New Sibling — New Behaviors

One of the most exciting times in your life is sure to be when you are welcoming a new child into your home. Yet, that can quickly be overshadowed when you have a first child who is not adjusting to having a sibling as well as you had hoped.

newborn baby

There are many things that you can expect. When you start to see some of these behaviors instead of freaking out or worrying, you can try these activities with your child to help them adjust.

Behavior – Acting Like a Baby
One of the first things most parents complain about when they have a child who is becoming a big sibling is that their older child starts to act like a baby again. The main reason behind this is that your child is feeling like the baby is getting more attention than they are and they have become jealous. Instead of giving in to the behaviors reinforce the positive behaviors and help your child understand their role of being a big sibling. The easiest way to do this is to give your child a special job that they can do associated with the baby. For my children one easy job was helping by handing mom or dad the clean diaper for a diaper change or helping to hold the bottle during feeding times.

newborn baby 2

Behavior – Being Angry
When there is a new baby in the house another common seen behavior is that your older child is going to be angry. There are many reasons for this but it is mostly because your child has gone from getting all of your attention to having to share this attention with someone else. One great way to help them understand that this is not a good behavior is to talk to them and have them get involved. Ask your child what they think that the baby should wear or eat? Talk to them about why the baby needs more attention and explain it to them through a dialogue of questions where they get to be a part of the solution. If your child is suggesting that you hold the baby then they are not going to be as angry as if they think that you are just holding the baby because you want to.

Behavior – Being Sad or Frustrated
Sometimes your child might not have the ability to tell you how they feel. It is important as you go through this time of adjustment that you spend the time that you need reassuring your older child. Make sure that you are telling him or her how special they are and set aside some one on one time with them. This time should be away from the baby and everyone else so that you really get to focus all of your attention on them.

brother and sister

Having a new baby is a huge adjustment and one that can be quite complicated if you allow it to be. If you plan ahead and know what to expect than it will not come as a shock when your newest addition is in your home. You will be better equipped to handle things and will feel confident in the choices that you make.

The San Francisco Bay Area Mothers Club