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How to Prevent Sibling Jealousy Over a New Baby
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I knew that we were going to have to find ways to make sure that my first child felt included with a new sibling.
This was especially important because I was going to be learning how to balance two kids instead of one. My daughter had been the only child for over 2 years. I knew this would be a big change for her and could cause some unintended sibling rivalry.
When an older sibling is about to become a big brother or big sister, it is a big change in their lives. There was ways to help your child avoid feelings of jealousy.
If you are concerned, try these tips to deal with new baby jealousy.
Refer to their new baby brother or baby sister by Name
A great way to help your child with the arrival of a new baby is to start even before they are born. If you have chosen a name for the baby, use it while they are still in your belly.
This can help make the baby feel more real and get your child used to the idea of a new baby. It can also make it start to feel as if they are already part of your family before they actually arrive.
Let Big Brother/Sister Help:
Once their new sibling has arrived, the simplest way to help younger children with the adjustment is to let them help you when they can.
I came up with a list of little things my daughter could help me with so that she would feel needed and part of the every day care of our new baby.
One of her biggest jobs was getting diapers for her little brother. Whenever it was time to change his diaper, it was Peyton’s job to get a new diaper for us. She took this responsibility super serious and would even race to the changing table whenever we said it was time for a diaper change. She would get so mad if we changed his diaper without her!
Another task we gave her was to bring in Gage’s bottle and get him a bib and burp cloth. Either my husband or I would make up the bottle and then Peyton was in charge of bringing it to us and getting a bib and burp cloth for us. She loved it!
I’d also let her help me with little chores around the house – she’d fill my k-cup coffee rack, help put away silverware and plastic cups from the dishwasher, help me set the table for dinner and even help me change the laundry.
She loves being my little helper and even has a little apron that she likes to wear when she’s doing her chores. It would make her feel important and like such a big kid.
Include Them When Playing with the New Baby:
It is a good idea to include your child while you are playing or interacting with the new baby.
If we were singing songs, Peyton would sing right along with us or would sit with us while we would read stories. Doing things all together helped her with the transition and avoid jealousy.
Give Them a Small Gift from their New Sibling:
A special way to make your older child feel connected, instead of jealous of a new baby, is to have the new baby give their new big brother or sister a special gift.
It doesn’t need to be anything big, maybe a special stuffed animal or baby doll. Something they will look at and know it came from their new sibling.
Spend Some Special Time Together
For young children, spending time with their mom or dad. A new arrival such as a baby can take away parent’s attention.
Setting aside some quality time to spend together with our older child can really help to deal with any jealousy they may have.
All these things helped to make my daughter feel included as we needed to focus more attention on her new little brother.
What did you do to help your older children adjust to having a new baby and not feel jealous?
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