Siblings, Say Hello to Your New Sister? Brother?

The first time your baby meets sisters or brothers can be tricky. The kinds of problems you have will depend on the age of the older children. Younger children often say to their parents: "Let's take the baby back now, OKAY?"

It isn't easy to take care of the baby and a young child, too. Your child will miss being the center of attention. Many young children suddenly act like babies again. If your child asks for a bottle or sucks a thumb, try to be patient. This is normal.

You know, babies don't get jealous! But your toddler, preschooler, gradeschooler or teenager might be jealous of a new baby. (Even if they don't admit it.) There are lots of things you can do to help your child get along with the baby:

  • Spend time alone with your child. Have some fun together while the baby is asleep.
  • Talk about the baby together. Tell your child what babies need and what they like.
  • Toddlers can get diapers or find toys. Praise your child for being a good helper.
  • An older child can help you change diapers or feed the baby. Be careful not to ask an older child for too much help with the baby's care.
  • Visitors have a lot of questions about the new baby. Let your older child tell visitors how much the baby weighs and what you named the baby. This will make your child feel very special.

Some children have more trouble getting used to a new baby. If you're worried about your child, call your child's doctor or nurse for advice.