Q&A: Will My Toddler Be Jealous?

Will my toddler be jealous when I breastfeed my new baby?
ByErin van Vuuren
January 30, 2017
Hero Image

Maybe. It’s normal for siblings (and moms) to go through a range of emotions when baby number two joins the family. Your toddler might be proud, curious, confused, excited…and, yes, jealous. Family dynamics change, and everyone has to do a little adjusting. Before baby arrives, it can be helpful to teach your toddler about babies, how they act and how they look, and let them know that they need to nurse a lot. If your child isn’t still nursing, explain it to her. Show her pictures, and let her be around breastfeeding babies. (If she is still breastfeeding, talk to her about tandem nursing.)

When baby arrives, let your toddler be a big helper when you are breastfeeding. (She can bring things to you, like the phone, remote, or a water bottle.) You can also give her attention while you nurse by reading with her, playing games (Simon Says works well), singing songs, or telling her stories about when she was a baby. Just strategically place a pillow or two so that you have a free hand.

It’s also okay to let your toddler do her own thing while you breastfeed. Set her up with activities that don’t require your help, and feel free to take time to focus in on baby (and mommy).

It’s normal to feel guilty for bringing big changes into your toddler’s life, but give yourself a break; baby and toddler will be a huge, wonderful part of each other’s lives.

Related Video
Pregnant mom sitting on the couch with her son who is touching her belly.

Montessori-Based Tips for Preparing Your Child for Baby’s Arrival

profile picture of Simone Davies and Junnifa Uzodike
Simone Davies and Junnifa Uzodike
Coauthors of The Montessori Baby
mindy kaling in interview about being a new mom

Mindy Kaling on How She Kept Her Second Pregnancy Secret for So Long

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
hilary duff walking outside in exercise clothes

Hilary Duff Opens Up About Having Mom Guilt During Second Pregnancy

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Pregnant mom sits with her young daughter eating ice cream

7 Ways to Prep Your Child for Baby No. 2

profile picture of Jennifer L.W. Fink
Jennifer L.W. Fink
Registered Nurse
pregnant woman with her young child

Here's How Long You Should Really Wait Between Pregnancies, According to Research

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Pregnant woman standing with her older child peering at her pregnant stomach.

Prepping for Baby No. 2

profile picture of Elena Donovan Mauer
Elena Donovan Mauer
older sibling happily holding her newborn sister

Why Motherhood Was Easier the Second Time Around

profile picture of Natalie Thomas
Natalie Thomas
Contributing Writer
Article removed.