Sibling rivalry is greatest when the age gap between children is between 18 months and two years; it is lowest when the gap is much smaller or larger than this. It doesn’t only affect first-borns – second and third children can resent a new baby too – as well as an older brother or sister.
It will help your toddler to understand what’s happening if you spend time talking to him about what is going to happen before you have the new baby. Involve him in the pregnancy and get him to feel the baby kicking inside your tummy
Get your toddler to buy a present for the new baby – and make sure the new baby has a present for him, too, when they first meet.
Encourage your toddler to talk and play with his new brother, but make sure that you spend time with him alone, too.
Tell your toddler that his little brother loves him – and thinks he’s really clever the way he can ride his tricycle. And don’t forget to tell him that you love him as much as ever.
Always deal with rivalry when it happens. Explain that its normal to feel jealous, but that you love them both the same.
Don’t expect to have exactly the same feelings for both of your children. Realise that your relationship with each child is unique and your feelings are therefore bound to be different.
Read books that raise the issues that your first born might be experiencing, to allow him to talk about his feelings.
More parent skills from Junior:
Meditation with children
Teaching the fine art of etiquette