How long does it take an older child to adjust to a new sibling especially one of the same sex?

Cierra - posted on 06/23/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My son will be three next month. He is very territorial especially at his age cause most toddlers are. He is definitely in the "my" phase. I have two older sisters with more than one child, one has four girls and she said that each one was somewhat jealous when the next was born, the other just had a little girl but her youngest was a boy, she said she thinks he adjusted better because he was the only boy. A friend of mine told me her daughter totally regressed, stopped using the potty and everything when her baby brother was born. I want to get some other opinions because I am thinking my son is going to feel like the new baby is infringing on his territory. Are there some kind of routines that can help with the adjustment or is it just something he is going to have to grow into and also how long did it take maybe one of your children to adjust to having a new baby in their life?

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Nazarene - posted on 06/23/2009

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My son was 7 when I had my daughter. He was used to it being just me and him and then not only did I have a husband, but there was a new baby. He was very unhappy. What you have to do is spend a lot of quality time with him to make him feel special. He has to feel like he's loved just as much as the baby. Make sure that you spend at least an hour a day with just him doing something that he likes. Also, let him help with the baby and keep telling him that he's the big brother and mommy's little helper. This will make him feel like he is important as well. And it will take a little while for him to adjust but he will.

Leigh - posted on 06/29/2009

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I think that we all go through this. I attended a class similar to huff & puff, but it was called plus 1. They taught us a few coping skills, like speaking to your first born positively about when the new baby will be here, & that when family & friends came to visit to make a fuss over the new born, to also include the older sibling, so I got some cheap cars & wrapped them up, that way when the baby got a gift, so did his big brother. Make a routine to spend one on one time with your son. Include him on helping out with the baby, like can you get me baby's wipes, nappies, towels etc, that will make your son feel just as important. Don't be harsh on him when he plays up, & he will, but you will be prepared. Good luck & enjoy, I'm sure you will look back (given time) & will be able to say, yay got through that!!

Jennifer - posted on 06/23/2009

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well my son is two and a half, he has a two month old sister, my son hadproblems with the fact that I was missing for a few days he also gets a little jealous sometimes but i make sure to have fun with him running around, the big issue is that he tries to use the baby gear like the swing, gym and bouncy seat whether or not his siter is in them so he tries to sit on her, as for regression our son is still coming into bed with us at night which is understandable a sibling is a big change i just recommend being patient with your son and letting him know you still love him by doing some one on one activies with him, get a sitter take him swimming or the park or something else he enjoys

Emily - posted on 06/23/2009

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just invlove him as much as u can which u are probably doing try to make one day a week if u can were it can be just u and him doing an activity together so that he feels u r not giving all your attention to the baby which i know its hard not to. i have a child over 2yrs and a 6mth old and both girls and my oldest tries to rule the house coz it was just her before babie came along. I had just recently had trouble with my 2yr old with going to bed at night for some reason she would play up coz when it was her bedtime the baby would be up feeding i thyink she was thinking that she was going to miss out on something. u are not alone i tell my oldest she is your baby sister and u need to love her coz she is going to be here no matter what i know that might sound harsh but nothing much u can say but i have been told they will grow out of it. hope i helped a little if anything else i can help with please write back anytime.

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Rebecca - posted on 11/18/2011

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my girls have been really good my oldest wen her sister was born she was fine because i bottle fed her(not by choice) so just wanted to play with her sister all the time. now i have twins(1 girl 1 boy) 2 months and there was some jealousy from my 3 yr old at the beginning but now they think that they have one baby each.lol i have been very lucky to have such kind children.

Sherri - posted on 11/12/2011

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My kids never needed any adjustment time they all handled it extremely well and mine are all the same sex. Actually pregnant with #4 and my 4th boy. I never experienced any jealousy. We just included them all ten fold and that made them so excited to welcome a new brother.

Ren - posted on 11/12/2011

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Good advice but how long does this adjustment phase last, it drives me crazy! Years or months?

Cierra - posted on 06/25/2009

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I really appreciate all of the feedback I've been receiving. It has given me a clearer understanding of what type of behavior is to be expected; I can't thank you all enough you all have given me some very helpful advise if you can think of any other helpful info please feel free to message me or post it cause I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who finds your feedback useful

Cierra - posted on 06/25/2009

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Thanks for the replies. Everyone has given me some very helpful advice so far. I have been hearing so many different things and I know all children are different but just from my own experience my older sister and I are four years apart and my mom told me my sister had such a hard time adjusting to me that she wanted to go and stay with our grandmother. My son is a lot like my sister and the fact that they are born only a day a part doesn't help. The baby isn't even here yet and I'm already seeing signs of regression and defiance. I know a lot of it has to do with his age but I know some of the negativity is coming from the fact that I'm pregnant and I just want to say again I appreciate all the advice

Sam - posted on 06/23/2009

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my daughter was 2 when her sister was born and i found it hard teaching her at first that they were equals but it didn't take long just get them to do activities together as soon as the youngest takes an interest, the oldest feels like their the boss and that makes them silently pleased. just watch for any real nasty behaviour that arises but let them argue like siblings do aswell

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