Bringing home a new baby brother or sister can be tough on the older sibling. New babies require a lot of time and attention, and that can be tough for a big brother (or sister) to handle. Especially so for either an only child or the one who was the baby until the new addition joined the family. Romeo can tell you all about the downside to being a big brother!

When we first brought Zuzu home (December 2013), she was just under six weeks of age (much younger than pups would normally be sent to new homes) so we kept her separated quite a bit by baby gates and ex-pens so Romeo got plenty of time to himself. He was not quite sure what to make of this little thing, but he’s accustomed to frequent temporary visits from dogs (since we board dogs in our home), so he probably thought she’d be leaving soon too. But she’s not!

He is starting to play with her more, though, as big brothers often do, he can get too rough and beat up on her. (In which case, I am always closely supervising to step in when needed. I never allow dogs to “work it out” themselves!) While he definitely wants to play with her sometimes, he also has times when I can tell he’d rather she just go away. He is having to learn to share toys with her. His big sister (when he was a baby; she is no longer with us) did not care as much about toys and would often let him have them. Now, he’s got someone who loves toys as much as he does. Sharing is something he’s good at sometimes. We’re working on being good at it all the time.

The most difficult thing for Romeo though is sharing his momma’s (that’s me!) attention. When Zuzu is in my lap playing or chewing on a toy, he can get a little needy and try to push his way in. He’s become accustomed to having his momma all to himself for a while, and that has now changed. He will adjust, but I definitely have to make an effort to set aside time for him.

I make sure that he gets at least one good walk alone and he always gets some snuggle time (his favorite!) with me in the evenings. It’s easier to accept and even learn to love your little sister when you get some undivided attention from mom every day.