So you just had another baby, how exciting! But…your toddler hates it. They’re hitting, screaming, and wanting more attention than they ever wanted. So how can you help your toddler through this hard time? I have some ideas that have helped me, and I feel would help you. With my son the jealously comes and goes, but my husband and I always try our best to help him.
Ask their opinions. Get them involved with daily choices. With my son I ask him “What should the baby wear today?” “Should the baby eat apples or bananas?” “What do you want for lunch?” “What do you want to do today?” Having my son help with choices really makes him feel involved.
Give special jobs. Tell them that these special jobs are only big kids can do. My son enjoys picking out his own clothes, which is usually short sleeve t-shirt, shorts, and boots. Throwing away some trash is my toddler’s favorite thing to do. He does this just for fun, but it’s always helpful if he throws away the right things. Helping putting lotion on the baby is something my toddler loves to do as well. He brings me the lotion multiple times a day just to do this. I let him help out with all these things, because it’s him learning responsibility.
Recognize their feelings. Understand their point of view. Let them know you understand being a big sibling is hard and it’s a lot of work. Remind them that they’re doing an excellent job of being a big brother or sister. Tell them how much you love them and don’t want them to be sad. This reminds them that you care about both of them. When it’s hard for them, it’s hard for us.
Reward them. When they’re being good they should be rewarded. Notice that they’re being a big help and great sibling? Take them our for a special treat. Go get ice cream or their favorite sweet. Take them to go play for a few at the park. Sometimes when we can’t take our son to get sweets or go to the park we let him pick out something special. Rewarding them for good behavior keeps them motivated to do the right thing. Remember not to call them a “bad kid” because it can set a bad tone and make them think they’re a bad child.
Spend quality time. Do things that just the two of you used to do, and maybe see if they might wan the baby to join. My husband and I take turns spending quality time with the both boys. With our toddler we take him to little amusement parks, read his favorite books, or play with him with his tractors. Sometimes we even get a babysitter for the baby, so we have one on one time with our toddler. Having quality time with them reminds them that you love them very much, because it can be hard for them to see that with all the time you’re giving the new baby.
Show a ton of attention and love. Give hugs and kisses every chance you get. As I said before compliment them for all the good things they’re doing. Keep reminding them that you love them. Giving attention to them reminds them that you care and love them.
Let them have time to themselves. Don’t force them to spend time with the baby. They will spend time with the baby when they’re ready to.
Having a new baby is hard on you, but it’s really hard on toddlers. By doing these things that I have listed they have been proven to help my toddler’s jealously.