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Stop your toddler being jealous of new siblings

If your toddler is your first born, they wont be used to having to ‘share’ mum and dads attention, or if they already have siblings, they will be the ‘baby’ of the family. So when you introduce a new born sibling to the mix, it is understandable that your toddler may get jealous or miss the extra attention.

Ask yourself why your toddler is acting up

Is your toddler acting up because they are jealous of your newborn and want attention? Are they fed up because all the visitors are for the new baby and not them? Do they miss quality time with mum and dad? Does your toddler understand why this new born baby is here?

Bringing a new sibling into the family will be a difficult time for every one, especially your toddler who may not be able to communicate how they feel. Your toddler may not be able to explain or even understand their emotions so it is important for you to take control from day one otherwise it could leading to your toddler not bonding with their new sibling and hurting them.

Try not to punish your toddler for their behaviour, as you don’t want your toddler associating their little brother or sister with them being punished more. Instead try to understand your toddler and correct their actions, moulding them into a kind big brother or sister.

Include your toddler

If you find your toddler is getting jealous of their younger sibling, ask your toddler to help you take care of their little brother or sister. If you are changing the baby’s nappy, ask your toddler to pass you the cream or a clean nappy.

Thank your toddler for being so kind and grown up in helping look after their sibling. The praise at the end is really important and you are giving positive attention to your toddler, rather than telling them off for being naughty.

Find some 'you and your toddler' time

Your toddler will miss the bonding time the two of you used to have before their new brother or sister arrived.

New borns take up a lot of your time, so explain to your toddler that once the baby is asleep, daddy is home etc, you will spend some quality time with your toddler.

Choose something new your toddler may like, or something you both used to enjoy like drawing or making cakes. Your toddler will look forward to spending one on one quality time with you.

Distract your toddler

Your toddler will need to learn to occupy themselves sometimes as you cant play with them 24/7, but keep in mind that this wont happen over night.

Encourage your toddler to play on their own or with the neighbours kids. Prompt your toddler to do something rather than tell them what to do, e.g. why don't you draw your baby brother a picture and we can put it up in his room?

Always have a back up of a new toy/favourite toy just incase your toddler becomes really bored as this is when the jealousy and bad behaviours will kick in. It will be hard for your toddler at first, but stick with it

Give your toddler their own baby

Make a day of going to the shop and letting your toddler choose a doll. Encourage them to look after it whilst you look after their baby sibling. For example, when you feed your baby, encourage your toddler to sit next to you and feed their doll. It will help to develop their skills as well as teach them about their new sibling and how to care for them.

Encourage your children to bond with each other

It is difficult to start with as new babies are not very interactive and certainly cannot keep up with a hyperactive two year old, but try and build a relationship between your toddler and new baby.

With careful supervision, encourage your toddler to cuddle your new baby, or show a favourite toy. The more your toddler is included, the less they will feel pushed out and crave attention.

Explain to your toddler

Although your toddler may not be able to communicate how they feel, they understand a lot. Explain mummy has to pick up the baby when he cries and cuddle him so he will fall asleep.

At the same time, don't forget to acknowledge how your toddler feels “I understand you want daddy to read you a story, but once the baby has had her bottle she will fall asleep and then we will have lots of time for stories and cuddles, so why don't you go and choose a couple of books for us to read?”.

This site has some great do's and dont's on how to prevent your toddler from being jealous of a new sibling.