Bonding Tips For Toddlers Who Hate Newborn Siblings

When toddlers are told that they are going to be an older sibling, there is an air of excitement that comes with the announcement. But with the acknowledgment of having a new baby in the house does not always come with an understanding of what that truly means from the standpoint of the relationship between parents and toddlers. As such, it can be a shock to little ones when newborns are brought home and the attention is not only on them any longer. Something that can cause sibling rivalry to begin at a young age. Meaning that parents need to move quickly to find ways for toddlers who hate their newborn siblings to bond to turn the tide of the relationship for the better.


No matter how well parents feel they have prepared their toddlers for the arrival of their newborn siblings, there is going to be a transition period in which toddlers will need to figure out what their role is in the family. Something that toddlers will not only need assistance with doing but will need to be given some grace as they navigate these new waters. And while it can be rocky for a stretch, if toddlers are given the love and attention they need, they will eventually come around to their newborn siblings. Leaving room for a bond to be formed.

Validate Feelings That Toddlers Have

Once newborns have arrived, parents may be surprised at how their toddlers’ behavior changes. Little ones who were once happy and carefree, can become angry and show babyish tendencies. All of which are normal and need to be validated by parents to help toddlers through what can be a difficult transition.

According to Family Livesit is natural for toddlers to have “feelings of jealousy” towards their newborn siblings. Feelings that can come across in the form of “confusion” and “frustration.” Leaving parents wondering what they are witnessing.

The ways that these emotions are expressed may not be appropriate. However, per the publication, toddlers should not be punished for how they feel. Instead, their feelings should be acknowledged and validated. Something that will let them know that how they feel is appropriate. But the way they express them may need a little tweaking.

By doing this, according to Family Lives, toddlers will again feel secure in their role in the family. This will allow them to move past their angry and upset feelings. And the process of bonding can begin.

Allow Toddlers To Help Out

As toddlers are trying to navigate life with a newborn in the house, having them help out here and there can help to build a bond between the new siblings that may not be there from the start.

According to letting toddlers help out with babies, they are putting themselves in the position of being able to show affection to their siblings. This can be done by lightly touching them, using a baby brush to softly brush their hair, or even giving little kisses on the cheek. Every time they do this is an opportunity for parents to praise their oldest children for how sweet they are being.

When toddlers want to help out with newborns, they are showing an interest in the little ones. This interest can be blossomed by Encouraging words from parents and statements of how proud they are for toddlers taking such good care of their siblings.

These things may not seem like much, but with the positive feedback toddlers receive when they are loving and helpful can easily begin to translate into a bond with newborns. Something that will turn a dislike or worse, into love.

Carve Out Alone Time

Many times, the resentment that toddlers feel toward newborns comes from feeling newborns are taking all the attention from parents. To make sure this does not happen, carving out alone time with toddlers is essential to making them feel special and loved.

According to CS Mott Children’s Hospital, while it is special to be able to take toddlers on trips without their siblings, with a newborn just joining the family this is likely not feasible all the time. But, being able to consistently set aside a certain amount of one-on-one time daily will go a long way.

While more is better, even if it is just 10 minutes per day, per the publication, it can make toddlers feel important and like they are not being replaced. And when this happens, toddlers will be more willing to accept their younger siblings and even begin the process of not hating them.

Make Sure Toddlers Feel Special

Toddlers may feel like newborns are more special than them because all they see are the little ones getting all the attention from their parents. This can easily make toddlers hate their new siblings. But, if parents can find ways of making toddlers feel special, the resentment felt can easily dissipate feelings of love.

According to BabyCenterways to make toddlers feel special when they have a newborn sibling include:

  • Give a toddler special jobs
  • Make positive comments about how newborns behave around their older siblings
  • Ask for toddler’s advice
  • Read stories about how special it is to be the older sibling
  • Acknowledge any feelings the toddler has and make sure they feel understood
  • Do things together that are too old for newborns to do

By finding ways to make toddlers feel special, they will not feel threatened. And when newborns do not pose a threat, they are much easier to love.

Let The Bonding Come Naturally

As much as parents want their little ones to be instant best friends, this not always going to happen. And that is okay. It is much better for toddlers to bond with their siblings on their own terms rather than forcing the issue.

According to Dr. Sears, it is natural for toddlers to be upset that they have a new sibling. But if parents do things to keep the routine the same, give one-on-one time to toddlers, and do not make it a requirement to spend time with their new siblings, toddlers will eventually come around. And when they do, hate will dissipate. Hopefully, being replaced with love and a special bond only siblings share.

Source: Family Lives,, CS Mott Children’s Hospital, BabyCenter, Dr. Sears

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