Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Transition from one to two... independence day

Addie was 18 mo. when Sophie Grace was born. It seems like such a long time ago and it's hard at time to remember what life was like with just 1 child around. Before having Sophie, I had all the fears that a typical mom would have. "Can we handle 2 kids? Will I love Sophie as much as Addie? How will this transition affect Addison?"

In order to prepare Addison for her coming sister, I read all the articles I could get my hands on as well as books about how to transition your toddler to becoming a sister/brother. One tip I read that has been THE MOST helpful is to start teaching your toddler BEFORE the new baby comes to be more independent. This was a little hard for me because Addison was still my "baby." I didn't think that I needed to start teaching her to be independent, I thought that would eventually just happen. Here are some ways I worked w/ Addie:

1. While working in the kitchen or elsewhere in the house, I would start letting Addie (around 14 mo. or so) play in her room by herself. I was always definitely within hearing distance of her room and I made sure it was babyproofed before letting her play by herself. I would go in and play with her, show her some puzzles/books etc. and then leave the room to let her play by herself. This may take some time for you to establish, but start with 5 minutes at a time and work your way up to about 20 min. or so.

2. Another BIG step was to start letting Addie walk beside me and follow me instead of ALWAYS carrying her. When the new little baby comes you won't be able to carry both at the same time. Especially when you have a car seat in one arm- man are those heavy! So when we would go to church out to the store, I started teaching Addie to walk out our front door behind me, walk down the steps on her own and walk to the side of the car where her carseat is by herself. Then whenever we got where we were going, it was important to teach her to hold my hand and walk with me in parking lots/etc. This is so beneficial and will allow you to become more independent if you do not have a spouse with you. Trust me, this is something you must TEACH before the new baby arrives.

I know you are probably thinking, "I don't need to/want to teach my child to be independent yet- they are only 1, he/she is still a baby!"

Trust me... when the new little one comes along... you will be thinking to yourself, "When did they (your toddler) grow up so fast!?" Your new little one is now the "baby" and you realize you have a little toddler on your hands now!

Watch for more posts on transitioning from 1 to 2... next up, how disciplining is LOVING your child.


pastorwick said...

wow....a post with no coupons. :) I love it.

Sarah Anne said...

I can put a coupon link if you want... Johnson and Johnson... pampers, lots of baby coupons out there!