Coping With Sibling Jealously When A New Baby Arrives

Personally, I have never experienced sibling jealousy with my own children.

When I was pregnant with my second baby, I told my son who was almost two ,in language that he could understand. We looked at pictures of babies in magazines and borrowed library books etc.

He came with me for some of my midwife appointments and met other children whilst waiting, who were also going to get new baby siblings and he heard the baby’s heartbeat during the examination.

I let Leigh chose the wallpaper for his brothers room.

When the time came and Damon was born, I made a point of not having him in my arms when Leigh walked into the ward to visit. Instead I gave Leigh a big kiss and hug and said meet your brother. When the cover was pulled off Damon there was a present for Leigh (from Damon) I then asked if he would like to kiss his brother. which he did.

When we came home, I tried to include Leigh in Damon’s care as much as possible. When bathing Damon I put the soap out of reach on purpose and asked Leigh if he would pass it to me. “How would I manage without you?” I told him. I also gave Leigh a teddy which I told him to look after and he would mimic the things I was doing with Damon.

When Damon was asleep I tried to spend time with Leigh and when Damon was awake I encouraged the boys to interact. Leigh made a den under the table, so I put the baby chair in there, I sat back watching; Leigh was chatting to his brother.

I did similar things, several years later (but more age appropriate) when my third son was born (I had also gained a step-son by then)

A completely different situation, which I would like to share is while childminding a four year old (the youngest in her family) and a twelve month old baby at the same time, the baby started walking witnessed by the older child. The following day, her mother told me how excited her daughter had been and what a wonderful experience I had given her, as she would not otherwise ever see that, as they were not planning on having any more children.

As always, comments/questions are welcome.

8 Comments on “Coping With Sibling Jealously When A New Baby Arrives

  1. Yes it must be hard for any child to cope with mum and dad having a new little one in the family. As you say if they feel included before baby is born and then be “mummy’s helper” when baby arrives it makes a bond between them so much easier. Obviously it’s a big step fo a child to deal with and your blog is so helpful .

  2. l’m glad l did not have to go through that, sounds like a difficult time, but l can actually see the point of the child. Good tips though on how to cope with it all.

  3. Great tips, we did similar things when I was expecting too. I do know a few people who have children that suffered terribly with sibling jealousy, usually when there’s been a large age cap between the children and I always think that must be very hard to deal with x

  4. My children adore each other. Anya started acting a little babyishly when her little brother came along but has got over that now #familyfunlinky

  5. It sounds like you approached the situation brilliantly and have some excellent perls of wisdom here. There are only 11 months between my two and my second born was in the hospital for 5 weeks after he was born so it was a very staggered and slow introduction for his sister. We didn’t really struggle with jealousy but she was so young I don’t suppose she knew much different. That said at nearly 2 and 3 they have started to get a bit jealous and territorial of me now, especially when it comes to sitting on my lap…any tips for that one? Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

    1. Thanks for your feedback and question I would suggest following my advice on my behaviour management post where I recommend rewarding good behaviour and ignore the unwanted, best of luck x

  6. Mine are going to have a similar age gap and it not really worried about jealousy at all, I just think my eldest will cope, he doesn’t really have a sense of self so adding in a 2nd is just going to be a go with the flow situation!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

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