My sister and I are 13 months apart. We had a great relationship growing up and are best friends to this day. When I found out I was having another girl, I imagined my two girl’s relationship to be similar to the one my sister and I have shared our entire life. Best friends sharing everything with one another and a lifetime playmate.
Up until a couple of days ago I had no concern at all with regards to my two year old daughter welcoming the new baby into our home. She’s been really good with going to all of my doctors appointments and always gets excited when we get to see her baby sister “on tv.” She is always very affectionate with my belly and even tells the kids in her preschool class that she has a little sister on the way.
We’ve been slowly trying to transition her in to the state of mind that there will be another little girl living with us very soon. We’ve got the baby’s crib set up in her room across my from daughter’s bed and I’ve even started to get out most of the newborn clothes to get them ready for our upcoming arrival.
So far, my daughter has been okay with all of this. She thinks she is such a big girl and will be the greatest big sister and a big help with her baby sister. I’ve been very confident that was going to be the case until recently.
A couple of nights ago I got home from a get together with a couple of friends. One of my girlfriends bought something for the new baby as well as something for my daughter. When I got home I gave my daughter her gift and then also showed her the gift that was for her little sister. She immediately took her little sister’s gift and started running around the apartment yelling “my bunny.” My husband and I quickly tried to let her know that she has a bunny that is similar, but this bunny was her little sister’s.
She refused to give it back to us and insisted on running around the apartment yelling “my bunny, my bunny.” It even got to the point where she climbed into the baby’s crib to retrieve the bunny after I tried to hide it from her.This was the first time that I have seen this jealous behavior from her. It was like I was seeing a completely different side of my daughter that I have never experienced or even knew she was capable of.
My husband assured me that this is completely normal and admitted he was a bit surprised that it took her this long to express a little bit of jealousy. I told him I really didn’t expect it from her at all.
Maybe I was a bit naive to think that my two year old could be completely calm and excited about welcoming a new baby into the house. Maybe my expectations for her were a bit too high. With this little glimpse into this behavior, it makes me want to make the transition for her as comfortable and easy going as possible.
Did your oldest react similarly to a new sibling? Any advice?
Also on Babble: 10 ways to prep your child for a new sibling