Toddler jealousy is a relatively common behavior, especially when you have to share your time with two or more children. How do you minimize jealousy experienced by your toddler? Read on mom!
Jealousy of the New Baby
There are some things you can do to head off your toddler’s jealousy of a baby on the way. When your pregnancy starts to show, tell your child about the “baby in your tummy”. Remind him daily that he is going to be a big brother and that the baby will be his little sibling. Ask him if he’s excited about helping you with the baby. Tell him that he has to show his little sister or brother how to do things. Encourage him to talk to the baby inside of you.
When shopping for your baby, let your toddler help pick out the baby items. If it’s a big trip, pick something small out for your toddler as well. Have your toddler pick out his own gift for the baby once the time of birth is near. Remember that it doesn’t have to be practical; just let him have fun with it.
Get him an “I’m the big brother” shirt when he comes to visit you at the hospital. Be sure to focus on him being the big brother, rather than on the baby when he is nearby. Let him hold the baby with your assistance so that he feels the baby is his. If relatives or friends come to visit the baby, remind them to give their attention to your toddler first before turning to the baby.
After you bring home the baby, ask your toddler if he would like to help feed, diaper, and hold the baby? Chances are he will get bored after a while. While it is natural to feel protective over your new baby, having your toddler interact with her as much as possible will make your toddler feel like the baby is his, thereby minimizing jealousy.
After the baby is born, continue doing activities with your toddler on a one-on-one basis. Remember that he needs your time too. Be sure to give him choices and let him make his own decisions and choices within limit. This will empower him and make him feel like the “big boy”.
Jealousy of others
When your toddler is jealous of the time you spend with other people, it is important that you are patient with him. Remind him that you love him by touching and hugging him often. Hold him when he needs your affection and include him as much as possible. This stage will pass soon, and you’ll be wondering when your baby turned into an independent child.