Expecting Our Third . . . Oldest Upset

Updated on April 24, 2012
M.S. asks from Lenexa, KS
8 answers

We are expecting our third child, a boy, in July. My daughter who will be 6 when the baby is born is beginning to throw tantrums and fits as I remember her doing when I was pregnant with our second. What is killing me is that she is throwing fits and saying "you love RJ (her 3 yr old brother) more than me and you will love the baby more than me". I have tried explaining to her that I love all of the kids the same and that although the baby might need me more at times that I still love her dearly. She was disappointed when she found out it was a boy but gets really excited about having another baby around. She loves to feel the baby kick and move and she kisses my stomach often. I know this is a phase but I worry and wish I could say and do more to assure her that I love her equally.
Has anyone gone through this? What helped or didn't help? Looking for any advise to calm the tantrums and "drama" in our household : ) Thanks Moms & Dads!!!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you Ladies . . . this truley helps. I had thought about starting to do girl outings with her but I will tell ya, it is hard when she throws a tantrum. Although I am trying to make this transition as easy as possible on her I also want these specials outings to be earned to some degree. Meaning I don't want to reward her with these outings when we have had a rough week. Maybe I am looking at it wrong but we try to reward or have special dates/treats with good behavior. Anyway, many of you had some great suggestions so thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

More Answers


answers from San Francisco on

I remember before my second child was born, I was trying to gain some perspective on what it would be like for my older child (I'm an only child, so I had no personal experience with this). I read a book that said, imagine if one day your husband came home and told you, "Hey, honey, guess what? I'm bringing home a new wife! You'll love her! She's so cute. I'll probably be spending all of my time taking care of her, and you'll have to take care of her, too. I'm doing this for you! Aren't you excited?" And THAT's how children feel at the prospect of a new brother or sister - they don't want to share the attention of the people they love the most, and it feels like a betrayal to them. This was a revelation to me.

What I did with my oldest was to emphasize how great it is to be a "big kid." She is able to do so many things - ride a bike, climb on the jungle gym, dress herself, help in the kitchen, swim... babies can't do that stuff. They just lay there and drool, poop, and cry, poor little things. And I was also honest with her. Babies do require a lot of attention and care. That doesn't mean Mommy loves Baby more, it just means that babies need to eat all the time! I've also never told my kids that I love them both the same. That's not true - I love them for different reasons. I love my older daughter's independence, intelligence, grace, and humor. I love my younger daughter's sweetness, zany personality, curiosity, and imagination. They are totally different people, so I could never love them just the same. My younger daughter, therefore, could never be a replacement for my older daughter, and vice versa - and they know this.

One thing I would really encourage is for you to make a date with your daughter weekly, or more often if you can manage it, to do things with her while someone else watches her little brothers. (Likewise, do this with your older son.) This way she knows that you value spending time with her, and she has your undivided attention during that time. It might even be something as simple as taking her to the park before soccer practice, or going for an ice cream after school. It's important for her to know that she has a special place in your heart and in your life - it's scary for her to think that she is being displaced.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hmm.. I have two daughters, ages 8, 5 & I am 7 weeks pregnant. When my oldest daughter was 3, and her baby sister was born, she was always very excited about her baby sister. I never had any issues with her. I always made sure (at the advice of our pedi) to keep her feeling included and important, and made sure she knew she had a very important job to do as big sister. Giving her a 'role' to fill I think gave her purpose and she never had time to think about what she was potentially losing. Now, my younger daughter, 5, is having to deal with the same thing. My 8-year-old is a veteran, and coaching her little sister on how to be a big sister. My younger daughter is so excited about her 'special job' coming up. When I talk to her about it, she gets so excited, her little chest pops out with pride, and it makes me laugh.

Give your daughter a role. She is big sissy! She has to show RJ how to be a big brother! That's important. Tell her to tell him what to expect, it's her job to coach him through it! Tell RJ his job is very important too! Watch them get excited about it.

After baby is born, make sure to give them tasks to do every day. "RJ, can you please hold this bottle for baby so Mommy's arm can rest?" "Daughter, can you show RJ how to feed the baby?" etc.

Congrats on your growing family!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

My daughter loves our "Ladies Only" dates. I'm not sure how this will work for you since you have two and soon to be three. Perhaps every Saturday, leave your son with Dad and take her out while you can, just you and her. Get a special treat at a grocery store, walk to a park. I think it might help. Give her a little more Mommy time before baby needs it. help her remember how much better it is now that she's a big girl. All the fun things she gets to do now and the baby and even her brother can't. Bike riding and swinging high in swings and getting to eat treats.

I've even swaddled my 5 year old to help remind her how much better it is being big. She hates holding still, so I made it a bit of a game, I cuddled her up in a blanket and cradled her like a baby. When she wiggled I reminded her she couldn't, she's the baby now, she can't watch TV and she can't play with her toys because new babies are too small and young for those thing. I think it helped her.

You can even give her more "Gorwn-up" jobs around the house. Maybe set the table or fetch you things for the baby, let her help get the baby room ready, let her buy a special something for the new baby.

You can use these to help your son adjust too. Just some things I'm doing to get my #1 ready for my #2.



answers from Kansas City on

I have a book that might be a good one to read to your daughter. It is called "You are all my favorites" by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram. The same author wrote "Guess how much I love you". It is a story about three baby bears, two boys and a girl. The baby bears are worrying that their parents love one more than the others. At six I think your daughter is having trouble understanding that love is infinite and can be shared without running out. My daughter tended to think love was like cake at that age, there was only so much to go around before it was all gone.

Best wishes for your growing family!



answers from Phoenix on

My oldest is a boy and was thrilled to have a sibling finally after being an only child for 8 yrs. Baby 2 was a boy and he loved him, dressed him up in all the cool sunglasses, bandana's..loved, loved him. Then to the whole families surprise baby number 3 joined the group. Oldest was NOT happy. We already have a baby, he said its going to be too busy. And it was and still can be. Baby number 3 is a girl. He come to love her too, as matter a fact he is more patient with her then he is his brother. They are 14, 5 and 4. We didn't want such a huge gap in age, but that is the way nature gave it to us.



answers from St. Louis on

The word love can mean many things. She may not be worried at all about weather you adore her, feel affection for her, or desire her nearness. She may be worried about very specific things. It is often a mistake to assume we understand their issues. It is best to help give them language to express their concerns by asking more specific questions.

So, although I would try to help her understand the constancy of a mother's love, I would follow my explanation with questions until the anxiety has abated.

It is often best to use stories and metaphors to help a child understand these completely abstract ideas. Kids love experiments. Take different size mirrors outside on a sunny day. Experiment with them and demonstrate how the mirror can turn toward light or dark and then it will be filled with whatever it chooses to face itself. Then I would explain that a mommy's love is like the sunshine and she can turn the mirror of her heart to loving thoughts instead of worry thoughts and she will see and feel how her heart lights up with all the love that shines for her, day and night! Then you can begin asking her what sort of worrisome thoughts makes her heart feel scared about Mommy's love not being enough for her? Could she be worried that Mommy won't have time to play as much together? Could she be worried that Mommy won't respond to her when needed? You can help her understand that every time she sees you loving her little brother and is happy that she has a mommy that loves all her babies, it will cause the mirror of her heart to fill up with all the love she could ever want. It is helpful if she has seen how it makes Daddy happy to watch how Mommy loves her babies. Instead of Daddy feeling like he isn't loved, he feels even more love. This metaphor can help her understand that she has the power to receive love and that she can learn to be responsible to listen to her own thoughts and choose to adjust them for her own happiness. But, by asking about more specific needs she might be worried about, it will allow you to help her make a plan so that she will know how to ask for what she needs.

You can further explain that when God makes a baby, God also makes everything the child needs. Each time a baby is created, God puts even more love into a mommy's heart. So, instead of their being less love, there will be more!

There are many metaphors that can be used to demonstrate this. You can show her that each time a tree grows a new branch, it also grows a new branch of roots beneath the ground to feed it. But the tree never stops feeding one branch so it can feed the new branch. This is why we call it a family tree!

Good luck with this. You might find that these conversations and explorations will provide a foundation for the kind of communication you will need to solve many issues as she grows.



answers from Washington DC on

I wouldn't even make it about the baby. I would just find ways to interact with her and reassure her in your actions vs your words. You know this is a phase and she's even more aware of the transition at this age. Just make it a point to include her in things and show her she'll always be your special girl.



answers from Chicago on

Instead of telling her how much you love her, show her. Give her special time, ad do your best to continue this when the baby comes. My twins had just turned two when I became pregnant with my daughter. They didn't really understand, but when she was born I made sure I still spent quality time with her. We've never had any jealousy issues!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions