Introducing Your Toddler To New People & Pets
Introducing your toddler to new people or pets can be very intimidating for both you and your little one. Fear not, here are some simple and easy things you can do to help relieve the pressure.
Technology to the Rescue!
To prepare yourself for these new situations, you may want to consider setting up Zoom or FaceTime calls. This is a way to introduce new faces and voices before actually meeting someone in-person. This method also alleviates the burden for long-distant relatives that would need to travel from far.
A simple family gathering is a good way to introduce your toddler to multiple people at once. Planning the family gathering around your toddler’s birthday or holidays are all great starting points. Inviting other kids their age will alleviate any feelings of intimidation or loneliness.
Having a fun toy or interactive item can help break the ice and make the introduction even smoother.
Take a look at these outdoor playhouses!
Or, if the weather doesn’t suit the occasion for a celebration in the backyard, try these indoor playhouses available in kids' most favorite characters!
Giving kids a special place for them to sit during a meal will make them feel special and get them excited to eat. For outside gatherings, picnic tables are perfect for little ones to enjoy their meals.
For indoor events, small table and chair sets make the perfect area for eating or even an arts and crafts project!
Taking a family trip or vacation is another way to introduce your toddlers to extended family.
Before going on the trip, consider telling your kids who they will be traveling with apart from their parents and/or siblings. Having them be surprised with unknown relatives may make them uncomfortable or scared.
Mingling Kids With Pets
Cats and dogs are well known to be the perfect companions for households – they provide comfort, entertainment and encourage playfulness. How does this change when you suddenly have a baby or toddler around the house? Parents might be afraid of how the first interaction between their pets and child is going to go, but there’s no need to worry! Studies have shown that kids who grow up alongside a pet in their household, specifically dogs, are documented to be much more sociable and empathetic.
Start with letting your pet get used to your child's smell and presence. Cats and dogs use smell as a helpful tool to identify who individuals are, so letting them get used to your child's scent slowly will help them know that they are friendly. One way to do this is to put your kid's used blanket or clothes in your pet's beds. This will introduce their scent to the pet. Once you do introduce them, don’t keep them together for long periods of time at first. Gradually increase the time they spend together until both parties are completely comfortable.
You can also create a designated play area and delimit it with the help of a kid's rug. This area will encourage your pet and toddler learn to share toys, play gently with each other, and form an unbreakable bond. On the other hand, when separating your child from your pet you can use a play yard, which will help them share the same area, but with individual spaces.
Entering the Playground
There are bound to be other kids at the playground, so taking your child there will allow them to socialize with others close in age, possibly even letting them make new friends as well!
Going anywhere with kids requires packing their necessities to come along. Whether it's their jackets, snacks, or water bottles, bringing a spacious wagon along can act as both a seat for your kid, but also place store all those extra items.
Allowing your kids to experience different environments and interact with different people will aid in their growth. It will also help in developing communication and social skills when your kids meet other people in the future!
With many ways to introduce your kids to new people and pets, which way was the best in your opinion? What other methods would you also consider when confronting this topic? Feel free to share them in the comments below!