When I fell pregnant with Miss diva pants, the 5 year old boy couldn’t wait to meet her. He’d named her, told us she spoke to him at night 😱 & counted the days until she was here. We thought we had it made. Then she turned up & sibling rivalry hit our house harder than Storm Doris.
It’s been 6 months of tears & screaming (and that’s just from us), but there have been some things along the way that we’ve found have helped A LOT.
So to save you pulling your hair out, here’s some of the best tips. I hope they help you too.
When presents present a problem
We’ve all heard the tip about buying the older one a present from the baby. And whatever age they are, it works. I mean, who doesn’t love a present? However, when your mates are popping round with gifts for the babe & nothing for the older one, that kid isn’t going to like it. So we bought a few arts & crafty things wrapped them up & handed them out to the 5 year old to play with, when the baby was being showered with gifts. Bribery maybe, but it stopped him feeling left out & (more) resentment building 🙂
Caring is sharing
For Christmas, the 5 year old got Hotwheels (natch) but the toy they both wanted to play with was a trainset the 6 month old was given. It bought us 3 hours of harmony. If you have a younger kid then B.Toys do awesome pieces of kit they can both get involved in. The saviour in our house is this set of blocks. He stacks them, she knocks them down… sibling play at its best.
It’s good to talk
If you have a lil’ person like mine, who can communicate their feelings, then setting aside a few minutes a day to make sure they’re happy, is a must. Although our ‘chats’ are more like a junior Jeremy Kyle, it’s helped me understand what’s going on in his head. Got a younger kid? There’s a huge range of books out there all about teaching them how to accept their new little rival. Written in kids’ speak, I particularly love Za-Za's Baby Brother.
Ok, this kinda follows on from the last point, but as well as those chats, half an hour of 1-2-1 time has really made a difference. Pick a time when your bubba is happiest & stick them in their bouncer or on their playmat. Then focus on the older one. Our time is usually playing a game, but it can be anything they want it to be.
It does get better…
Apparently. When I’ve cried into my coffee in front of parents of 2, I’m told they’ve all been through it & lived to tell the tale. And once their youngest has started crawling and interacting, the oldest is ‘all over them.’ Despite their reassurances I’m not holding my breath just yet.
Good luck parents of 2 or more; as always here’s some awesome stuff that might help with that rivalry.