Once Rocky, Always Rocky?
First impressions aren't everything. A toddler who rejects a baby may eventually become her best friend; a child might adore a newborn but grow irritated as the baby begins to grab his stuff. "Like all relationships, this one will change," says Korfmacher. "Often the baby is disappointing because the older one expected an instant playmate."
Show your big kid empathy ("It's hard to listen to the baby cry, I know"), and offer praise when he's kind. Mostly, don't fret. My friend Allison tells this tale: "When Charlotte was born, Lewis wouldn't touch her. When she was about 6 months old, he suggested we take her to the zoo -- so the animals could eat her! I was shocked, but I just said, 'That's not a good idea. That would hurt her.' Somehow that was the turning point." Soon after, Lewis started smiling at his sister, and by the time she was a year old, they were pals.
Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the November 2007 issue of American Baby magazine.
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