Worried about sibling jealousy when new baby arrives

We are expecting baby number two in a few weeks and even though our two year old is excited and we’ve included her in lots of the pregnancy - she’s even been “helping” us choose names - we are a little worried about her becoming jealous and I have heard of stories where older siblings hurt the babies and it kind of scares me (she isn’t a violent kid at all but it’s just a little worry of mine).

We started to explain to her when I was about 20 weeks how a new baby would be coming into our lives and explained that she was going to have a little sister and that even though when she first gets here she will be fragile she is going to grow up into being a friend who she can play with and she’s really excited. We’ve also stressed to her that she is still very special and that we love but now we are going to have another person to love but that won’t stop us loving her.

She is already bonding, for a lack of better words, with her sister as she likes to put her head on my stomach and talk to her and she’ll do it if I’m reading her stories or something.

But I’m a little concerned about some sibling jealousy, my [name_m]SIL[/name_m] just had a little girl about a month ago and her eldest daughter is a wee bit older than my daughter and there has been some issues (nothing serious and my [name_m]SIL[/name_m] is going to talk to their GP). I’m just wondering if there is anything I can do to reduce the likelihood of [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] becoming jealous.

Has anybody been in a similar situation? Any advice?

Once the new baby arrives, if you can spend a little bit of special time each day with just [name_f]Cressida[/name_f], for the most part she’ll be fine.

Also, there will be many times when the baby is crying and [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] will also need something from you at exactly the same time (not a coincidence). Make sure that at least some of the time you say, “wait just a moment, [name_u]Baby[/name_u]. I need to finish reading this story to [name_f]Cressida[/name_f]” and finish whatever you are doing with your older one before responding to the baby. That way, [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] won’t feel that her needs always come after the little one’s.

It’s a bumpy time for awhile but you’ll get through it!

Take care and good luck.

If there is a baby you could babysit, I think that can really help. [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] can learn to help care for a baby and learn to share your attention. There is nothing you can really do to fully prepare her to share her mom, but giving her a chance to practice is never a bad idea.

I think the biggest thing is making sure people acknowledge [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] before they start gushing over the new baby. If she is used to having Grandma come and be very excited to see her then the baby comes along and Grandma is very excited to see the baby and she feels like she is being ignored or overlooked that will lead to problems.
Some other ideas, involve [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] in caring for her new sister. We involved our girls in everything right from the start. Change time, baths, feeing etc. were all a group activity. We bought our girls special dolls to care for and feed, so when I was feeding [name_f]Madeleine[/name_f] they would feed their dolls. When you feed baby talk to [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] so she doesn’t feel left out.

Our daughter was 18 months when we had our second and she is crazy about her. The only time we have trouble is when I’m nursing the little one - then all of a sudden Azula becomes especially needy. I think that is partially because she still nurses herself, so its hard for her to share. I always give her a cuddle after I feed [name_f]Indira[/name_f].

She gets genuinely upset if she makes the baby cry so she has learned quickly to not hit her or put things (like books) on her and stuff like that. The only thing she still tries that scares me is trying to feed the baby her crackers and things - but she usually stops if I say “No thank you, babies can’t eat ____.”
We make a point of praising her for doing nice things for the baby (like learning her name, being gentle, giving her kisses, putting a blanket on her or helping to bounce the bouncer or rock the car seat) and make sure she gets lots of cuddles and playtime with us while the little one sleeps.

When I was little, my parents had my brother (the newborn) “give” me a stuffed dog. They said that he had picked it out specially for me. I liked that. When he was little, I used to push him over, just to see what would happen. Especially when he was learning to stand, I liked to push him. I was awful. But my brother and I were best friends when we were young (until we were like 10 actually), so I wouldn’t worry too much. I would just try to keep [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] involved with the baby, but try to make sure her world doesn’t revolve around the baby. Have special time with [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] without baby, and special time with [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] and the baby where it isn’t [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] taking care of baby because Mommy asked, but [name_f]Cressida[/name_f] playing with baby for fun.