick names for the baby."

woman holding baby scan12 of 13

12) Take them to scans

"If you can, take your little one to your scans with you, so they can see the baby moving on the screen."

mum holding baby13 of 13

13) Be careful of cuddles

"I read somewhere that I shouldn’t be holding the new baby when my three-year-old came to meet her and I’m glad I wasn’t. I hadn’t seen my daughter for three days so she wanted to cuddle up to me straight away. After the initial relief of seeing me, she was interested in the baby."

Have you got any tips not mentioned here? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.