Most children want a sibling. But when the baby is there, the older ones suddenly have to share their parents' attention. Especially first-borns then feel reset. "That children are jealous when a sister or a brother is born is quite normal, " says Karin Schreiner-Kürten, a graduate psychologist at the AOK-Bundesverband. "A good preparation and the targeted attention of the parents then help the elderly to cope with the new situation."
When a sibling is there, older people need a lot of attention
With the birth of a sibling, much changes in the life of a child: it realizes that it's not all about it anymore. It is all the more important that parents announce their offspring to their firstborn in good time. As a rule of thumb, the younger the first-born child, the later adults should tell him about the baby.
For children up to the age of two, it is sufficient to explain shortly before birth that another offspring is expected. "Even during pregnancy, you can involve your child by sorting baby clothes together, having it blow over the abdomen, visiting friends with a baby, or looking at picture books on the topic, " recommends Karin Schreiner-Kürten. Parents should also prepare their daughter or son for the mother's hospitalization. The child should know as well as possible the person being cared for.
Giving bigger ones as well
When the sibling is born and relatives or friends come to visit, the baby's first look is usually his first. The older ones are suddenly no longer in the center and react all the more jealous. The psychologist advises: "Make sure that the older child also gets something when the first gifts arrive for the baby and it should also be noted and his progress appreciated."
Especially in the first time, it is important that parents pay as much attention to the greater as possible and show their love - so they can reduce fear of loss. "Consciously taking time for the older child when the baby is taken care of, it feels that it is as important as the baby and that you love it as much as it used to, " says Schreiner-Kürten. The mother or father can also bring out baby pictures of the firstborn and tell him about the time when he himself was an infant.
Spend time with older child alone
It is also important that the parents spend time with their older daughter or older son alone, for example while reading, romping or playing games. So they give their big once again the feeling of being the main character. It makes sense, moreover, that the fathers deliberately deal with the older child when the mother is breast feeding or has to take care of the newborn. Schreiner-Kürten: "Maintain your favorite rituals by, for example, reading a story to your first-born as usual at bedtime."
Include in the care of the baby
To make sure that the older child does not feel excluded, the parents can include it in the care of the baby. For example, they may ask if they would like to help with bathing, wrapping or creaming and then praise it for their cooperation. When the bigger one reacts aggressively, adults should stay calm and accept their mixed feelings whenever possible.
Generally, jealousy, which is shown openly, is better than hidden aggression. Not infrequently, the child is very dear to the sibling in front of the parents. If left alone with him, it annoys or nudges the baby. "Talk clearly to the big guy and tell him not to handle the baby too harshly, but the criticism should be about the cause, not the person of the child, " the psychologist advises. "But avoid that the child feels guilty because it has negative feelings towards the sibling."