Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Sibling Rivalry - Topic Overview

Preparing for a newborn

Be prepared for a variety of reactions from your older child when a newborn joins your family. It is normal for an older child to feel jealous and displaced when you have another baby. The older sibling may go back to thumb-sucking, abandon potty training, or display other similar behaviors. These acts are children's unconscious efforts to take attention away from the newborn and focus it back on themselves.

Plan for and respond to sibling rivalry before your baby is born with these tips:

  • Prepare older siblings early in the pregnancy by talking to them about the new baby. The most important tool in helping older siblings adjust is to acknowledge their crucial role in the family. For example, you might say, "You are sister's only big brother. You can help us teach her about life. That's very special."
  • Visit your local library or bookstore. There are many excellent books for siblings about having a new baby in the home.
  • Ask your child's opinion when getting ready for baby, such as decorating the baby's room.
  • Realize that sibling rivalry often intensifies after the baby is past the newborn stage, when your older child realizes the permanence of routine and lifestyle changes.

After your baby is born, try some of the following suggestions:

  • Give your older child tasks to do for the baby. The tasks can be adapted to fit the older child's abilities, such as bringing diapers, letting him or her choose the baby's clothing, feeding the baby, helping get the baby dressed, and holding the baby or pushing the stroller.
  • Praise your child for helping with the baby.
  • Plan time alone with your older child. This can help him or her to have something to look forward to when your attention is focused on the baby.
  • Reassure the older child that your love for the baby won't replace the love you have for him or her.
  • Prepare your older child for being out of the limelight. "When we go to the party, your baby brother will get a lot of attention. That's because people love babies, not because they don't like you."
  • Give your older child extra attention when the baby is being fawned over. Also, ask close friends or relatives to give the older child extra attention in these situations.

In time and given the right encouragement, your older child will learn how to deal with his or her feelings toward a new baby sister or brother, to share, to feel responsible for other family members, and to get along with others.

1 | 2
Next Article:

Sibling Rivalry Topics

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd