Sibling rivalry?

Having a baby when you already have a toddler is definitely a very different experience to the first. It’s true I think that you are more experienced and so a bit more relaxed. And it doesn’t seem quite as overwhelming. I am very fortunate though that Bub’s daddy is a very hands on dad and fully able and willing to do all the toddler childcare right now. That’s been a godsend and life would be very tough and challenging if I were at home alone with them both.

But one thing I think is probably challenging for all parents, regardless of how many pairs of hands you have, is helping the older sibling adjust to having a new and rather demanding family member.

Bub has been pretty good so far. I had been stealing myself for lots of jealousy and aggression. And fortunately we’ve not had that. But it’s definitely been very disruptive for him and he’s not exactly delighted Baby is here.

I’m not pushing it so he’s not been encouraged to hold or interact with Baby any more than he wants to. And at the moment his interaction is pretty limited. But he does show flashes of caring about his little bro. Whenever Baby cries he comes straight over to me to tell me ‘Baby needs boobie milk now mummy’. And apart from wanting to sit on my knee whilst I’m feeding a fair bit he’s not shown any other jealousy signs at all yet. Though when we went to softplay today he did tell me several times to leave Baby in the car. I explained why we couldn’t but I think he’d still have preferred to have left his brother behind for a while.

I think it helped that we ensured that Baby brought a big gift for Bub which was here as soon as Bub met his brother. He fully believes that this is from the baby and is quite chuffed with his new toy. Plus friends and family have been great at sending Bub cards and gifts – he’s had more than the baby. All this does seem to make a real difference.

So still very much early days. And I’m sure Bub will lash out sooner or later, we are keeping a very close eye. But do far I’m really pleased with how well he’s doing.


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