Toddlers and Preparing for New siblings

The last trimester of Pregnancy is definitely the hardest. From the body aches to the heart burn to just wanting to meet your little one; it’s excruciating! But we aren’t the only ones that suffer during that time. Our partners and children are also suffering. I’m going to skip ahead and get to the point. When you add a second child to your family, you can’t expect everything to run smoothly, especially when your oldest is still a toddler.

There are a few things you can expect from your toddler as you approach your due date; 

1. Class 5 clinger

Your child is going to want to be near you at all times and they’re going to be extremely sensitive. They sense that change is in the air and it’s scary! What you can do: give them the attention. Give them all of the snuggles they can possibly handle. Take them on outings just the two of you. All they want is a little bit of extra love and attention so make their last days of being an only child count!

2. Temper tantrums

“What happened to my sweet little boy?” Is a question I ask frequently. He will throw fits over something as small as not putting the right movie on during quiet time. It’s completely normal. Again, your child senses a change and they don’t know how to handle it. Today, while we were walking through Target, my son would not stop screaming at the top of his lungs. I bought my things and we left. When we got home, I cried to my mom on the phone, talking about this stranger my child has become. He had all this time to go through this phase or he could have waited, but he has to do it when we are meer weeks away from welcoming another family member. I was so overwhelmed but she reassured me that it’s normal and he will calm down once the rest of his life has. This is completely true. After the baby came and we established a routine and a sense of normalcy, he started getting back to his sweet self. 

3. Less sleep

As you know by this point, sleep regressions happen with change. I don’t know if I would consider this a sleep regression but naps happen less often and bedtime seems to get later every night. Your child is feeling anxious, just like you are. Towards the end of your Pregnancy, you probably aren’t sleeping so we’ll either. The best thing to do is to treat it like a sleep regression and keep to routine.  
Add all of those up and you have a clingy, cranky, tired toddler. Sounds like a whole lot of fun, huh? Just try to be patient. Today my patience was tested. My husband is out of town and I haven’t been able to get more than 5 minutes to myself and I couldn’t do anything to make my child happy. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and you know what? That’s okay. You’re human! Just take a minute to cry, breathe, or what ever you need to do and then get back to that little human who needs you. They don’t understand what’s going on, they just feel the anxiety (good or bad) that mommy and daddy are feeling.

I know it’s easier said than done, but you’re almost finished and “nothing is permanent, everything is temporary”.

4. A Sensative Susan

My sister is going through this with her own children right now. Her youngest son, who is 4, is just falling apart right now. Mom was gone for a week (Pregnancy related hospital stay)and now she’s back with a new baby and it’s a lot to get used to! To her surprise, her oldest son, who is usually the trouble maker, is the one handling this the best. Expect that your child isn’t going to be the same little person that you know and love for a while. They are trying to work this out the only way they no how, by crying. Crying because the cup is blue and not red. Crying because you said macaroni and cheese is for dinner and they wanted grilled cheese. Crying because they spilled juice on their shirt. Anything that is normal to get slightly upset about is all of a sudden going to be the end of the world. Just yesterday, while grocery shopping, my son started screaming because he didn’t want the door in the freezer aisle closed. So that’s something to look forward to. 

I know your first reaction is to punish, but before you do that try to nurture. Ask them to use their words and tell them you are sorry they are feeling that way. They want their feelings to be acknowledged and sometimes a little bit of extra attention does the trick. Spend just 10 minutes giving undivided attention to your little one. Ask them to help you put the groceries in the cart or run through the store pretending the cart is a race car. If you are anything like me, you’re starting to feel desperate.

I hope these tips helped you! Just remember to take a deep breath and your child is human too!

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