Preparing a Toddler For a New Baby- Top 3 Questions

Today’s episode, featuring Rachel Smith, dives into the complexities and joys of introducing a new baby into a family, with special attention to scenarios where a sibling has autism or other developmental delays. The discussion covers everything from deciding when it’s the right time for another child to practical strategies for preparing siblings for the new arrival. Safety and adapting parenting techniques for a smooth transition are emphasized. The episode brings to light the significance of personalized parenting and leveraging community support to navigate the challenges that come with expanding a family.


  • When to decide to have another child
  • How to prepare siblings for bringing home baby
  • Positive tools for involving siblings
  • Ensuring success when bringing a new baby home
  • Limiting sibling jealousy
  • Using community resources to support your family

Question 1: How do you know if it’s the right time to have another child, especially if you a toddler with speech delays or a child with autism?

This question delves into the complex considerations families face when deciding to expand, particularly when there’s a child with autism in the mix. The discussion emphasizes that this decision is highly personal and influenced by various factors, including the readiness of the family to handle potential challenges and the unique dynamics at play. The conversation also highlights insights from guests who have navigated this journey, shedding light on the diversity of experiences and decisions. Ultimately, the decision to have another child is a deeply individual choice, influenced by personal circumstances, the potential increased risk of autism in subsequent children, and the family’s capacity to adapt and support another child.

Question 2: How do you prepare a child for a sibling during pregnancy?

Preparing a child for a new sibling is a nuanced process, especially when the child has autism or developmental delays. This Positive Toddler Parenting™ podcast episode covers practical tips such as introducing the concept of a new baby through books and toys, involving the child in preparations for the new arrival, and gradually introducing them to the idea of being a big brother or sister. The conversation also touches on the importance of keeping routines as consistent as possible and using positive reinforcement to build a supportive and inclusive family environment. By engaging in these preparatory activities, parents can help mitigate potential jealousy or confusion, ensuring a smoother transition for the child.

Question 3: How do we ensure success when first bringing home the new sibling?

Ensuring a successful introduction of a new baby to the home involves several key strategies focused on safety, adaptation, and inclusion. The podcast emphasizes the paramount importance of keeping the baby safe from potentially harmful interactions with siblings, especially those who might not fully understand their strength or the fragility of a newborn. It also discusses the role of positive reinforcement and structured interactions between the new baby and their siblings, aiming to foster a bond from the start. Additionally, practical tips such as involving the older child in caregiving tasks, ensuring they feel included and important in their new role, and maintaining clear and consistent routines are highlighted as crucial steps towards a harmonious family dynamic.