Coping with sibling rivalry is an expected part of the parenting journey, but what a drag for one of my mama pals that their first experience with rivalry presented itself in the form of poop smeared all over the crib formerly belonging to the older sibling, likely not coincidentally following the baby sister’s first snooze in the crib.
ParentCenter and AskDrSears offer useful advice on how to cope with sibling rivalry by preparing and involving the older sibling before and after the baby arrives. Related to my friend’s experience, ParentCenter notes that aggressive behavior, particularly from 2 year olds, is common. It seems that communication will be the big challenge; you need to find a way to encourage the sibling to talk about their feelings of jealousy and anger and relate that it is normal to feel this way (but not acceptable to act out towards the younger sibling), while curbing your own fuming and potential urge to punish (which could invoke more aggressive behavior). Click here for our post on time-outs, which may serve well in situations like this.