Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Sibling Rivalry
COVID-19 Info: Please help us slow the spread of coronavirus - Wear a Mask, Wash Your Hands & Wait 6 Feet Apart! Visitor Policies and Precautions | COVID-19 Testing| Vaccine information | Commitment to Safety | Current Numbers
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:
After your baby is born, try some of the following suggestions:
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.
Older children have an intense need to measure up at home and get positive feedback from their parents. Often conflict arises because children feel they are competing with their siblings for this attention. Be sensitive to these often subtle struggles between siblings. And avoid comparing your children to each other.
If there is a war going on between the siblings in your house, don't be discouraged. Dealing with this conflict often serves as a useful training exercise in which siblings gain real-life experience in overcoming problems.
Like much of parenting, responding to sibling rivalry involves walking a fine line. In this case, parents might allow siblings to work out problems on their own, while also making sure that one sibling is not taking advantage of the other.
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.