10 Reasons Kids Get Jealous of a New Baby

A new baby is cause for celebration. All the planning and preparations for the new little one can be a lot of fun as showers are given and gifts received. Your world certainly gets somewhat topsy-turvy and especially so if you already have a child or two. If this is your second child, you may be surprised to find that Number One is beginning to show signs of jealousy. Consider these 10 reasons why your child may be jealous of a new baby.

  1. It’s a natural feeling – Even if you know you have done everything possible to prepare your firstborn for the arrival of the second baby, at some point jealousy will rear its ugly head. This is a natural response and if handled correctly can be managed proactively.
  2. The level of attention is decreasing – Firstborn siblings are used to being the center of attention and the center of their parents’ lives. Now that attention is beginning to shift away and depending on the age of the child it can feel rather traumatic.
  3.  Number One may feel left out – As activities gear up for the new baby’s arrival, it is easy for Number One to feel excluded. Parents often prepare a nursery; there are baby showers to attend; shopping is focused on baby things and the spotlight on the firstborn begins to fade.
  4. The old routine has been interrupted – You probably had a certain flow of things before the new baby came along, and now that flow has been interrupted. This can cause anxiety for the older sibling who has become used to a certain routine.
  5. It’s not the fun it was touted to be – Many parents prepare older siblings for the new baby by telling them they will finally have someone to play with. Unfortunately, the older sibling is thinking of a ready-made playmate, so when the baby comes home and can’t play catch, or tag or any other game AND takes up all the time and attention of Mom and Dad, Number One may start to feel jealousy taking over.
  6. Cleaning up after baby – At first it may seem a privilege to help clean up baby’s little messes. But after a while, the older sibling may begin to feel that something is wrong with the picture where baby gets to make the mess without any consequences. After all, when Number One makes a mess the expectation is that it will be cleaned up by Number One. Jealousy over Baby’s honored position of no responsibility can crop up.
  7. All the pretty toys – New babies are often inundated with new toys. From crib mobiles to stuffed animals to books and other things they may not use for a while, the new baby receives all kinds of new things. Many times older siblings don’t get much of anything. For youngsters this is grounds for the green eyed monster to really get going.
  8. Babies don’t have to be quiet – It may seem unfair that this baby gets to cry all night long, but Number One has to be quiet all the time. After being disturbed enough times, Number One may get a little jealous about the disparity of quiet time.
  9. Babies are so cute! – Everyone always talks about how cute the baby is and few seldom notice Number One’s cuteness anymore. Not only that, but when Number One does those goofy little things to remind folks, all that usually happens is that Number One either gets ignored or a reprimand for acting silly. No wonder Number One is jealous of Baby Cutie Pie!
  10. The “replacement kid” – Of course you are not replacing Number One with Number Two, but Number One may not know that. Feelings of resentment and jealousy can easily set in if for any reason than that the older sibling has the misperception that this new addition is a replacement kid. You may have to work harder in the love and affection department to reassure an older sibling that this is not the case.

Many older siblings will have some leanings toward jealousy at one point or another as time progresses with the new baby. Rest assured that these feelings are natural and with patience, love and compassion you can help your child overcome such feelings.