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Don't let worry about your firstborn spoil your joyful anticipation of the new baby — but don't expect him to share it, either! Having babies is adult business. Children have to put up with it, but they don't have to like it (and they usually don't).
Some parents find the idea of their beloved toddler being resentful and jealous of his new sibling so intolerable that they pretend to themselves, and to him, that he's looking forward to the birth as much as they are. Not surprisingly, this pretense seldom works. Imagine how you'd feel, for instance, if your husband came home one day and cheerfully announced the news of a second wife to you: "I'm bringing home a new wife soon, darling, because I thought it'd be nice for you to have some company. By the way, I'll need you to be a 'big girl' and help me take care of my young bride."
When the people we love are enough for us, we want to be enough for them. If they want somebody else, we understandably feel pushed out and jealous. Your task, then, is to accept the fact that your 2-year-old is going to have those painful feelings. Of course, you can reduce them by doing all those obvious things, like not carrying the baby when you bring her home from the hospital, so your arms are free to hug your toddler and inviting him to help by fetching diapers or choosing what clothes the baby's to wear. But the most important thing is to concentrate on getting him into the best possible emotional shape to cope.
Smooth, secure relationships with parents and caregivers will help him during the rocky adjustment period after the baby arrives, so try to avoid major battles as the birth approaches — even if that means delaying toilet training or letting him hang onto his bottle longer than you'd like. Caring for his new brother or sister will make you less available to your firstborn, so he'll need other close relationships to turn to. The more time he can spend with his father, for instance, the better. Favorite friends' or relatives' houses can also serve as refuges — and part of a "grown-up" life that the baby can't impinge upon — as can his "own" daycare or preschool.
Be careful about the timing of any major changes, though. He'll probably find security in his expected daily routine. If you start your toddler in daycare when his sibling arrives, for instance, he's likely to feel that he's been banished. Likewise, if you move him from his crib to a bed or put him in a new room right before the birth and then give his old spot to the baby, he won't feel promoted — he'll feel displaced.