The Sibling Bond, How young is too young?


When my son was 9 months old, we found out that we were expecting. I was really worried having two children under the age of 2. Family and friends reassured me that everything would work out. I was also told numerous amount of times that my two boys would have a special bond and be best friends since they are so close in age.

Now my oldest son is 22 months and my youngest son is 6 months. I’m worried that the bond, just isn’t there.

The baby just adores my oldest son. He always tries to grab him, laughs at everything he does, and smiles at him constantly.

My oldest on the other hand, doesn’t have much to do with his baby brother. He will steal his toys, push him away, and ignore him. If you are sitting with him and bring the baby over, he will get up and walk away. The only time he is truly caring, is when he cuddles up to him in his sleep. Once in a blue moon he will tickle him, give him a toy, or kiss him on the forehead.


I understand that he is a toddler and has his own mind set right now. However his cousins are the same age and love on the baby every time they are around him.

I’m afraid that a little jealousy is involved because my oldest was very spoiled for the first year, when he was the only child.

So with all that being said, I sat down and thought of some ways to help the brother bondage progress begin.

First I want my oldest son to know, how cool it is to be a big brother. I want him to understand that his “bubby” looks up to him. I explain this everyday and try to show him how exciting it is to be a big bro. I show excitement every time the baby tries to interact with him. When the baby laughs at him, I empathize that he is making the baby laugh.

I’m trying to encourage them to interact more. My goal is to get my oldest son to show his feelings towards his brother. I want him to hug or even talk to his brother on a daily basis, rather than getting up and walking away.

Next, getting my toddler to stop stealing his brothers toys. Now this is just a kid thing, they all do it but I simply Β tell him to go give the toy back to his brother. When he doesn’t and runs away, I take him over and explain how that hurts the baby’s feelings. This process is slowly showing results.

My final goal is to get them to play together. I know the baby doesn’t play much, but it would be great if he showed interest when the baby does try to play with him. I don’t want my son to push him away. I try to play with them both at the same time and use both of their toys together.

I do know that kids will be kids and they are both very young. They are learning and focusing on anything and everything around them. My goal is to encourage interacting with one another. They will be brothers for life and my hope is that they will be best friends starting at a young age.

How are you encouraging sibling engagement? Did your children show interest in one another at an early age?


33 thoughts on “The Sibling Bond, How young is too young?

  1. I’m sorry your oldest isn’t loving being a big brother right now! I know he will and they’ll be best of friends.


  2. It’s often a hard adjustment to go through for everyone when a new baby comes. I’m sure he will grow out of this phase and start loving being a big bro as he gets older. My boys started getting much closer once the younger one could actually play.


    1. Thanks Stef, that’s what I’m really hoping for. My youngest just started sitting the last few days and it seems to be helping. That and he think everything his big brother does is hilarious πŸ˜‚


  3. For us, the sibling engagement between the 2 youngest just happened naturally from being together all. the. time. They are 15 months apart. Not to worry—it will come along in due season πŸ˜€


  4. I’m the oldest of 4 and we are all very close in age. when we were young the fighting and animosity was high but with time and age it faded away. now the 4 of us are inseparable and we’ve been like this for years. it’ll all get better. promise!


  5. I’m sure they will get closer as they get older. My older sister and I are 14 months apart and it started out kinda rough but by the time I was in preschool, we were the best of friends. She was literally my first friend. πŸ™‚


  6. It’s hard to find a balance. With the caveat that every child is different and every child relationship is different, we involved our older child heavily in the life if the baby. She fetched us diapers. She checked the diaper. She told us when the baby was crying. She had real responsibility for the baby. And all of a sudden, the baby was “hers.” Our girls are 22 months apart and it can be incredibly frustrating, and certainly they fight a lot, but we also are hoping that they’ll be each other’s best friends.

    Hang in there!


  7. My girls ironically enough are 17 months apart. What we do is have the oldest “help” as much as possible. So we’ll tell her to get the wipes or hold the bottle. The little stuff really helps with us?


  8. It’s still so early! Don’t worry and don’t try to force it. My boys (22 months apart) have an amazing bond and it really took off once the baby was mobile! Especially once he could walk – then they could really start playing together! Of course they also fight all the time too, lol πŸ™‚ -Erin at


    1. Thanks Erin! I can’t wait until they can both be mobile and play together. Not wanting to rush time or anything though. I’m so happy to hear that your sons have an amazing bond 😊


  9. This is definitely something I worry about too. I have three boys, and the youngest 2 are twins. I’m worried that they will have a bond, and not with their oldest brother. However, every day, as they get older, I see it grow stronger. I think it takes time, but it will get there.


  10. Our kids are almost the same distance apart. They have only a 19 month difference in age. We did this on purpose, as both my husband and I have a sibling within 2 years of our age.
    We have passed the baby stage and our kids are currently 4 years old and 2.5. We do not push our kids to be best friends, and we allowed our oldest to take her time in deciding what her relationship would be with her younger brother. For us, this really paid off. In time they have gravitated towards each other. They are very close, but quite honestly they fight just as much as they play. My sister and I were the same way. My husband and his brother were, too. They mostly have very different interests, with a few that cross in either collaboration or collision. It depends on the day. Rather than pushing them to be a unit, focus a little more on their qualities individually. What I found that our older daughter needed the most from me was to feel important and valued for things other than being a Big Sister. I’m not trying to say that you are doing anything wrong, because I know that different things work for different families. I’m just hoping to pass a little info on, because I’ve been where you are. I remember the feeling well, and I wish someone would have had something to offer to me in those moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. They say babies don’t really actually play together until after there first year or something like that. I heard it in a class once. Anyway I say do your best to encourage it but don’t get discouraged yet! They have there whole lives to bond!


  12. Insightful points. Really it is not the age gap or lack of it that sibling bonding is affected by. It is just every kids personality. I tell this cos I and my elder sis are 4 years apart. We are best friends at times..otherwise worst enemies.
    Then one Bro is 4 years younger to me..we are neutral.
    Youngest Bro is 6 younger to me and we are amazing friends.
    Both bros are very close now but growing up there was a time when they never used to talk to each other lol. So I think the sibling bonding changes with age. Don’t worry too much about it . They will get close with time.


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