Many mothers find it best to tell their child soon after they discover they are pregnant. Toddlers understand more than you expect and will soon pick up that something is going on. However, just saying that ‘there’s a baby inside Mummy’s tummy’ may not mean much to a toddler. Looking at books or pictures of pregnant women can be a good start.
Before your new baby is born, think about the changes that you would like to make. Straight after the birth of a new baby is not the time to toilet train the older one. Will your toddler need to move out of her cot or the family bed? Will she be attending day care or be cared for in the home of a relative or friend when your baby is born? It may be best to make any changes well before your baby arrives.
Some people like to have a ritual to help their children welcome their new brother or sister into the world. A gift from the baby to the toddler can make that first meeting even more special and give the toddler something to play with if she gets bored.
Allow your toddler to share the limelight. Ask him to introduce guests to his baby brother or sister. Ask a few close relatives or friends to bring a small gift for him also, so he does not feel left out.
Your life is changing at an amazing rate but your toddler still needs you. Try to keep bedtimes and the bedtime routine the same, even if it is your partner who is putting her to bed and not you.