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2 Bumps

Having a baby and have an older child...how do I control the jealousy?

I have a six year old and I am 35 weeks pregnant. My son is already showing jealous tendancies. He is used to being the only child and I am worried he is going to be very upset when the baby comes. He wouldn't ever hurt the baby but he is telling us he doesn't think we love him anymore because the baby is getting new things. If you have ever been in this situation how have you dealt with the jealousy? I tell him all the time we love him very much. I have also tried to explain that when he was in my belly we had to do the same things for him. Not sure what else to do...I've never been in this situation =( I don't want my little man to feel like no one cares about him.

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bustii

Asked by bustii at 11:59 AM on Jun. 24, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 4 (28 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • I think you have to include him in all the happenings with the baby. Make him feel like he is now going to have some responsibility as being a big brother (really play that part up). If you make him feel comfortable with it, he will be. Jealousy only lasts a short time. Take him to your Dr's appointment so he can hear the heartbeat. Get him excited too!
    m-avi

    Answer by m-avi at 12:02 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • This is tough. My 4yr old had the same problem. The only difference when I married DH I had a 7 month old...BAM there he was. And my SS didnt get any adjustment time. Well I mean we were over visiting a lot since he was 2 months old, just the moving in and sharing daddy all the time was new. We just had to keep encouraging C. Telling him what a big boy he was. And giving him "big boy" things to do. I would try to include him in all the baby things. Let him help set up the room, pack your bag those type of things. And keep it up when baby is born. Let him help get diapers, throw them away, get her burp rag. Make him feel included cuz unfortunately kids feel excluded fairly easy. My SS started acting like the baby too. IE crawling, baby talk, trying to get bottles(he was 3 when we moved in). So we reminded him of all the cool things big boys get like ice cream! It just takes time, but he'll love new baby!
    AmandaN1

    Answer by AmandaN1 at 12:04 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • I agree, involve him as much as possible. Take him to the drs. with you if you can so he can hear the heartbeat (or even see the baby if you have an u/s) Let him pick things out, clothes, toys. My boys each bought a baby doll for their sister and brought it to the hospital with them when she was born. They were so excited to give it to her.
    JamieLK

    Answer by JamieLK at 12:04 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • My oldest son was 6 when I got pregnant, turned 7 weeks after the baby was born. I did a lot of things with him, just for him, his swimming lessons, reading together, etc., but I also did a lot to get him involved in being a big brother. He helped pick things out for the babies room, but we also picked a few new things for his room that the baby would be too little to have. He actually took a sibling baby class at the hospital, you might check & see if your hospital has 1. They learned about babies, how to hold them, etc.. Then before I went to the hospital I packed a special bag for him to take to the hospital while waiting for the baby. It had snacks, some new quiet toys for the hospital, & a letter from me describing the day that HE was born, & how much I loved him, how important he was to me. I included a few pictures from the day he was born, & a little disposable camera for him to take his own pictures at the hospital
    ohwrite

    Answer by ohwrite at 12:08 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • My oldest started acting like a baby when I was pregnant. She even un-potty trained herself- it was terrible. I helped her adjust by letting her decorate the nursery and giving her the job of "testing" the baby's toys. Once she went into protective big sis mode she forgot all about peeing behind my dresser.
    CarolBeazeman

    Answer by CarolBeazeman at 12:12 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • My older boys were 9 and 7 when the last one was born. What we did was include them in some of the baby stuff- they got to help pick out some of the baby toys and such, they got to help pick the baby name (we told them our choices and they 'picked' the name). On the day of delivery they got to stay home from school and stay with grandma (then come to the hospital after the birth to see baby brother). The next day my mom picked up my order of bakery cookies for the boys to take to school and pass out to kids in class. The 'big brother' cookies were a big hit! I also let them know how important it was to be 'big brother' and how the baby was lucky to have 'big brothers'. I also included them and asked them to be helpers.
    MizLee

    Answer by MizLee at 12:16 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • Don't call your son the big brother. He may not want to be big and it puts pressure on him. Do not call him or expect him to be the helper. Let him know you will take care of him and the baby.

    Don't let him hug or kiss the baby. That avoids forcing him to act like he cares even if he doesn't (normal). It cuts down on germs. It can avoid him injuring the baby (on purpose or by being "helpful"). Don't let him hold the baby even with you watching.

    Wear the baby in a sling or carrier so you can still do things with your son.
    Gailll

    Answer by Gailll at 12:20 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • Wow! I completely disagree with "don't let him hug, kiss, or hold the baby"!! Clearly you don't want to force/command him ("kiss the baby"), but if he wants to hold the baby I would absolutely let him with supervision and guidance.
    A great technique I learned is this. Put him "in charge" of the baby's feet. Tell him he can only kiss the feet if he asks to kiss the baby (this keeps him away from baby's face). When you are out shopping ask him if he wants to pick out some socks for the baby, and have him in charge of picking out the baby's socks each day (it can make for some interesting outfits!)
    What is happening right now is his fear of the unknown and his feeling a lack of control. Putting him "in charge" of the baby's feet helps to give him a sense of control and help him feel included, just enough.
    maggiemom2000

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 12:42 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • My son was 2 when my DD was born. The jealousy is totally normal. First, involve him. We took the "our baby" approach not "my baby." My son was invited to help pick out baby things. He picked the color of her room. He helped paint it. He loved helping. We took him to the store and had him pick out a welcome home toy for the baby. Another trip to the store I picked out a 'big brother' gift. When DS came to visit us at the hospital the afternoon DD was born *she* gave him the gift. Find games you can play while your feed baby. At that point we did a lot of I Spy and what not. Let him help care for the baby *if* he wants to help. He can burp. He can fetch diapers, etc. Make nap time all about the 6 yr old - play games together, read, whatever HE wants. The house will clean itself later. ;) Find time to take him out for one-on-one time. DH used to take DS one day. I'd take him the next week. It was just one parent, one kid.
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:08 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

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