Sibling rivalry

sibling-rivalryWhen having babies close together, you get the warm and fuzzies thinking that your older child is going to be a big brother or sister to the new baby. It all sounds like a fairy tale in your minds eye and then the new baby arrives and you feel like Alice that fell down the rabbit hole.

Sibling rivalry is common and human nature for your older toddler to experience. It is important to try and make the older child not feel left out. When their new little brother or sister arrives, everyone is busy fussing over the new bundle of joy. It’s just as important for the older child to feel as though they are a part of that.

You also don’t want to be to overprotective of the new baby. When your older child goes near the baby, don’t yell at him. Take a step back and see what he does. By jumping and yelling at him, he will get the idea that the baby is off limits and that he is not allowed to participate. This will make him feel left out of the picture and retaliate.

Try to set aside some time that is special mommy and him time. This will let your older child know that you are not excluding him and you love him just as much as you did before the little one came along. Give him some options of what you can do together and let him choose. He will feel special like a big boy for getting to make the decision of what he does with mommy.

Another great idea is to make a chart. Use stickers to reward the older child for good behavior. Let them know that after they reach 3 stars, they will get something special, like you buy them something small or take them to the park. This will make them feel as though they have something that the other does not.

The important thing is for your older child to know that they are still special in their mommy’s eyes and that has not changed just because there is a baby in the house.