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Sibling Rivalry: Prepare for a New Baby (page 2)

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Updated on Apr 11, 2013

Demonstrate through your own actions and words. Your boy is going to follow your lead, so make sure you are always setting a good example. If he thinks throwing a beach ball at his new sibling the way he does with his friends is okay, quickly fix the situation by showing him safe ways to play. Hover around the two when they’re interacting so you’re there the instant your little boy acts out or might hurt the baby, and be ready to show him what to do next time. Protect your newborn as well by constantly teaching your oldest how to treat the helpless babe.

Don’t spare the affection. “Parents need to find a way to give the undivided attention and affection that they were able to share with their first-born child in a different format, triggering the same feelings of love, affection, care and trust.” says Cohen. If your oldest doesn’t feel safe or loved with you before and after the baby comes, it will be harder for him to finally accept the bundle of joy without resentment. Make the effort to say extra “I love you”s or take time to read a bedtime story to him, without the baby.

Remember that no matter the age gap between your children, you are setting the tone and example for your oldest to react to his new family member. Reassuring him through words and actions that his loving, secure world won’t disappear with this new addition is key to a future full of laughter and affection between all family members. Breathe deep and smile—be there for your first-born through this period of adjustment. That’s all he wants.

Do you need more perspective on sibling rivalry? Try out this article, "5 Things Parents Can Do to Squash Sibling Rivalry."

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