You just had a new baby, and now, your normally sweet 7-year-old is jealous of the addition to your family. This can be really hard to deal with along with the sleepless nights and post-partum recovery, but I’m a mom myself and have done some research to help you deal with this struggle.
So, how do help your 7-year-old who’s jealous of a new baby? How you help a 7-year-old who is struggling with jealousy varies depending on the child’s individual temperament and behavior, but here are some common things you can try to help your 7-year-old:
- Spend time alone with your 7-year-old
- Let him or her help with the new baby
- Talk to your 7-year-old about their feelings
- Teach your 7-year-old about their new role using stories about being a big brother/sister
Luckily, a 7-year-old is better about understanding why there is a new baby in the home while other age brackets may not understand why their parents can’t spend as much time with them lately. However, that doesn’t mean that the transition will be easy for your 7-year-old. He or she may still find it difficult.
Above, I’ve mentioned a few different ways that you can help your 7-year-old adjust to life as a big sister or brother to a new baby, but I’ve done a lot more research and compiled several ideas and things to help walk you through this challenging time.
Help Your Child Overcome Jealousy During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a great time to start helping your 7-year-old adjust to the idea of becoming a big brother or sister. While you are pregnant, you can do lots of things to help your child feel involved and appreciated. The most important thing you should focus on while you are pregnant is getting your older child excited about the baby and about their new role.
I remember vividly how excited I was when my brothers were born. I was five years old (a little younger than the age I am discussing in this article), but the memory of waiting excitedly in the hospital is something I’ll never forget.
My mom and dad made sure that I knew how important my role as a big sister would be to my new twin brothers when they were born, and it is something that has stuck with me ever since.
So, be sure to talk about the baby often with your 7-year-old while you are pregnant. Talking about the baby, showing them pictures of the ultrasound, and listening to his or her feelings about the baby will really help them adjust to the idea and become excited about it. If you can address their feelings before the baby is born, it help them cope with the newborn phase.
Jealousy During the Newborn Phase
Excitement can carry your child through some of the adjustments. Remember that at this age, 7-year-olds are used to a routine, and they like it. After your baby is born, try to not let your 7-year-old’s tried and true routine vary too much or you might find yourself dealing with some extra meltdowns and aggression.
The newborn phase is often exhausting for parents, and it can be hard for parents to adjust to having another baby around in addition to taking care of their 7-year-old. Having a plan set up ahead of time about how you will juggle spending time with your older child will help you tackle potential jealousy.
When you come home with the new baby, it will be important for you to introduce your child to the new baby and help them bond. A great way to do this is let your 7-year-old sit by you and hold the baby with your help. While your 7-year-old is holding the baby, you can introduce him or her to their new baby brother or sister.
In an article on Aha! Parenting.com, the author suggested letting the siblings be the hero in the eyes of the baby:
“When you get a quiet moment with your older child, call her over to snuggle with you and the baby. (Make sure any other kids are occupied elsewhere; you should do this with each child separately.) Tell the baby that you want to introduce Big Sister, who is a wonderful girl that you hope Baby will aspire to be like. List all the wonderful things you love about Big Sister, that Baby will get to know.”Aha! Parenting.com
This article offers a variety of other tips that can help your child adjust to the idea of a new baby in the home. Go check it out by clicking here!
One of the most important things to remember as you bring home your new baby is that you know your 7-year-old best. After all, you’ve been with them for seven years. You will be able to recognize their feelings and know how to understand what they need. Just be sure to make time for those needs.
How to Handle the Stress of a New Baby and Jealous 7-Year-Old
Being a mother myself, I know how hard it is on you when you have a new baby. Your sore, tired, and overwhelmed by the sudden change of emotions and new challenges of raising two (or more) children. So, what can you do to help yourself manage the stress?
I’ve put together a few tips to help you relax and enjoy your motherhood.
- Take time for yourself: This is extremely important. Mamas, be sure to give yourself time to heal and rest after birth. I know those round the clock feedings can be stressful, but you need to take time out for yourself in order to be the best mother and help your 7-year-old and newborn through life. When I had my first son, I spent way too much time worrying about him and didn’t any time for me. This resulted in me having more emotional breakdowns and stress when I should have been enjoying my new role.
- Spend time laughing with your children: Laughter really is the best medicine, and if you and your 7-year-old are laughing, you both won’t be so stressed about your new roles or jealousies.
- Ask for help: I know that everyone doesn’t have parents or a spouse who can help them through the newborn phase, but it is important to ask for help from those you trust. Have them take your 7-year-old out to the park for a few hours. Have your spouse take them out for ice cream or a special treat of some kind to celebrate their new role. Having that little bit of help will take a huge load off of you.
- Get out of the house: I can’t stress this one enough. I had my first son in winter, so it was really hard for me to just go outside and walk around the neighborhood, but it made such a huge difference being out of the house for a while. Getting out of the house can also be good for your 7-year-old. You don’t want your 7-year-old to feel trapped when your new baby is born or else they might become jealous of the baby and feel upset that the baby is preventing them from going out with mom. Plus, getting out of the house will be great for you too.
How can I stop my child from being jealous? The best way to help your child not feel jealous is to make sure that they understand that they are an individual and are important to you. Make sure your child feels understood and loved. Building their self-esteem will help tremendously with this.
Do babies get jealous? Babies who form a strong bond with their parents may become jealous if the parent interacts with another baby. This is not something to worry about. Babies often don’t understand how to share love yet or deal with the stress of jealousy.
How can I get my children to stop fighting? One of the best ways to help siblings stop fighting is to talk to them individually to find out what is bothering them. Then, help them to talk to each other and solve the problem on their own. Another important thing to remember is not to show favoritism or be partial to one child’s viewpoint.