Close Close
Mother and Baby

Overcoming Your Toddler’s New Baby Jealousy

Every child reacts differently to a new baby and the green eyed monster can often put in an appearance. But there are ways you can help your toddler accept his sibling and still feel special

Struggling to help your toddler accept his baby sister? You’re not alone. It’s extremely common for a child to become jealous when there’s a new addition to the family – especially when that new addition is a baby that takes up all of her parents' time. Not to mention all of the presents she gets from friends and relatives.

And there’s lots of ways that this jealousy can show itself. ‘Just like there’s no such thing as a ‘normal child’, there’s no ‘normal behaviour’,’ says child psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer.  ‘It’s common for children to become clingier to the mother, but also reject the mother and transfer affections to another role model.’

It’s extremely common for a child to become jealous when there’s a new addition to the family

Some toddlers enjoy playing the role of big brother and suddenly seem to grow up, but others find it hard to understand why they have to share their parents.  ‘Some children regress and want babying a bit more, especially if they think that it will get them more attention,’ explains Dr Gummer.

So, how do you cope with your toddler’s jealous behaviour on top of your new baby duties? Read on…

Be aware of your toddler’s behaviour

As all-consuming as a newborn is, it’s important that you keep an eye on your toddler at all times. His actions will show how he feels as at this age he’ll find it hard to communicate through words.

‘Taking your baby’s dummy or toys is common as is crying about things that he’d not normally have bothered about,’ says Dr Gummer. ‘In fact, attention seeking behaviour in general is quite common.’

Involve your toddler

Try to include your toddler in as much of your activities with your baby as possible.

‘Talking to your toddler and involving him in your decisions will be a big help,’ says Dr Gummer.  ‘Ask questions like “Do you think baby would like to wear the blue or the red top today?”.’

While feeding your baby, you can read to your toddler and get him to hold the book and turn the pages so he feels involved or sing songs together to the baby.

Set aside special time with your toddler

As essential as it is to include your little one, you also need that all-important one-on-one time with him – just like you used to have constantly before your baby arrived.

‘Often, it’s best to plan this for when the baby is asleep or when there is someone else to look after the baby whilst you have quality time with your toddler,’ Dr Gummer explains.

Play a few board games, spend a few hours at the park or do some baking – aim for activities that will encourage you both to communicate constantly and really make the most of your time together.

Have plenty of family time 

As the end goal is to help your toddler feel happy with his new sister, make sure that he spends as much time with her as possible.
‘It’s best to try and promote bonding as a family to help the children develop their own relationship,’ says Dr Gummer.

‘While you can tell your toddler how much your baby loves him and how much your baby watches him, it’s better to have family cuddles and show both children that you’re able to give them both the love and attention they need,’ she continues.

This will lessen your tot’s competitiveness and resentment towards your baby and help the two of them bond.

How did you help your toddler overcome his new baby jealousy? Let us know below.

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack
Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Click here for your chance to win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Pampers Baby-Dry
Win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies

Enter now for your chance to win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies PLUS £100 John Lewis voucher.

Lemonade Money
Protect your loved ones this Valentine's Day with Lemonade Money

Valentine's Day is an opportunity to let your partner know just how much they mean to you. If you don't have the time to sort out your life cover, financial planning firm Lemonade Money is here to help.

Win an NCT antenatal course
Win an NCT antenatal course

Click here for your chance to win an antenatal course with NCT and make sure you're baby ready.

How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range
How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby. Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash…

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Mother and Baby April
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week.