Jealousy is a green-eyed monster—and when it comes to welcoming a sibling, it also has a soft heart looking for reassurance. Here are three ways you can help your firstborn learn to love your new baby; without the jealousy pangs.
Watch your toddlers’ behaviour closely
Acting out is a sign of feeling left out. Because toddlers are less skilled at verbal communication, they will communicate their feelings through actions.
“Just like there’s no such thing as a ‘normal child’, there’s no ‘normal behaviour’,’ explains child psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer. “It’s common for children to become clingier to the mother, but also reject the mother and transfer affections to another role model.”
Your toddler may also cry about things he doesn’t usually get upset by; an indication things are a little overwhelming.
Make your toddler feel needed
Try to include your toddler in babycare; ask their opinion on what baby should wear, have them take out a fresh nappy and lay out their pyjamas, sing lullabies etc. Whilst feeding baby, you can involve your toddler. Read them a story as they hold the book, or encourage them to sing/talk to their sibling.
Block off one-on-one time
Make a date with your toddler. Hand baby over to Dad, or Granny, even if just for half an hour, or work it into baby’s naptime. Take a walk, have some tea at a cafe, or simply play a favourite game together.