One of the things I thought a lot about before our new baby was born was how to introduce our toddler to this new member of our family.
I had heard so many horror stories about toddlers who were frantic when they saw their mom holding a new baby, who resented the new baby, or kept asking if the baby could go away now. I really wanted to avoid any of those scenarios.
Then, one night when I was aimlessly clicking through the Internet, I saw a suggestion somewhere that you send the new baby to the nursery when your older child arrives, spend a few minutes together, and then let the dad and the older child go together to get the new baby from the nursery. That way, supposedly, the older child feels more like they are bringing the new baby into the family, rather than feeling replaced.
This suggestion really rang true to me – I could imagine it working really well with Ella.
The day after Ani was born, my husband went home and picked up Ella, who was being cared for by my sister and her husband. He took her on a little date to the toy store and then they stopped at the grocery store to pick up a little treat for her and one for me.
They arrived at the hospital and after I snuggled her on the bed for a few minutes, we ordered lunch from the cafeteria and ate together.
Finally, after about half an hour, the two of them went to get the new baby.
And Ella came back into the room, riding on the bassinet cart, all smiles about the new baby and excited to show her off to me.
The three of us sat on the bed together and Ella loved softly stroking Ani’s hair.
I was thrilled that their first interaction was so positive, and that Ella has continued to love having Ani in our home (except for one little kick a couple of days ago. . . )
How did you introduce a new baby?