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Second baby

sibling; new; arrival; toddlers; babies; birth; brother; sister; baby; second. ;

Toddlers

A new baby arriving in the family brings big changes for everyone. It can be very exciting for toddlers and young children but involve some stresses as well.

Toddlers don’t have a strong sense of security and may feel less loved when you spend time with the new baby. Making sure your toddler feels loved and secure will make things easier for everyone.

Older children

This is a big change for older children too.

They may become deeply attached and protective of their baby sister or brother. They may want to act as 'little parents' towards the baby. You can encourage them to learn how to care for their sibling under your guidance.

They can also feel jealous of the attention she is getting, upset when she cries and worried about how you are getting on when you have broken sleep and are often tired. Strong feelings are normal, but children need to learn how to manage these feelings without thinking they are bad because they have these feelings.

It is important to be aware of how they feel. There is more information about helping older children and teenagers adjust on the Raising Children Network website:

Resources

Parenting SA has many more Parent Easy Guides that have much information about parenting and child development.

There are many picture books available to read with young children which help the child to feel that she is still special when the new baby arrives. The most useful ones are those that show that it is normal for the older child to sometimes feel cross and unhappy.

Community libraries are likely to have books for both parents and children, discuss this with the librarian. Most bookshops will have picture books for young children, or try specialist bookshops.  If your child likes reading a particular book, it can be good to own a copy so that your child can 'read' it many times. 

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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