Health Tip: Adjusting to a New Sibling

Older child may find it difficult

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) -- The arrival of a second baby may elate the parents, but the first-born may harbor other feelings -- such as jealousy, resentment and anger.

The Nemours Foundation, which runs, says it's a good idea to play up the role of the older sibling to help him or her adjust:

  • Let your older child help pick out items for the new baby's room. If your children will be sharing a bedroom, this is particularly important.
  • Find a special gift that your older child might like to share with the baby, such as a favorite book or toy, or a photo of the sibling for the baby's room. You might also want to pick out something for your older child too, such as a special chair that he or she can sit in while you're feeding the baby.
  • Arrange a special time only for you and your older child. This might involve a trip to the library, grocery store, or simply reading a few extra stories at bedtime.
  • There are several books written especially for older toddlers who are about to become big brothers or sisters. Check a local bookstore or ask your librarian for specific titles.
  • Prepare your child for what to expect when the baby comes home. Assure the older child that although the new baby needs lots of attention, there will still be plenty of time and love for him or her.
  • Consider taking your child on one of your prenatal visits or letting him or her be present for an ultrasound. If you're giving birth in a hospital setting, ask about sibling visitation.


Last Updated: