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Toddler jealous of 8mo baby brother

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi there, I'm fairly new to this forum but I have a 27mo daughter who is so Jekyll and Hyde (mostly Jekyll!) with her 8mo baby brother.  I realize that jealously is normal to an extent, but she bites, hits and squeezes which is clearly unacceptable.  Not always, but sometimes.  She can from 'goo goo gaaing' to her brother in a sweet way to giving him an unsuspecting bite on the shoulder!  It's a terrible feeling not being able to leave them alone together.  I don't want to compare, but I can't help but notice that others with children close in age to ours not going through such rivalry to the same extent we are.  And where does she get this hitting and biting and such (which is only getting worse, telling me that our disciplining du jour is clearly is not only ineffective but backfiring)?  She doesn't get it from us and doesn't exhibit this towards anyone else outside of the house (ie: in nursery or during play dates).


Moreover, she gets so much attention from me and my husband as we have the benefit of live-in help; in other words, I have those "extra hands" to hold brother if I need to focus on older sister or vice versa.  I'm a SAHM as well, so while I'm fairly confident that this is not a result of DD not having enough attention, I'm beginning to think this is because she has received too much attention for so long?  Is that possible?  


Bottom line - what are strategies to mitigate sibling rivalry at this age?  And equally, what are strategies to encourage sibling bonds and friendliness?


Thanks in advance for your advice.  I could really use it!


post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

PS. Kindly share any resources that are useful on this topic; websites, books, blogs, etc...  Thank you.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Anybody have any advice about mitigating sibling rivalry?

post #4 of 7

I'm sorry I don't have any solutions for you.  But I wanted to offer you a {{{hug}}}.  I hope someone can come along with some advice for you! 


I have a 24mo & a 5mo (and three older kids).... but for the most part my toddler is gentle with his baby brother. ONE time he did climb up & sit on his baby brother's belly! I pulled him off and scolded him, and reminded him that we have to be gentle with the baby and protect him.


I don't leave them alone together. And anytime he is near the baby, I always make sure to remind him to "be gentle and protect the baby."

post #5 of 7
Okay, I'm surprised more moms haven't chimed in as this really seems to be a common issue with toddlers and new babies. I think a lot of it is personality - dd1 had jealousy issues, but she wouldn't hurt ds, ds was absolutely in love with dd2 and had no jealousy issues at all, and dd2 is currently very jealous and aggressive toward dd3. It makes life with a baby so much more challenging when an older child cannot be left alone with them, even for a few seconds. Most of the time, dd2 does love her little sister, but she does not like sharing me with her. The only thing I can say is that it will get better as the baby gets older and they begin playing together more. The dynamic changes a bit. In the mean time it sounds like you are doing everything you can. Hang in there.

post #6 of 7

sorry, got to say this.....


Jekyll was Dr. Jekyll the good guy

Hyde was Mr. Hyde, the guy he changed into that was all agression


LOL, I read the book about a year ago and I never knew that until I read it.


OK, so we had 1 that was agressive with a little one and what it came down to was us not leaving them alone.  It was frustrating, but until she became consistently good with him, we just stayed close and corrected when needed.  Of course, we also tried to find ways for her to help out.  Things like, "hold the rattle where he can see it while mommy changes the diaper.  EEEEWWWW yucky dipey", making it into a game.  We gave her alot of positive moments of her being with her brother, and limited the negative.  Eventually her habits changed and she became (and still is) extremely protective of her brother. She got to the point that he went in for his well-baby and was getting an immunization, the nurse put the shot in, he screamed, dd punched the doctor.  So, good news is, THEY OUTGROW THIS!!! YAY!!!  Bad news is, there is no quick solution.

post #7 of 7

It was hard for us too but it did get better!  Maybe you could try setting up regular jobs for her to do that are important and that babies cannot do, only big sisters, you know?  That really helped for us and once her little sister hit about 11-12 months old, it changed from having to be very gentle with the baby to hey, now we can play!  I think the constant be gentle kind of irritated her.


This has good tips


If you scroll down to Introducing A New Baby, there are some things that directly apply to a sibling your DD's age.  I really like #8.


Good luck, I hope that helps some!



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