Remember when your precious firstborn was the centre of your universe? Something’s come between you, but here’s how to keep them happy. By Isabel Mohan
1) Play a loooong game of hide and seek
Bung the little one in a sling, and send the big one off round the house. Warning: if your toddler “innocently” suggests hiding the baby down the toilet, it’s time to have a little chat.
2) Put them to work
Toddlers love playing matching games and those piles of pesky newborn socks aren’t going to pair themselves up. Get to it, kiddo.
3) Share the load
No matter how knackered you are, get yourself to a stay and play. There will be numerous clucky assistants on standby who’ll jump at the chance to cuddle the newbie while you actually give the toddler some attention (although he or she will probably be so distracted by all the shiny toys that they won’t even notice Mummy’s finally remembered their name).
4) Let them entertain you
Look, the baby needs to get used to noise. So, now’s the time for your biggie to show off their repertoire of annoying songs without being told “ssshhh, the baby’s sleeping!”. In time, your newborn will be their older sibling’s number one fan – they may as well start putting the groundwork in now
5) Turn your lounge into a cinema
If your toddler is wise to you bunging them in front of the telly when you’re feeding the baby, there are ways to make it feel like more of an event for all of you. Dim the lights, decant some popcorn into bowls, bung on Frozen or similar and snuggle up together. It’s screentime, sure, but it feels special. If you really want to drag this thing out, you could even get them to make tickets.
6) Let them snap
Got an old camera gathering dust from before we started using phones for everything? Tell your toddler that they’re now the official family photographer, and let them snap away while you and the nipper do your thing. Bonus: you might actually get some cute photos out of it, or just loads of really bad ones.
7) Pay for childcare
You know it makes sense.