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