Reaction of older children

Essential information to rememberMake sure that friends and relatives show as much interest in the older child as the new baby. A little special attention will make her feel better.

Photo: Mélanie Vianna

A child of any age can be worried about and jealous of the arrival of a new baby in the family. This is a normal reaction. It’s important to prepare older children before the birth. Even so, older children may still behave differently for a few weeks. They need time to get used to their new role and to understand that they still have a big place in your heart.

Your older child may fall back into earlier behaviour (e.g., bedwetting, thumb-sucking, stuttering, or asking for the breast). Don’t blame her—these are normal reactions. Keep showing her tenderness. She’ll quickly become attached to the baby. If you give her little chores to do, she’ll feel like a “big” girl. Tell her what you’re doing with the baby and remind her that you did the same for her when she was a little baby. If she wants, sing to her, rock her, and tell her you love her as much as ever.