Moms Respond: How Did You Handle Sibling Rivalry?

We asked our readers to share their no-fail tips on handling sibling rivalry.

Hands On

When my twin boys start to bicker, I have them sit on the couch and hold hands quietly until they decide to make up. After a few moments, all is forgiven.
Ashley, Atlanta, Georgia

Feet First

redheaded boy crossing arms and looking at mom's pregnant belly

To help smooth the transition, I purchased a doll that could be bathed and dressed and had our son play with it prior to the new baby's birth. Each night he would assist me in bathing the doll's feet and legs. By the time his sister was born, he knew how to wash her feet. I also tried to involve him in her care and asked our family members to include him when they visited.
Moira, Newport, Rhode Island

Taking a Break

I have two mischievous little boys, and I find it works wonders to separate them for a while. After a brief break, they're playing happily together again.
Sarah, Boston, Massachusetts

Working It Out

I currently have two daughters who are one year apart. I find the best way to handle rivalry is to let the girls work it out on their own. I keep a close eye on what's going on, without interfering. Most of the time, though, my girls are best friends. Baby number three will be here in a few months, so we'll see what happens when we add another kid to the equation!
Heather, Lubbock, Texas

The Language of Love

Every time our baby babbles or makes faces, we "translate" for our older son. "Look, she's smiling at you! She really loves her big brother." So far we've had no problems. It's pretty hard not to love somebody who so clearly adores you.
Carol, Naples, Florida

Little Hostess

We let our daughter be in the spotlight when we got home from the hospital with our son. She helped to greet visitors, brought out snacks, and introduced him to each guest who arrived.
Sela, Alexandria, Virginia

Picture Perfect

To offset sibling rivalry, we went crazy with photos of our older child in the hospital. We put pictures of our daughter on my bedside table and taped a few inside our son's bassinet. It made her feel good to see herself!
Roberta, San Diego, California

Originally published in American Baby magazine, October 2006.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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