Your pregnancy and baby guide
Introducing your toddler to a new baby
Open all pages about Your pregnancy and baby guide
- Secrets to success
- Am I pregnant?
- Early days
- Week by week
- Preparing for the birth
- Work out your due date
- Tests scans and checks
- Your pregnancy (antenatal) care
- Your health and wellbeing
- Existing health problems
- Common pregnancy ailments
- Pregnancy-induced conditions
Labour and birth
- The start of labour
- The birth
- Emotions and worries
- Premature babies
- How to breastfeed
- Breastfeeding problems
- Lifestyle and breastfeeding
- Bottle feeding
- Newborn screening tests
- Newborn essentials
- New parents
- New mums
- Twins and multiples
Babies and toddlers
- Weaning and solid foods
- Baby health and care
- Spotting signs of serious illness
- Reflux in babies
- How to take a baby's temperature
- Reducing the risk of SIDS
- Treating a high temperature
- Sleep problems in children
- Coughs, colds and ear infections
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Infectious illnesses
- Children's medicines
- Looking after a sick child
- Serious conditions and special needs
- Constipation in young children
- Your baby's height and weight
- Baby health and development reviews
- Leg and foot problems in children
- Learning, play and behaviour
- Safety and accidents
The arrival of a new brother or sister can be unsettling for a toddler who is used to having your full attention.
You may find that your toddler is not as happy and excited about your new baby as you are. Some find it difficult to adjust.
These tips may make introducing your toddler to their new brother or sister a little easier:
- Try to keep up your toddler's routines and activities. Going to playgroup, visiting friends and telling a bedtime story might be difficult to organise in the first few weeks. But sticking to established routines will help reassure your toddler.
- Accept that your older child might not love their new brother or sister at first. They may not feel the way you do. It's lovely if they share your pleasure, but do not expect it.
- Be prepared to cope with extra demands. Your toddler may need more attention. Friends or relatives may be able to help out, but your child will still need 1-to-1 time with you, so that they do not feel as if they've been forgotten.
- Encourage your older child to take an interest. Children do not always love babies, but they do find them interesting. You can encourage this by talking to them about what they were like as a baby. Get out their old toys and show them their baby photos.
- Distract your toddler during feeds. Your toddler may feel left out and jealous when you're feeding the baby. Find something for them to do before you start feeding, or use the feed as an opportunity to tell them a story or have a chat.
- Be patient with babyish behaviour. Your older child may ask for a bottle, want to be carried or, even if they are potty trained, start wetting themselves again. This is completely normal behaviour, so try not to let it bother you and do not punish them.
- Expect some jealousy and resentment. It's almost certain to happen at some point. Ask for help from your partner, friends or relatives, so that you can have time alone with each child. This will help you balance the demands put on you.
- Encourage your toddler to help with the baby. Turn looking after the baby into a fun game. Perhaps ask your toddler to help with a nappy change, and encourage your child to talk to the baby.
Page last reviewed: 04/10/2019
Next review due: 04/10/2022