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Your Baby Week Four

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Updated January 21, 2010

9 of 9

Sibling Rivalry
Getting siblings to help in age-appropriate ways can avoid sibling rivalry.

Getting siblings to help in age-appropriate ways can avoid sibling rivalry.

Stockbyte / Getty Images
Parents often think that their second, third, or even fourth baby will be easy. After all, they will be experts at most issues that come up.

While experienced parents may not be surprised every time their baby cries, has gas, or even has a fever, they may have another problem to deal with -- jealous siblings.

They may even have been prepared for some sibling rivalry when they first brought their baby home and likely took steps to prevent it, such as:

  • preparing their children during their pregnancy
  • not making any other big changes around the time of the baby's delivery date, such as a move to toddler bed, starting potty training, or changing preschools
  • making sure that friends and family spent time with them when they came to see the baby
Many parents aren't prepared for the fact that sibling rivalry may get much worse or may not even start until your baby is about four weeks old. Why? Your baby is likely a little more alert and awake now and so is requiring a little more of your time. That means a little less time for you to spend with your other kids.

In addition to trying to spend as much quality time with each of your other children, you can help prevent and decrease sibling rivalry by:

  • having your kids help in age appropriate ways, such as holding the baby, getting diapers, and putting clothes away, etc.
  • being prepared for changes and regression in your child's behavior and development, such as having more temper tantrums or having some accidents when he was just potty trained
  • encouraging friends and family to spend time with your other kids when they offer to help with the baby, or letting them help with the baby so that you have more time for your other children
  • sticking to your usual routines as much as possible, including mealtimes, naps, and bedtimes
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