No matter the age, we’ve all experienced the dreaded “sour patch kid” moment. You look away for a second and the older sibling has a dollop of diaper rash cream nearing your newborn’s forehead. (Or worse…!) The “accidentally on purpose” I like to call it, haha! Jealousy is normal, and it’s expected as they are now sharing Mom and Dad's attention. We are going to share a few helpful tips on how to navigate through older sibling jealousy.
Spotlight Switch Off
This is where we make sure the older sibling is getting one-on-one time with each parent individually. It’s helpful for your little one to feel they are getting adequate attention from both of you! Setting time aside for an intentional date or slice of time to play face to face.
Get your oldest Involved helping with everyday tasks alongside the new baby! This may involve diaper changes, throwing things away, grabbing creams etc. It gives them intrinsic “praise” knowing that they are being such a good helper!
Using wording such as “your baby” to your little one offers a sense of ownership to them. It creates a shift in thought that it’s not only Mommy and Daddy's baby, it’s now theirs as well.
For a lot of parents, this may sound intimidating! Why would I tell my newborn to be patient!? But trust us. Using verbiage such as “one minute please” or “I’ll be there soon” gently on your newborn in front of your toddler gives them comfort that patience is universal in the house.
Feeding our newborn usually means that we are in a settled position. Usually primetime for our toddler to ask for alllll the things knowing well we are needing to stay put. Reading a book with them helps them to feel involved in the intimate process between you and your newborn and gives them the much needed attention in those stagnant moments.
Talking through Tears
Your toddler is going to be hearing a lot of crying! It might be surprising to them that you are so attentive to the baby's noises. Sometimes your toddler might even try to react in the same way to fight for attention. You could try explaining to your toddler that the baby doesn’t know how to talk yet so when he is crying that it’s their way of asking for help.
Dress them in matching outfits! My toddler Hudson LOVES when he gets to match his baby brother Nash! Allowing your toddler to not only match, but to pick out the matching outfits I truly believe creates a unique heartwarming bond! We sure swoon over our Brave Little Ones sibling sets.
We hope these tips help assist a happy and healthy environment for these challenging but beautiful months ahead!