Sibling rivalry refers to the natural jealousy of children toward a new brother or sister. Older siblings can feel jealous when the baby arrives until they are 4 or 5 years old. Not surprisingly, most children prefer to be the only child at this age. Basically, they don't want to share your time and affection. The arrival of a new baby is especially stressful for the firstborn and for siblings less than 3 years old. The jealousy arises because the older sibling sees the newcomer receiving all the attention, visitors, gifts, and special handling.
The most common symptom of sibling rivalry is lots of demands for attention. For example, the older child wants to be held and carried, especially when the mother is busy with the newborn. Other symptoms include acting like a baby again, such as thumbsucking, wetting, or soiling. Aggressive behavior—for example, handling the baby roughly—can also occur. All of these symptoms are normal. While some can be prevented, the remainder can be improved within a few months.
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The first months at home
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