Avoiding sibling jealousy can be a very difficult task.
A week after I arrived home from delivering my second child, my first punched my little one in the stomach because he wanted the baby’s bottle of milk. Thankfully, a 17 month old is not very strong and my newborn didn’t even flinch. It was still scary for me though.
I tried everything so that my oldest will welcome his little brother with open arms and not feel jealous. Of course, everything won’t work and you can’t always stop a little one from feeling jealous. But, there are a few things you can do to avoid a lot of jealousy.
Here a few things that worked for me:
- During pregnancy, let the sibling/s know that there is baby on the way. I’d always tell Ryan that there was a baby growing in mommy’s belly and I’d encourage him to rub my belly. He would talk to the baby and feel his little kicks. When the baby arrived, I’d still encourage Ryan to talk to him and rub the baby’s arms like when he was in my belly.
- When the baby arrives, allow the sibling/s to bond with the newborn. Ryan was only 17 months when I gave birth to Lucas so every time they were near each other they were supervised. But we made sure that Ryan went to visit at the hospital and spent some time with his new sibling.
- Allow someone else to carry the baby when walking in the house. I walked in my home with open arms to say hello to Ryan. My mom held Lucas and I made sure Ryan felt that I really missed him during my time at the hospital.
- Spend alone time with the older sibling/s. Caring for a newborn is a lot of work so it can be hard to take time to spend alone with the older sibling/s. But you can even take them to the grocery store. Try going with the older sibling and make sure they know it is your special time together.
- Remind them how much they mean to you. There have been heartbreaking times when Ryan has told me that he thinks I don’t love him (I am sure he is just being dramatic but it does make me sad). However, I always remind him that he has a very special place in my heart and that he will always be my first baby. If you keep reminding them how special they are to you, it will be impossible for them to even question it.
- Involve the older sibling/s in diaper duties. During diaper changes I would ask Ryan to please hand me the baby wipes or the diaper cream. That way he felt involved in taking care of the new baby.
- Continue to spread love. My heart grew a little when we welcomed Lucas into our family two years ago. This motherhood thing is difficult but nothing comes easier for us that loving those little ones. Continue to love your babies and they will definitely feel it. Try to keep doing everything you used to do before the new baby arrived even if it’s not every night.
Overall, just do your best ❤ you can do this!
I mean… I’m alive! 😀
Below are some pictures from my early stages of being a new mother of two.
a loving mama