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When Your Toddler Is No Longer The Baby

Immediately following the question, “How is the baby?”, people inevitably ask me, “How is Evan reacting?”

During nine months of pregnancy, I wondered every single day how my toddler would handle the arrival of a new baby. I worried about it, I stressed about it, and then one day, she was here. Our lives were suddenly filled with many more diapers, a lot more crying, and the need to divide our time between two children.

So, how is the toddler handling being a big brother?

Honestly, watching him with his new sibling is beautiful, and it is sad.

On the surface, Evan adores Kara. He looks at her with wide, inquisitive eyes. He loves to touch her tiny hands and feet, and he even tells me and his father how much he loves her. It is really the more adorable, sincere, and loving relationship I have ever seen.

There are times, however, when I can tell that Evan is struggling — particularly in moments when my husband and I are both focusing our attention on the baby.

During these times, Evan does one of two things. He either becomes anxious and hyper, even acting out a bit, or he becomes quiet and sullen, staring at the floor and whispering to himself.

We try to catch ourselves when we become too caught up in the baby (it is hard not to, she is so gorgeous), and do our best to redirect some praise and attention to Evan.

My hormones are still completely out of whack, and I do spend a lot of time feeling sad, and somewhat guilty that I ripped the only child status away from my son. I know in the long run, having a sibling will only enrich his life, but for now, we’re still in the adjustment period.

How did your other children react when you had a new baby?

Read more of Crissy’s writing at Dear Crissy.
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Preparing for a new sibling: Tips to help your toddler adjust

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