September 13, 2023 2 min read

Welcoming a new baby into the family is a special time, but it also brings changes that can affect the dynamics at home. It's not uncommon for older siblings to experience some negative emotions, including jealousy and competition towards the new family member. As a parent, finding ways to handle these feelings and create a harmonious environment is essential. In this article, we'll dive into 8 practical tips on how to gracefully manage breastfeeding with an older child, and address any feelings of jealousy or competition that may arise.

Openly communicate with your older child about breastfeeding and its significance for the baby's growth. Use age-appropriate language and explain that just like they had special moments with you, the baby also needs those moments to grow strong and healthy. Start talking about this before the baby is born to give your older child time to ask questions and feel comfortable about it.

It's natural for older siblings to feel a mix of emotions. Validate their feelings by acknowledging that it's okay to feel that way. Assure them that you love them just as much and that these feelings will gradually ease.

Set aside dedicated one-on-one time with your older child. Whether it's a short walk, a special outing, or a cozy evening chat, these moments will remind them of their special place in your heart.

Help your older child understand the baby's needs by explaining that babies can't do many things by themselves. Encourage empathy by looking through their baby pictures and asking questions like, "Remember when you were a baby?”

Keeping a consistent routine that includes quality time with your older child can help them feel secure and involved. Having predictable moments for play, reading, or outings can reassure them that they're still a priority in your life.

Designate specific moments for your children to bond. Let your older child choose an activity they enjoy or involve them in simple baby-related tasks like diaper changes or choosing baby's clothes. This involvement can foster a sense of responsibility and inclusion.

Emphasize the role of an older sibling as a guide and mentor. Let them know that the baby looks up to them and that they're an important part of their sibling's life. Praise their involvement and contributions to the family.

Have a basket filled with toys, activities and snacks that he/she enjoys that is only for while you are breastfeeding. You can even include books that you can read together. This may help your child look forward to feeding time!

Breastfeeding with an older sibling in the house can be a beautiful journey of growth and bonding for the entire family. By maintaining routines, involving them in baby-related activities, and addressing any feelings of jealousy or competition with patience and empathy, you can create an environment where both your baby and older child can thrive. Remember, your love and attention is limitless, and finding a balance that suits your family's dynamics will help everyone embrace this new chapter with open hearts.