toddler brother playing with baby on bed
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16 Real-Life Reasons Not To Trust Older Siblings Around The Baby

One aspect of having another child that people don't really discuss is The Talk expectant parents have with their care provider or pediatrician: the one where they warn your to be prepared, because your sweet, precious older child will be naughty to their younger sibling. The doctor fixes you with a gravely serious, ominous look on their face, like a salty old sea captain warning a fresh-faced sailor of sea monsters off the coast of high Barbary. "Don't trust your toddler alone with the new baby!" they say — with good reason. From acting on their revenge fantasies to unintentionally rough play, older children can do some serious damage to their squishy new siblings.

Adding to your brood can be an adjustment, even a struggle, for everyone in the family. But for older siblings, who didn't even want this stupid infant coming in and hogging all their attention, well, things can get dicey. Not always, of course. Sometimes an older child will take an immediate liking to a new baby; others, like my kid, will basically ignore them for the first couple of years. But since you never know exactly how it's going to go, you're going to have to be on high alert for a while, because sibling rivalry is normal. But normal or not, when you're talking about tiny maniacs who don't truly understand the world outside of their own self-interest or have a firm grasp of consequences, it is best to be aware! It's also pretty hilarious, as evidenced by the stories from these 16 moms.


"I was born with a headful of thick, jet black hair. My sister was just 13 months older than me and very jealous. My mom would leave the room and then hear me scream. She couldn't figure out what my sister was doing until she caught her in the act of biting me on my head... where my mom couldn't see a mark because of my hair."

[I am... terrified and impressed.]


"I am 4.5 years older than my sister and when she was about 3 months old I sat on top of her in the baby swing because I wanted to swing, too! It wasn’t fair that she got an inside swing and I didn’t."


"My 8-year-old calls my 10-month-old a bonehead and rolls her eyes at her several times a day. She's taking the 'emotional insults' route. The baby laughs at it though, so it's backfiring."


Photo courtesy of Kathy H.

"Just loving each other a bit too aggressively..."


"My mom said I tried feeding my sister a mixture of Kaopectate and Nair when she came home from the hospital. My best friend ... is the youngest of three and ... when she came home from the hospital, her sister put their dog in the crib and told the dog to eat her."

[FYI: I asked. The dog didn't harm the baby and certainly didn't eat her, because he's a good boy.]


"We were in Target a few weeks after I had [my son] to pick up diapers and stuff, and my 3-year-old kept asking if we could go to the Customer Service desk. I thought it was weird but we kept doing our chores. As we passed Customer Service on our way out, she got upset and kept trying to herd me back. I didn't understand but I noticed she kept staring at [her brother], who was in his infant car seat. That's when I realized she wanted to return him. We had a conversation about some very big feelings in the car."


"My oldest just straight up ignored his younger brother for the most part for three months and acted out a lot. He wasn't yet 3 when his brother came along. They have a great relationship most of the time now, almost three years later, but it was rough transition for a long time."


"I have the opposite problem. My younger one terrorizes my older child."


"I am five years older than my brother. Every time we got in the car I asked if we were bringing him back to the hospital (for like a year)."


"When I was a baby my older sister filled the playpen I was in with stuffed animals. She claimed she was giving them to me to play with but my mom is pretty sure she was trying to smother me."


Photo courtesy of Betsy D.F.

"I had to buy a second Rock 'n' Play because [my older child] wouldn't stay out of it."


"Apparently when my mom brought my baby brother home I told her to 'Put him back.' That didn’t happen."


"My oldest literally ignored my middle child when we brought him home. It took around two months for her to acknowledge a new person in the house. She was very verbal, but I'd tell her to say hi to the baby and she would give me a look and walk away."


"My middle child tipped over the car seat the day we brought our youngest home. Baby was on the floor in his car seat as hubby was helping me get comfy on the couch and my middle child straight-up evil-laughed and tipped the car seat backwards!"


"While I was nursing the baby would cry, didn’t know why until one day I noticed my 3-and-a-half year old was squeezing the baby’s foot the whole time! Also, once kids were in car seats and I closed the door to go to the drivers seat, my oldest would scream at the top of her lungs to freak the baby out. Fun."


"I left my 2-year-old in the nursery with his 6-month-old brother for a moment to bring an empty bottle into the kitchen. I'm out of the room for mere moments, and I hear, 'Teddy's a horsey. TEDDY'S A HORSEY!' I sprint back into the room to find the toddler bouncing up and down on his brother's back. Thankfully the baby thought the whole thing was hilarious and was laughing away under his brother's bouncing bottom."