Sibling Rivalry fbSibling rivalry starts early, often when you break the news to your child that a brother or sister is on the way. It’s a natural thing because a child wants a parent’s love and attention and worries that they’ll lose it when a sibling takes the spotlight, but you can help your child learn how to share you with the new baby.

If they’re old enough to understand, start by explaining why you are having another baby. Maybe you want her to have a brother or sister. Offer examples of how siblings can be a special part of your life. This could be cousins who play together, brothers and sisters in the neighborhood who get along or how you or her father enjoy spending time with her aunt or uncle.

You can prepare your child for a new sibling by making some adjustments before the baby arrives. Many routines are bound to be different with two children, so begin some changes now to make it seem normal with the new baby. You could have Dad help your son with a bath or let him get breakfast for your daughter.

Older children may seem more accepting of a new brother or sister, but don’t discount the fact that a big adjustment is underway. One-on-one time is important, so plan some activities that can be just you and your older son or daughter.

Your older child can feel stressed about adjusting to a new baby the same as you do. Acknowledge the challenges and share your own experiences with a sibling to show how things worked out for you.

Engage your older child with the baby to build a bond. This could be as simple as letting your daughter wrap a towel around her baby brother after his bath or asking your son to read his baby sister a story while you’re doing some chores, but don’t make them feel like a babysitter.

Whatever the age, reassure them that a new sibling won’t take away your love because you have enough for both of them. All of these techniques can help your older child adjust more easily to being part of a family with a new member and grow to love their brother or sister.


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