The 3 Simple Things That Can Cure Toddler Jealousy

Toddler jealousy. It isn’t something new. I have no statistics to share, but I would say that most families see some amount of jealousy from their toddler when a new sibling arrives in the family. We experienced it with my son, but not so much directed at his little sister. No, it was directed towards me, his mama. I was caught off guard by exactly how much he favoured my husband. It got to the point that if we would hug he would run to us and push me away from his daddy. I’ll be truthful and say that despite everything, it hurt and I wasn’t entirely sure how to deal with it. However, the solution proved to be more simple than I anticipated. Here are the 3 simple things that can cure toddler jealousy.

Discipline

Oi! I know what you’re thinking. Your toddler is just that…a toddler. He doesn’t know that he shouldn’t act the way he is. This is a big adjustment for him, etc, etc.

Discipline seems unfair.

I agree to an extent. When I suggest discipline, I don’t mean ‘time out’ or severe punishment. However, if the jealousy you’re dealing with is aimed towards your newborn, then it may very well be appropriate. Especially if the undesired behaviour involves hurting the baby.

In the case of jealousy towards a certain parent, what I mean is lovingly but firmly letting your child know that the undesired behaviour is not acceptable. For us this just meant a firm telling off.

It may seem harsh, but our marriage relationship comes first.

Our children are a product of our love not what holds it together.

In our home, we strive to show a united front. I back up my husband and he does the same for me. The idea of a child playing one parent against another is not something we entertain.

However, with all that being said, I have never felt that discipline is the whole answer to the issue of toddler jealousy. No. I knew that jealousy stems from the heart and so that is what I needed to examine in my child and work on fixing.

One-On-One Time

Of the three tips I’m sharing with you today, this is by far the one that made the biggest impact.

When my daughter was a newborn, my husband took over my son’s bedtime routine as I was busy settling the baby. When we were dealing with the jealousy issue, we made the decision to switch roles. I was worried my son would resist because he was so attached to my husband, but I was pleasantly surprised to find my son quite obliging to the change of routine.

That was his heart issue.

He missed his mama.

While making sure that we showed him a united front was important, we would have been fighting a losing battle had we not addressed the heart issue.

I’m not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that after just a week of intentionally spending some more one-on-one time with my son, his jealous behaviour disappeared. I was amazed and equally relieved.

Inclusion

When a new sibling arrives, it is natural to get caught up in the craziness of caring for a newborn. It is also natural for your toddler to feel left out. This is what can ultimately lead to nasty behaviour. Your toddler is simply trying to get your attention.

“But I’m SO busy! I can’t stop and spend one-on-one time with my toddler all through the day.”

Oh, I hear you, mama! I know exactly what you mean. Your heart can feel split between your two children and you’re not entirely sure how to fulfil the emotional needs of both. You’re not alone.

I’m no expert. I am only ‘two kids in’, but this is something that helped a lot in those early days.

Inclusion.

You’ll be amazed at how proud your toddler will be when you ask him to help you with the baby in some way. My son was just 18.5 months old when his little sister arrived on the scene. I had two under two for a while. You can check out my 7 tips for how I kept my sanity during that time, here. It was full on, but never terrible. Some of the tasks I would get him to do for me were to fetch nappies or pass me things. They were simple requests that I knew he was capable of. He took pride in being able to help and felt included in our daily activities. I was able to care for our newborn and spend time with our toddler all at once.

Please don’t fall under the illusion that toddlers need to be constantly entertained by one activity or another. Life is what we live and we should be teaching them to take joy and pleasure in all aspects of it.

It Is A Phase

Something to take note of is that when dealt with appropriately, toddler jealousy will end. It is a phase. Spare yourself the guilt and remember that having a sibling is a priceless gift for your child. Their jealousy is not a result of poor parenting on your behalf. It is simply an adjustment to a change in life’s circumstances and a good one at that.

Experienced mamas, share with me your tips for curing toddler jealousy down in the comments.

Until next time!

3 Simple Things To Cure Toddler Jealousy | Use these 3 simple steps to eradicate feelings of jealousy in your toddler. Leave your mama-guilt behind and enjoy your babies!

3 Simple Things To Cure Toddler Jealousy | Use these 3 simple steps to eradicate feelings of jealousy in your toddler. Leave your mama-guilt behind and enjoy your babies!

Hi! I'm Christine...a stay-at-home mum to two tiny humans. My constant focus is having my home run as smoothly as possible. Keeping two kids alive, and maintaining my sanity is also a priority. Most Saturday nights, you can find me hunkered down watching Grey's Anatomy, and hopefully nibbling on some chocolate. :)

  • Andrea

    What a fantastic article on toddler jealousy! I really enjoyed reading it and found it quite insightful! I especially liked where you mention about addressing the heart issue. And this advice applies to not just solving toddler jealousy, but so many other areas of one’s life. Thanks for sharing this fantastic advice! This definitely makes parenting a bit less overwhelming!

    • Christine Keys

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it and found it helpful. 🙂

  • These things very much help curb that jealousy with siblings! It is so important to remember that it is a phase, but you do need to address it, otherwise it will continue (and when they’re older, it’s a lot worse than the little things a toddler does).

    • Christine Keys

      Yes, absolutely!

  • Vanessa Price

    I love that you say upfront your relationship with your husband comes first. It’s so important and really sets the foundation for security that the kids need.

    • Christine Keys

      Totally! It isn’t always a popular stance to have these days but it works for us. 🙂

  • Julie Hoag

    Great ideas for toddlers. They certainly do get jealous. I always liked including my older sons when the new baby came to help combat this, I know when I would feed my youngest, my toddler always had to have his own head resting on the boppy pillow too. Great ideas!!

    • Christine Keys

      Sweet! My son loves to help give his sister a bottle now. 🙂

  • YES! Ever since having my 3rd son in May, the jealousy is REAL! I always make sure to carve out some time for each kid 🙂

    • Christine Keys

      It is hard but I’m glad it ends!

  • Kristina A

    Great write up Christine! I love how you mentioned that the Children are a product of your love and not what keeps it going. The respect of both parents is so important. I am expecting my first child this December and my husband and I hold the same belief about how we plan to parent. Great tips that I plan to keep in mind as we expand our family! Also, glad to know the jealously will just be a phase. God bless.

    • Christine Keys

      All the best with your new arrival! Parenthood is just the best. xo

  • Sharon

    totally a phase! I love how you said that “children a re a product of our love, not what holds us together!” so true and I totally agree! Its how we run our house.