How to prepare your toddler for a new baby?

How to prepare your toddler for a new baby?

If you have been following this blog, you must have noticed that we welcomed a cute bundle of Joy a month back.

In this post, I wanted to talk of how you could prepare your toddler to make the entire episode a happy one.

It is such an awesome news that the family will grow, but it is quiet overwhelming and challenging for your toddler.

Here are some tips that we used that kind of eased or transitioned our toddler well.

1. Let your toddler know the good news right from the beginning. My toddler knew he was going to a brother when I was 2 months pregnant.

2. Take your toddler along to the hospital visits and scan appointments. My boy was present during all scans and he got to watch the little baby on the scan monitors.

3. I let my little boy apply stretch marks cream on my tummy and had him gently stroke the tummy.

4. We spoke positively about the baby and told him when the baby is here he would have company to talk and play.

5. We took advantage of all newborn visits in the friends and family circle. While we were there we told him that is how our new baby would be.

6. We took him while we shopped for our newborn.

7. I told him his birth story of how he was born and how I instantly fell in love with him. I kept reminding him of how new baby would come in from my tummy as well.

8. We spoke about how we would get to stay in hospital for a while when the baby comes in.

9. We shopped few toys to keep him busy during hospital visits and we wrapped a car for him. We told him that baby got him this gift 😉

10. We told him that we would move to my parents place and prepared him that his grandma and grandpa will take care of him.

11. When he first met his brother we asked him to kiss the baby gently.

12. Once we came home with the baby, we got his help in reaching out for diapers, massage lotions and other things.

13. I asked his preferences of the two choices of dress we would dress for the baby. Sometimes the combinations were funny but it gave him a sense of belonging and contributing to the baby 🙂

While this was all done we made sure he got enough attention during the whole pregnancy and after the baby’s arrival.

Afterall that would be the only time your toddler will be your only child 😉

We made sure he does not feel left out and I and my husband tried to him undivided attention.
Honestly with a newborn it was tough but we did our part 🙂

P.S: Below are the things I wish I had done differently.

1. I could have weaned my toddler during my pregnancy. Tandem breastfeeding got difficult while my little one started cluster feeding at 4 weeks.

2. I wish I had let my toddler stay in the hospital on the first day of baby’s arrival. That was our first and only night away from me.

3. I wish I had read books about the baby’s arrival.

4. Finally, I wish we three had gone on a tour  or something which would have been memorable 🙂

And good luck to you on your new arrival. Also if you have ideas and inputs on this, please leave it on the comment and I will add those pointers on this post 🙂

8 Ideas for Montessori Pre-Reading Activities

8 Ideas for Montessori Pre-Reading Activities

Learning to read is not a race while there is so much emphasis on phonics these days.

The child has to be ready before they start reading on their own, if not it leads to frustration.

Pre-reading activities or reading readiness is like a warm-up before you start exercising.

I have a curated list of free printables which you can directly download from the websites.

Montessori explains that the sensitive period for language is from 0-6. Reading aloud books and associating objects to words are all started from birth, while these activities can be started anywhere from 3-6 years.

1.Reading Aloud before Bedtime:

My son loves to read and I read aloud to him before our nap time while we snuggle together. We started with picture books with few sentences each page and then moved on to books with more text. Now we read books like this at 3.5 years.

2.Sorting by Category:

Sorting is an important skill that cannot be taken for granted. This blog beautifully explains why sorting is essential in the part of growing. In the later part of the blog there are plentiful ideas to sort by category. If your child is young and you want to begin then concrete objects are the best to start with. Check this post for young children less than 3. I would like to try all of the sorting ideas in our future work. For now, we tried a few of it and I have attached the links of free printables below. Don’t forget to download and practice them.

3.What does not belong?

Once children learn to sort they start noticing how things are alike and what is different. You can read on how to do this activity here and download your set of cards from below.

4.Pattern Cards:

Sequencing is an important life skill by itself. Here Children learn to move from left to right like how we read on print and also

The printable can be downloaded from below.

5.Story Sequence:

This is an extension work of pattern cards, the story sequence helps to observe and recall events.

You can start with something as simple as “Jack and Jill” Rhyme (printable link below) and ask your child to arrange them in order.

The one we used is a bit complex which explains the story of a snowman. This printable comes with a control card i.e. Montessori way of the child to know if he has done the work successfully. The printable link is mentioned below.

6.Picture to Background Matching:

This activity is to help one prepare for figure ground perception. This helps in focusing on one piece of information from a busy background. In simple words: looking for a particular word/line on a book page.

“I Spy” games can be done to work on this. We did some simple picture puzzle downloaded from a website. Link is given below.

7.Using Magnifying Lens to Focus on an Object:

My son is now fascinated to use his magnifying lens and I took that to advantage by giving him some matching work with the help of the lens. While he was working on this, I understood he enjoys using the lens a lot. In the coming days we hope we do a lot more of magnifying lens activities. The printable can be downloaded from below.

8.Look alike cards:

This teaches the child to move from left to right and top to bottom. You can read on how to present this activity here. The printable link is mentioned below.

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Printable download links:

http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/Language-Materials_ep_60-1.html

https://www.montessoriinspiredprintables.com/products/montessori-pre-reading-what-does-not-belong-activity

http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/JackandJillSequentialOrder.htm

http://www.totschooling.net/2014/09/fall-leaf-shadow-matching.html

http://www.kellyskindergarten.com/science/science_center_activities.html

 

Reference links:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/matching_and_sorting_are_early_stages_of_math_development

https://mindmoves.co.za/articles/article/PreReadingAndSpellingSkills.pdf

http://www.howwemontessori.com/how-we-montessori/2013/08/why-matching-sorting-and-categorising-is-good-for-their-brain-development.html

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/2013/11/14/4-benefits-sorting-activities-young-children/

http://carrotsareorange.com/pre-reading-lessons/

http://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com/figure-ground-perception.html