“Hello, I had a question in regards to a having a second baby. My first born will be 21 months when the second baby arrives. I was hoping that Dr. Sears would have a book in regards to this issue, but I didn’t see one. I would just like to have a reference on hand. I don’t know what to expect in terms of behavior from my first born or how and if we should prepare him for the birth of the second baby.”
You’re right, we have not yet written a book about what to expect with the second child comes along, but I imagine that we could call it, “Its The End Of The World As We Know It”. Just kidding, but really, the arrival of child #2 will mean some big changes. Instead of getting through your daily routine holding a baby in one arm, now BOTH of your arms will be full. Coordinating nap times can take some skill (hint: sleep when they sleep!) You will start to hear comments like, “Wow, you have your hands full!”, so start thinking of some witty responses. And, yes, your toddler’s behavior will likely regress. Potty training (if it has started yet) can go backwards, he might want to start nursing again, and tantrums can start to be a problem.
Hopefully, during these 21 months, you have developed a strong bond with your child, and by now, you know him very, very well. This solid foundation will make it easier to react to his behavior as he realizes that he isn’t the only child anymore. It will be important to discuss that a new baby is one the way, so that he understands that he is not being replaced. A great way to do this is our book, “Baby On The Way.” I also found it helpful to give the older sibling some responsibility in caring for the new baby, such as going to get a fresh diaper during the changing procedure. Most toddlers love to “help” mom and this is a great way to keep them involved with the new baby.. Also, be sure to read our pages on sibling rivalry for some more insight into your concerns.