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How do I help my 3yr old understand?

My 3yr old (well almost 3) is about to have a baby sister (anytime now) and well I just don't know how he will react to her because of the way he acts towards my SIL's DD (who is almost 2) they live with us for the time being. He acts as though he "hates" her, always hitting her and yelling at her, and god forbid she touch me or his daddy...! He even gets jealous if my DH kisses or hugs his mommy, it's just not aloud in his mind...! I don't know what I'm going to do when the baby gets here and he starts getting jealous of her, I'm afraid of what he might do, and I could really use some advise on how to help him through his jealousy and help him understand....


Asked by lilliedoll at 1:24 AM on Mar. 14, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 11 (558 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • My son had the same issue. He was 2-1/2 and he had a baby cousin (about 1) that he goes to daycare with. He was SO mean to her. he would hit her, say he didn't like her cuz she was a baby, etc. SO MEAN! But I had a new baby in Nov 2010 and I thought it would be the same. He was pretty blah and uninterested at first about the new baby. But once he realized he was not taking all the attention away from him, he was fine. It took about a month or so for him to "accept" his brother. Now he is helpful, protective, loving and all that. Definitely keep him involved with the baby, but don't push him at all.

    As for the hitting, he does need to stop that quick! I do believe in spankings, but not sure hitting him for hitting someone else is going to send the right message either. Good luck and congrats on the new baby! It will all work itself out!

    Answer by Jeannie721 at 5:00 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • its not his sibling so to say. once the baby is born, include him in taking care of the baby. my son is 5 and he helps all the time. its an attention thing. include him in almost everything and he will be good. get him excited bout it.

    Answer by jburns52 at 1:42 AM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • Time out. It is not okay to let them do that.

    Answer by Hatsumomo at 2:54 AM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • my ds was 17 months when i had dd who was on a apena monitor. he was great with her. we explained that she was his baby too and he needed to protect her. he would make sure that she was ok when the alarm went crazy. have ur ds help with getting the diapers and wipes. letting him help makes him feel as if its also his baby. tell him being a big brother is a great thing. u are responsible for makeing sure that she has a smile. if he is invovled with her every day stuff it will make it easier for him

    Answer by knagsmom at 10:46 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • punish, him for hittting...PERIOD


    Hitting is not okay !


    Answer by SissyAnn141 at 1:46 AM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • I got my son a book called "I'm A Big Brother"...I also let him be a part of shopping for ODD. Then, when I was pregnant with YDD, I did the same thing with DS and ODD. I also let ODD "practice" with her baby dolls. I know some people don't like boys to play with dolls, but teaching him how to be gentle with a doll can teach him to be gentle with a baby.

    Answer by laird6372 at 2:37 AM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • I don't let him hit, he gets punished if/when he does, so that's not the question. I do let him help with just about everything I do now, so that wont change, I just don't know how to make him understand that the baby needs a lot of attention. He wants to play with her stuff already (such as the swing and bouncer), I know he's just curious but when I tell him not to press the buttons or sit in them, he says " I'm a baby!". And it's not just those things, he says "I'm a baby!" anytime he doesn't get his way (he also says "I can't, I have baby!" (meaning he's pregnant)). I'm just really at a loss because he is already jealous of everyone and everything, and the baby isn't even here yet, like I said, I let him help with just about everything, and I even buy him something (even if it's just a piece of candy or a "soda") every time I buy something for the baby (just so he doesn't feel left out)!

    Comment by lilliedoll (original poster) at 10:20 AM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • only time will tell. Im sure he will have moments and need to be comforted but I think if you keep talking about the baby in a postitive way then he will be just as excited to the new sibling, good luck and try not to worry about the little things like that, all kids get jealous sometimes.

    Answer by Rebecca25 at 11:49 AM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • It's important to start now! Do not allow him to hit your SIL's DD! At age 3 he can certainly understand that he is just not allowed to hit! He will learn that he just can't do that and by the time the new baby comes, it will just be a rule! Also help him choose things for the baby's room (things that you really don't care that much about). When the baby comes, have a gift ready for him (all wrapped) that's "from the baby". You could also buy a few things at a dollar store and wrap them up. Lots of times friends and family come with gifts for the baby and nothing for him. If that happens, you get to pull out a little gift for him. With him just being 3, that really helps! Involve him as much as you can in preparation for the baby and tell him he will be a BIG brother! Little boys his age, love the idea of being big! Practice kissing and holding other people's children. Let him know you have lots of love to share!

    Answer by AlisonAstair at 5:45 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • His feelings toward his baby sister are going to be unique from his feelings about other little kids...because SHE will be in the house and it'll be very different...possibly better or worse (sorry). You know your child...I would see what kind of attention he generally needs and make sure you have some pre-set things for him to do and participate in with her when she comes. Something I am doing (in the same situation as far as having a new little one) is I am giving my DS (also age 3) a baby doll for Ostarta (Spring holiday). Any doll represents the human form to a child so having the baby doll around to treat kindly and care for (even by YOU to model before hand) could be helpful. If he is rough with the doll, you can use his play to tech him or redirect his actions...before it happens to the baby.
    Good luck!

    Answer by boomamma at 9:06 AM on Mar. 15, 2011