Well first off, I have to say no two children are the same. That certainly is the case in our house hold. We have one boy that has so much energy he makes a Duracell bunny look sleepy and the other who is totally chilled out (in as much he can be for a baby, he could turn out to be complete nightmare).
We did so much planning to make Millen not feel left out when Bodhi came along. We bought him a new bed, redecorated his room, bought
a toy from the baby, tried to ensure that his routine was the same. Did any of this really help... in my opinion no! Perhaps it was all to much.
Really we should of not changed him out of his bed, redecorated his room post baby, and just gone with his energy for a bit. After Bodhi came along there was a sense of him feeling left out, there is only so many hands that one has to hold children. Often there was a baby in my arms, simply because I finished feeding or burping, or changing. He would be crying like Bodhi (literally trying to make the same newborn cry), or wanting to drink milk like Bodhi, better yet wanting his dummy, or sitting in bouncer or the car seat. The list goes on and on!
Often he has to wait for things, especially if he is hungry. When he wants to play with me and I am feeding, he has wait. Bed time become horrible as he saw Bodhi's next to me in our room and doesn't understand why he can sleep in our room and he can't. Don't get me wrong a massive part of this is age related, and yes terrible twos are a real thing. But you can't disagree that having a new sibling can have a few major changes in your life, so its only fair that somethings just have to give.
Here are my top tips.
1. Talk about the baby coming all the time.
2. When the baby comes try and get them to play as much as they can.
3. Try really hard not to say no to them trying to cuddle them, toddlers don't realise their own strength.
4. If they don't stick to a routine don't panic - let it go for a bit and then gradually remind them again. Trust me in the end, everyone loves routine and consistency.
5. Don't do to many dramatic changes like change their cot, introduce it slowly once everyone is settled at home.
6. Once you have energy and I really mean enough to go out, take them as much you can to the park, soft play, forest school, the woods, your garden. Just so they can burn that energy off and you can enjoy your day - a toddler will get bored if all they have to do is watch you feed, burp and change their sibling all day.
7. Remember a toddler is going to be a toddler so just pick and choose your battles.
8. If you need help, get someone to hold the baby for half an hour so that you can spend time with the toddler.