6 Tips to Help Prevent Jealousy with a New Baby.
I don’t know about yall, but having a child suffering from what I like to call it “No longer only child syndrome” is not fun. I honestly thought it was going to be an easy transition for Brooklynn (who was 3 at the time) when her little sister (Aliyah) arrived, but I quickly found out that wasn’t the case. Brooklynn was so hot and cold with Aliyah. One moment she was excited to have a little sister and pretending to be the mom and the next she was rolling her eyes at me when I asked her if she wanted to help me change the Aliyah’s diaper. Yes, my three year old has attitude problems already. I just couldn’t understand why she was so up and down. Throughout my entire pregnancy she kept saying how she couldn’t wait to see her little sister and that she was so excited to have a best friend, but all of that quickly changed after a few weeks of her being born. Don’t get me wrong, she really loves her little sister and was genuinely happy, but there were some moments where she didn’t want anything to do with her and I could start to see that she was fighting and acting out for attention. After some reevaluation and trying new things I noticed 6 techniques that really helped decrease Brooklynn’s jealousy and stopped her from acting out and regressing back to a baby herself.
One on One Time
Try to spend as much one on one time with your oldest as much as possible. I know it can be hard with a new baby especially if you are breastfeeding but scheduling at least one day out the week where you give your undivided attention to your oldest can really make a difference. I would call my mom over to watch Aliyah, during her nap time since I nursed and it was easier to get away during that time, and my husband and I would take Brooklynn to the park, to get ice cream or just out to have some fun just the three of us. She loved that. I think it reminded her of how things were before Aliyah was born and it showed her that things didn’t have to change just because we have a new baby.
Stick to Your Routine
I know, easier said than done, especially with a newborn, but if you can try to stick to the routine you had with your oldest, before the baby was born, will definitely help prevent confusion and jealousy. Every child gets jealous when they feel like a new baby has come in and stole the thunder and changes everything they originally had in place. My husband and I alternate on who gives Brooklynn a bath. If he gave her a bath on Monday, I made sure I was available to give her a bath on Tuesday. After every bath we would read to her and I would do our daily words of affirmation. It was extremely hard in the beginning since Aliyah was so unpredictable but no matter what I tried my hardest to keep things the same for Brooklynn, even if that meant Aliyah had to cry for a little bit so I could finish Brooklynn’s bedtime routine.
Ask and Consider Their Feelings
This was extremely important to me. I always wanted to know how Brooklynn felt. I would ask her if she loved her sister? If she was happy to be a big sister? How her day was and so forth. Buy asking a few simple questions I was able to realize early that at times she felt a little left out when it came to her new sister. This broke my heart. As mothers it is never our intentions to make our kids feel left out. Now this leads into my next tip.
Show Extra Love and Affection
With a new baby everyone tends to show a little more attention and love to the newest addition, it’s common. But I quickly noticed the negative affect this was having on Brooklynn. At times she would
feel left out or that Aliyah was getting all the attention and no one cared about her. It broke my heart to see her so sad. So I quickly made sure that Aliyah and Brooklynn both received equal amount of love and attention from myself and my family. When I kiss one I make sure I kiss the other one. When I say I love you to Aliyah I make sure I find Brooklynn and tell her I love her no matter where she is. Even when I buy something that Aliyah needs I always make sure I buy a little something for Brooklynn as well. Everything I do for one, I make sure to do for the other. I never want Brooklynn to feel left out again. I reassure her that her feelings matter to me and I will do whatever it takes to make sure she is happy and loved.
Keep Them Involved
It’s important that no matter how busy you may become with your newborn to keep your oldest involved. I can’t emphasize enough, no kid ever wants to feel left out, so try to involve them in your everyday duties as much as possible. My oldest loves being a big helper. So when I’m feeding the baby I ask her if she would like to help me. When I’m changing her diaper, I ask my oldest to help fasten it. When I’m done giving my little one a bath, my oldest loves to help me put her lotion on. Whatever I do I’m always making sure to involve my oldest as much as possible. And again sometimes she doesn’t want anything to do with her sister which I think is normal, so at times I’ll ask her to help me personally with other things, like doing my makeup, which she loves, or washing the dishes or cooking dinner. Anything that makes her feel like I need her.
Multitasking with Easy Activities
It’s extremely hard to be in two places at once, so don’t try to be. When having two little ones you will need to become an expert in multitasking. An easy way to please everyone is by suggesting activities that allow you to do two things at once. For example, Brooklynn always wants me to play with her and at times Aliyah is screaming her head off because she is hungry, so to please everyone I suggest something that I can easily play with Brooklynn while nursing Aliyah. So whether its singing to Trolls, playing hide and seek, or playing a board game, I’m always finding a way to kill 2 birds with one stone.
I just want to point out I’m not an expert, but I love to share with others things that helped me during this hectic time in life. I know at some points juggling two or more kids can be extremely stressful and you may want to pull your hair out or breakdown and cry, trust me I’ve been there, so I’m hoping these 6 things can definitely help ease the process as they did for me. I just wish it didn’t take me so long to figure them out.