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02nd Jul 2019

What do you do when your older child is jealous of your newborn baby?

It can be difficult.

Welcoming a new baby into the family is a wonderful time – but it can come with its worries if you have older children.

How will they react? Will they be jealous? Will they reject the child?

One thing we know for sure is that you have to make an extra effort to make sure they feel loved and that you have just as much time for them as you do your newborn.

However, one mum took to Mumsnet to say her daughter has gone the opposite way. She says she’s jealous – but won’t stop holding the baby and says that the baby loves her more than the parents.

The mum wrote:

“Me and DH have a 2 month old DS. I was worried for the whole pregnancy about [DSD] becoming jealous and pushed out. We did everything in our power for that not to happen. DH still has 1-1 time with her and I take DS out so they can do that. He spoilt her at Christmas as he wanted to let her know she was special. He talked to her about if she had any worries.

“Well, the jealousy has kicked in… but, she’s gone the opposite way… she’s so possessive over her brother. She tells me he doesn’t love me as much as her. Won’t give him back when she holds him (makes excuses and we physically have to pry him out of her hands). When he cries she tells me it’s because he doesn’t like me and wants to be with her etc etc.

“She’s only 7, so this clearly stems from somewhere. Maybe she is jealous and doesn’t want to see us holding him, or maybe she really does just want to hold him all the time. I don’t know. But I really need some advice on how to deal with this as it is getting me down and I’m worried about it.”

Many mothers replied to the post and said that her jealousy will soon wear off:

“I would say make the most of it. She’ll soon get fed up with it. If she wants to hold him then sit her down comfortably in an armchair and let her cuddle him while you get on with chores. Babies like to be held and he won’t know who it is holding him.

“He’ll soon get too big for her to manage and will be crawling and walking all over the place, pulling her hair, taking her toys, being a nuisance.”

While another said that she doesn’t think her step daughter is jealous at all, but more insecure:

“She doesn’t sound jealous, she sounds desperately insecure. The best you can do is offer her love, patience, understanding and firm boundaries.

“Agree that he loves her very, very much but be clear that there is no hierarchy with love in families – every baby comes with enough love for everybody, no need to rank it. Also be clear as to when she can hold the baby and when she needs to leave him alone.”

What would your advice be to this mum?