Our daughter is two and half years old. Today, I was joking with her that her mother was pregnant again with a second child.

Then our daughter stood up in front of us and started to make angry sound, then she charged at her mother and tried to hit her mother's belly.

I asked her if she was doing it out of anger, she nodded.

I know it was a silly joke, but was it normal for a two and half years old to demonstrate this kind of aggressiveness?

2 Answers 2


Yes kids (especially around that age) will show jealousy when they get a new sibling. From their point of view they go from 100% attention from both mom and dad to half that. So of course they have reasons to be jealous.

What is important are two things:

a) Make them the older brother/sister. If you tell them "oh i'm so proud you can put on your clothes yourself. Maybe you can teach little jimbo later how to do that" you take away the competition and make them part of that new, exciting (and sometimes annoying) life that joined the family.

b) Make sure you keep having dedicated time for each sibling. It might feed like everything revolved around the new baby. So make sure to pay extra attention to the things revolving around them too. Especially as a dad you could even "send away" mommy and the baby in her belly and play a game with your kid. If you make this obvious that every week you play a game with her and no other people can interfere with that it helps her feel safe. Make sure once the baby is born you keep this time and 1 parent does something with the baby and the other does something with the other with your daughter to make her feel special.

As far as aggression it might it might be just the 2 year old having a fit of frustration when she was tired. 2 is the age that tantrums also appear. Generally speaking make sure she doesn't get anything from a tantrum and make sure she gets enough fun as mentioned in the 2 points above. Be careful though not to give special attention as a result of her being angry, because then being angry becomes an effective way to get your attention.

  • 2
    While I agree that jealousy with a new sibling, or perhaps frustration that getting a new sibling didn't turn out to be how they had imagined it might be a common experience for many children, it still seems to me to be extraordinarily prescient for a 2 year old to have this kind of insight at the mere prospect of having a sibling. I've seen more cases where a sibling seems like an exciting plaything until it arrives.
    – user36162
    Jan 27, 2020 at 13:33

In addition to Batavia's answer, I'd also add that you can emphasize how utterly boring the life of a newborn is.

"Little baby just sleeps in mommy's tummy all day, that's so boring! you get to run and climb and do exciting stuff!"

"Little baby only can eat milk, you can eat all kinds of food!"

"Little baby has to go to sleep now, but you can stay up because you're a big girl!"

If you emphasize that there are cool exciting activities that only she can do, and exclude baby from those things, then she'll find it easier to find her place within the family that's uniquely hers and not shared with the baby.

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