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How to I help my older child accept my new baby and love her like we do?

Some children can’t wait for their new little brother or sister to be born. But in many families a new baby can lead to feelings of resentment, jealousy and unhappiness. Children often worry that a baby will in some way replace them as Mummy's special little girl or boy

And when your child sees all the attention you're giving to your new baby, she'll become even more concerned.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent your child feeling this way, and help ensure a happy household with your growing family...

Don’t forget your older child
It can be so easy to forget about your older child when a new baby arrives. Of course, the most recent addition to the family will demand a great deal of your time but you must always set aside a few hours each day for your other children.

Don’t give her attention whilst holding the baby
Your older child really needs your undivided attention every so often. You can’t give her this quality time whilst you're holding the baby. You need to make your older child feel that’s she is still important to you.

Encourage time together
Encouraging your child to spend time with the baby will greatly improve the chances of her accepting her new brother or sister. Sometimes it takes just two or three such bonding sessions for feelings of rivalry to be replaced with love and affection. But remember, no matter how well your young child seems to be getting on with your baby, never be tempted to leave them alone. Children are hugely unpredictable and babies are hugely vulnerable. And that's a combination that can result in tragedy.

Don’t expect instant love
Many parents expect their children to instantly fall in love with the newest addition to the family. Although some children do, most kids will take a little while to get used to their baby brother or sister. It’s perfectly understandable for them to initially feel indifferent or indeed jealous of the new kid on the block. Be patient and soon you'll be one big happy family.

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