With the new baby taking up most of your time and attention, it is but natural that your first-born will be jealous. It’s up to you to manage this situation. While ultimately it is most important to protect your new baby, you need to ensure that your older child does not feel neglected.
Here are tips on how to cope with a jealous older sibling:
- Teach your older child to interact with the baby in the proper way. You can do this by explaining to your child that the baby is delicate at this age and requires careful handling.
- Involve your older child in caring for the new baby. For instance, you can ask your child to rock the baby’s cradle gently or help to dress the baby.
- Be lavish with your praise every time you observe the older child behaving gently with the baby.
- Avoid neglecting the older child. Try to continue to do the things you did with your older child before the baby was born.
- Avoid drawing comparisons between your child and the baby. Your older child could interpret this as criticism.
- If your child verbally expresses resentment towards the baby, do not be defensive about the baby. Respond gently and reassuringly.
- Unless you are confident that the older sibling will not harm the baby, never leave your children alone together.