By Jeanette Swinkels | 2 maart 2017

How can you handle the jealousy of your oldest child?

It’s quite an adjustment for a child when their baby brother or sister is born. Another child who gets all the attention, a lot of presents and visits, whom everyone wants to hold and can be with mommy all day. It’s not surprising that most children have difficulties dealing with it. Even if you prepare the sibling, they can still feel jealous. How do deal with it?

Selfish child not wanting a sibling

You might have noticed by the behavior of your oldest child, he doesn’t think it’s fun to have a baby brother or sister. He can get really angry, wet his pants all of a sudden, wants to drink out of a bottle just like the baby or wake up at night screaming. How do you deal with it?

Positive attention
Try to react friendly when your child misbehaves. He only wants your attention, but in a negative way. He was always the center of attention and never had to wait. But this has changed. Do mom and dad still think he’s sweet? Of course! But he has to know the boundaries. He behaves this way because of insecureness.

Try to reinforce good behavior. For example, give him positive attention when he has to wait while you are breastfeeding. Talk about what you’re doing and that you’re almost ready to play with him again. Or buy a special book that you only read together while you’re feeding. This way, feeding time will be special for the older sibling as well.

Take care of the baby together
You can let your oldest child to help you take care of the baby as much as possible. Ask him to grab a diaper or burp cloth for the baby and give a compliment how helpfull he is. He will be so proud! And if he doesn’t want to help, that’s no problem. Sometimes your child just wants to sit with you and cuddle instead of being the big sister or brother all the time.

Quality time
Go out together once in a while. Ask a babysitter to stay at your house and go out with the oldest. A special day especially for the older child!

If the jealousy is only getting worse, visit a general practitioner to get advice on his changing behavior. And always watch your kids when they are together. Even if the oldest likes the youngest, he might not be aware of the vulnerability of the little baby.

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