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Smurfette
Smurfette asks:
Q:

How do you help a three year old girl cope with a new baby at home?

In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Children and stress, Parenting siblings
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Hand in Hand
Jan 20, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Smurfette,

I hope things are going well with you, your daughter and the new baby. Here are a couple extra resources you can try just in case you might need them. The first one is a short podcast that's a very quick listen but has some great stuff in it. The second one is an article about helping with a new sibling relationship.

Hope you are all enjoying one another,

Juli

Julianne Idleman
Hand in Hand Parenting
www.handinhandparenting.org
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Additional Answers (4)

aqblickley
aqblickley writes:
Hi Smurfette,

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Bringing home a new baby can be tough on older siblings, but it's also a very exciting time. I remember when my younger siblings came home from the hospital, and while some degree of jealousy is normal, it can also be great fun!

It's important to be aware of how your older daughter is doing, and to pay attention to verbal and non-verbal signals that she's having a tough (or enjoyable) time.

Try not to blame the new baby for your new busy schedule, or tiredness. This is important so that you don't cause your daughter to resent the baby.

Make sure to set aside one-on-one time with her, so that she still feels like the special and important part of the family that she is. If you have someone that can watch the baby, try taking your daughter out to do things that she enjoys... ice cream, trip to the library, movies. It will be tough to do this when the baby is brand new, of course, but even short mom-and-daughter outings will mean a lot to her.

In the Resources section below, I'm also including an article that contains tips for welcoming a new baby to the home, and preparing your child.

Good luck, and I hope this helps!

Alex

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Dr.Monika
Dr.Monika , Child Professional writes:
Congratulations on the new baby!

A new baby "on the block" can be stressful to older siblings.  Since newborns require a lot of attention, older children may feel unimportant and displaced.  During the first months after a new baby comes home, toddlers and young children often experience regression of certain milestones: they may start to wet the bed again or talk like a baby.

Try to make the whole experience of the new baby at home into a very positive one.  Include the 3-year-old in all activities around the baby as appropriate for her age, so that she knows that she is an important part in the baby's and family's life.  In addition, since she is still an individual, she needs individual parental attention for healthy development.  Spend daily quality time with your daughter without the baby around.  That special one-on-one time will be very precious to her and she will not feel displaced by the baby.

Happy parenting!

Best regards.
> 60 days ago

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tesncurt5402
tesncurt5402 , Parent writes:
Congratulations!! When my son was born, I allowed my daughter to help with him. She enjoyed helping with him and it reduced the anxiety of having a baby in the house. I believe by allowing the older child to take part, they will build a special bond with the baby. The resentment levels are not as intense and the jealousy is greatly reduced. Today, even though they are 12 and 14, they are still protective over one another. She still plays the role as "little mommy"
> 60 days ago

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tesncurt5402
tesncurt5402 , Parent writes:
Congratulations!! When my son was borrn, I allowed my daughter to help with him. By helping, she built a special bond with her brother. Personally, I believe by alowing her to hep, the anxiety levels were not as high for her. She was able to cope without any sigificant jealousy issues or serious resentment. Plus, it allowed her to be the "little mommy" in the house. Today, at 12 and 14, she is still the "little mommy" in the house.
> 60 days ago

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