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Sibling Jealousy When a New Baby Is Born

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Your first child is such a joy, and they get used to being the only child. However, when you’re expecting your second, or when the baby will no longer be the baby, there’s a chance they won’t be as excited as you are. Going from an only child or the baby to a big brother or sister is taken differently depending on the child. Many parents are concerned with how their older child will take to the new addition of the family. Here are a few tips to a smooth transition:

  • Start early: Your child will obviously notice that mommy’s tummy is growing and may be curious to know why. Let them know that soon, they will have a little brother or sister. They may not know what this means right away, but include them as much as possible. Instilling some responsibility before the baby arrives can go a long way.
  • Include the older child: Some parents unintentionally sort of push the older child aside when the new baby comes. Try your best to include the older child in the baby’s upbringing. When the child is born, if possible, bring your older child into the room to meet their new little brother or sister. Teach them right away to be gentle, to guard, and protect the baby. When you get home, you may want the older child to help with the baby by bringing you the bottle or the baby’s clothes. Show them that they’re needed. Kids love to help.
  • Let them know what to expect: Your older child may be disappointed to see that the baby is getting so much attention, even though all they seem to do is cry and sleep. Inform him or her that this is what babies do and this is what you did for them when they were their sibling’s age. It’s not special treatment; every baby gets this type of love and attention!
  • Find a time for bonding: So many parents are too concerned with the older child being too rough with the younger child, that they never get a chance to have one-on-one interaction. Schedule some supervised sibling bonding time, where the older child has the chance to talk to the baby, hold the baby (under supervision of course), and cuddle. A strong sibling bond early on will clear the way of any jealousy. This is where dad steps in and spends more time with the older child as mom is busy with the new baby.
  • Expect regression and rebellion: Naturally, some children will feel that their place in the family is being threatened by a new baby. You may see some regression for an older child, acting more like a baby. You also may notice them rebelling by doing things they know they shouldn’t be doing. Expect it and know that it’s a phase. Reassure that you love them just as much as you love the baby, and that they are extremely important to the family. You may also want to let them know how important their role as an older sibling is to the younger sibling.
  • Maintain a consistent routine: Babies will definitely throw your schedule off a bit, but try your hardest to keep the older child’s routine the same as before the baby was born. If there are going to be some changes, try to implement the changes before the birth of the baby.
  • Show examples: You may want to pick up some books or rent a few children shows that display the main character welcoming a new sibling. This can show a good example to your older child on how to accept their new sibling.
    Jealousy may occur, but as long as you’re patient and reassuring, your older child will adjust to his or her new sibling just fine.
    Some parents choose to buy a gift on behalf of the new sibling to the older sibling. This is a sweet way of introducing the new brother or sister to the family.

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