Sibling rivalry

United States
April 14, 2007 12:41pm CST
I just had my son 2 weeks ago, and before he came along my 2 year old daughter and I were very close. Now that he is here it seems like we have grown apart, and this really upsets me. I know that I have to pay a lot of attention to the new baby, and that sometimes makes it hard to pay as much attention to my daughter. She always seems so emotional lately. Has anyone been in a similar situation? What are some suggestions for getting the relationship I had with my daughter back? Any advice will be very helpful.
1 person likes this
3 responses
@biwasaki (1745)
• United States
7 May 07
I am in the same situation now with my two year old and my two month old. Luckily, I had some prior experience with this and the same tactic that I employed before seems to be working this time as well. Try and include your daughter in the care of her brother. If you settle down to feed him and the bottle is out of your reach, ask your daughter to get it for you. When you change his diaper ask her to pass you a new, clean diaper or the powder. Any little thing that you can ask her to do that would help care for her brother is great. It will make her feel included and it will help instill in her that she should take care of her brother and love him, rather than resent him for taking up all of your attention. Of course at this age, I'm sure your son sleeps a lot so try and spend time with her while he's napping. Even if it's just cuddling on the couch while you watch a cartoon or sitting down to have lunch. It does get easier as they get older, so don't give up hope. Good luck!
• United States
9 May 07
Thankfully since the time I posted this discussion, things have gotten a lot better. She is now more involved in the day to day care of her brother and now that he is starting to smile she is becoming more excited and interested in him! When he is sleeping we try to do as much together as possible, even if its her helping me clean the house or fold the laundry. We still continue with our nightly rituals also, which consist of taking a bath and reading her favorite princess story. All in all things are looking up. Thanks for the comment!
@biwasaki (1745)
• United States
9 May 07
That's great news! I'm glad to hear that she is getting more involved with her brother.
• United States
15 Apr 07
I can understand what you are going through I have a 14 month old daughter and a 3 month old son. I have been a stay at home mom since my daughter was born. We were always close but she is more of a daddys girl than anything. I had never been away from her overnite until I had to go have my son. That is when things got a little crazy. She wasnt to bad when it came to me doing things with my son but when my husband did she would throw a fit. Things have gottrn better were the both of us are converned. I set time aside every day where it is just me and her doing something. I think that it makes her feel specail. My husband does the samething on the weekends when he has off. Plus I try to include her in on things that she can "help" with when it comes to her brother. She is a really good big sister. She justed wanted to be included. Since I let her do things like get the diaper when he needs to be changed, she will go get his coat when we are going somewhere just little simple things that she can do that makes her feel like a big girl. She still throws fits every once in awhile when she thinks that she is getting enough attention or if she thinks that he is getting to much. But things have gotten a lot better. It is cute sometimes because when he starts to fuss and cry a lot of times she makes it to him before I do. She has to make sure he is ok.
• United States
15 Apr 07
Sounds pretty encouraging. At least I know that the jealousy and guilt will pass as long as I continue to keep things as normal for her as possible and pay as much attention to her as I can. Thanks for the advice.
• United States
14 Apr 07
I know EXACTLY how you are feeling. My son is almost 2 years older than my daughter (my daughter was born the day before my sons birthday). I quit my job to stay home when my son was born so we were VERY close. I had never been away overnight from him until my daughter was born. After I came home things were completely changed. My son would try to hit my daughter (and he actually accomplished it a couple of times) and he would not sit with me anymore. What made things worse was that the more agressive he was with the baby the more I had to hold her so she would be safe from him. I wish I had done things differently looking back. They play now together but we never had our old relationship back. The good thing is that it is your DAUGHTER that you are trying to deal with. Most little girls have a natural mommy side to them. I would try to see if you could incorporate her into helping with the baby sometimes. It may make her feel special to be helping you with something so important or you could get her a new special baby doll that she can take care of with you. The one thing that I can say I wish I had done was to have special time with my son AS SOON AS THE BABY WAS BORN. Even if someone (hubby/significant other/family/friend) watches the baby for an hour while you and your daughter go for a special walk together or run down for an ice cream treat or a special trip to the library/park/etc. Perhaps different things each time. When baby is asleep try curling up with her to watch a movie together that way you can rest but it is snuggle time with HER. One more thing...if there were any special things you did with her before the baby (special bedtime reading or something) than try as hard as you can to continue with that. It will help if she doesnt' see the baby as taking you away her special time with her. No matter what you do you will feel guilt. Sorry to tell you that but I think it is part of being a mom. I hope it all works out for you. Congrats on the new addition!
• United States
15 Apr 07
Thanks so much for the advice. I guess I can say I am lucky in that my daughter is still very affectionate towards the baby. She just seems to be mad at me, not him. I am definitely trying to keep things the same as before the baby as far as our routine goes. The guilt usually comes when I have to put her off or tell her I can't do something with her when I am taking care of the baby. You can see the hurt in her eyes when I pay attention to the baby and not as much to her. But we are slowly learning to get through these things so hopefully very soon things will be back to normal.