Toddler sibling advice from mums

Get your children sharing and playing together peacefully with these helpful hints from other mums

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Getting your toddler to accept a new baby

“Don’t use your baby as the reason for stopping your tot from having fun. Never say, ‘You have to be quiet as the baby’s sleeping.’ Instead say something like, ‘Mummy’s ears hurt so can you be a bit quieter please.’ Otherwise your tot might resent the new baby.”

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Siobhan Godwood, 33, from Leicester, mum to Conor, 6, Aaron, 3, and Jamie, 1

Introducing your toddler to a new baby

“We made sure Joe was involved right through my pregnancy with Alice. I got him to feel when she kicked and took him shopping to buy baby clothes, letting him pick her coming-home outfit. By the time she arrived he was so excited to tell her all about the last few months, he was fine.”

Elizabeth Jenkins, 35, from Oxford, mum to Joe, 3, and Alice, 4 months

To help sibling sharing

“Emma went through a phase of not wanting to share her toys with her sister. I bought a cheap stopwatch and if one of the girls was playing with something the other wanted, I’d let them each have a certain amount of time with the toy, and showed them they were getting equal time on the stopwatch. Emma got through the phase quite quickly!”

Nina Fields, 39, from Essex, mum to Emma, 5, and Annie, 3

“Ethan isn’t too good about sharing toys with his friends. So we started the ‘five minutes each’ rule where each child gets five minutes to play with a toy. Ethan now gives the toy up willingly when his time is up as he’s learnt he’ll get it back.”

Sarah Briggs, 31, from Essex, mum to Ethan, 3

Dealing with sibling jealousy

“For overcoming toddler jealousy among siblings I find that it helps to have one day a week where you do an activity with each child individually. For example, Gemma has a dance class which I take her to, and then another day I take Jacob swimming while Gemma is at pre-school. This way both children know they get time with mummy.”

Kate Fever, 25, from Devon, mum to Gemma, 4, and Jacob, 20 months

“Get your little ones doing crafts together. Put your older child in charge of glueing, for example. Say something like, ‘You’re big enough to do that, but it’s not safe for your little sister,’ and then give your younger child a task she can cope with. They’ll both have responsibility, and also learn to work together.”

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Bridget Allen, 37, from Mid Glamorgan, mum to Jessica, 6, Philippa, 4, and Tristan, 23 months

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