by Cindy Nurik, Ed.D. for Mommy & Me
Not everyone welcomes the stork’s arrival with open arms. Young siblings are often apprehensive about a new baby joining the family fold and worry that they’ll go from being the star of the show to playing second fiddle. Signs that your child is jealous (or even resentful) of the new baby include:
• Avoiding contact with the baby
• Verbal rejection
• Regression in toilet training
• Food spills
• Wanting the baby’s bottle
• Playing alone
• Resisting bedtime
• Temper tantrums
• Abuse of pets
How you can prepare your child for the new arrival:
- Explain the “Big Brother/Big Sister” role. Giving your child some responsibility when it comes to the baby can be good. Give her some “big sister” tasks and a special “big sister” t-shirt. When the baby comes, be sure that you are very congratulatory to your child for becoming a big sister - it’s a big deal!
- Spend quality, baby-free time with the older child. Go out for a movie, spend a few minutes in the park, or carve out some other special time to spend alone with your older child. Bedtime can be a great way to spend some of this time - maybe read a book or spend a few minutes snuggling.
- “Baby” your older child - Your have to realize that she’s going to have some emotions about a new arrival. Give her a little bit of special attention and a few extra privileges (like getting to stay up a bit later, or a special treat) for a few weeks to ease the transition.
Updated August 2012