Toddler v’s Baby: Sibling Rivalry?
My eldest is 3 1/2yrs and my youngest is 3 1/2 mths. Ever since I announced my pregnancy with my youngest (son) people kept saying :
- Have you started to prepare for the jealousy from the oldest?
- Have you explained how there’s going to be a new addition to the family that will be loved equally?
- Why don’t you get a dolly for Toddler so that they get used to having a baby around the house?
We were of course aware that bringing back a day old baby into a house where my daughter has been the ‘star of the show’ for 3 years would be a change, I mean a really big change, but we were prepared!
Even the nursery said she may ‘regress’ to being a baby because the attention is often taken away from the older sibling so we sort of came to expect it to happen. My son is now 3 months old, and I can honestly say there’s been no dramatic regression, she’s not smothered him…yet, and she seems to…well…love him!
- We’ve always encouraged her to help out by fetching nappies, reading stories and kissing him good night.
- We never shout at her for giving a bit-too-tight-a-cuddle (which she does regularly!)
- We always say she’s our big girl and is a great big sister.
- We do make a greater fuss of her when she comes in from nursery.
- We do try to have 1-on-1 time just me and her even if it’s just for 5 mins.
Too quickly we are told the toddlers nature is to be jealous and to cause havoc, but I think a lot of the time we impose it ourselves by expecting it to happen, because of what other people say. Each family is different. I know they will have their arguments as they grow older, and I may well have a full basket of eggs on my face in a few months time – but for now just call us the Waltons!
What are your experiences of introducing new siblings to the family?