Skip to main content
Journal Kids

finally…sisterly love!

Oh Joy / Sisterly Love

Oh Joy / Sisterly Love

If you've been following along with this blog, you might have read some of my past posts about how life would be with two girls. Ruby went through several months that included a mix of terrible three's and sibling jealousy. It left us all exhausted and frustrated almost every day. Ruby even told our nanny to take Coco home and have Coco live with her instead of us! We began to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel when they started to share a room five months ago. And then it's slowly (definitely slowly) gotten better from there.

Oh Joy / Sisterly Love

Sure, there's always some jealousy that pops up here and there. Mostly, Ruby misses getting that kind of attention and "baby things" that babies get. She wants to play with Coco's toys, pretend to lay in Coco's crib, or use her stroller (we'll oblige her every so often if it's just for fun). But now—several months later—she finally enjoys her sister's attention, does things to make Coco smile or laugh, and misses her when they are not together. I cannot wait until they can really play together and become actual (for real) friends.

Oh Joy / Sisterly Love

And, p.s. the "three'"s were no joke…"almost four" is suddenly way better so far. My happy, friendly child is (mostly) back again.

{Photos by Morgan Pansing from the Orbit Baby O2 Family Retreat}


  1. My nieces (5 and 2 yrs) went through the exact same phase but now they adore each other and love each other. The little one loves copying the elder sister. I think all older siblings go through that stage of jealousy and wanting all the attention but then they do come around 🙂

  2. So there’s hope for my ladies! I feel like everyone else’s girls are best friends right out of the womb and mine most definitely weren’t. We see some shining moments but mostly the my oldest just ignores my youngest! And three hasn’t been a cake walk- so just a few more months until “almost four” so I’m hanging in 😉

  3. We have an 8 month old and a 3 year old and we are experiencing those terrible threes in full force! We are also in the process of moving from the West Coast to the East Coast so I’m sure that’s not helping. It’s nice to know that this is just a phase and I’ll get my sweet boy back soon enough!

  4. I have a three-year-old and a three month old. It hasn’t been the blissful transition that I imagined. This post gave me hope! I would love to know more about how you helped them begin to share a room. We’ve thought about having them share a room but I’m a little nervous about the phase-in time and losing a lot of sleep.

  5. I’ve been afraid for the transition of putting our 5 month old boy into the same room as our 3 (almost 4) year old girl. It’s been frustrating and she’s more persistent than ever so any tips you have are welcomed!
    Also- when you return from your Ontario trip, please share travel tips for your kids. How’d you keep them occupied on the plane, did you bring a carseat, rent a car while in town? Loved the recap from Seattle!

  6. I guess that’s why they call them “threenagers”! My daughter just turned 4 and my son is 1, and they are starting to play together. My baby boy is always interested in what his sister is playing with and they both confront each other in the ways they know how, “No, Luke!” or “Waaah!” She’s definitely the boss in the house. It’s so cute watching them interact! I totally get the excitement of waiting to see your kids play together.
    Analog House

  7. Oh Amen. Three is a true test. I mean the amount of growth both phyiscally and mentally you can definitely see and appreciate but OH MY GOSH, there were days……that’s all I can say ?

  8. I’m so glad to hear that. I have a 3 and a half year old girl and a baby girl just a few days older than Coco. We have had a very rough time this last 11 months and i have to admit that I’m still not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Your post gives me hope though. 🙂

  9. Such beautiful, sweet, happy, loving girls.. And you are an awesome Mama! Witnessing my two babes’ relationship blossom has been possibly my greatest treasure as a mother.. Although these days it feels like two against one more often than not… XOXO

  10. They’ll get there, mama! There were days and weeks, I was literally crying every day over how Ruby was behaving towards her sister and now Ruby adores her.

  11. It will happen one of these days for sure. Do your kids share a room? It’s not for every family, but I found it helped our girls a lot after that.

  12. Oh Joy, I feel like you’re always going to agonize over this and I’m sorry about that. Families are tricky things and sisterly bonds are even trickier. I’m from a family of all girls and while I get along well with both of my sisters, they don’t get along with each other! They don’t hate each other or anything, they just have very different personalities. This is a constant source of frustration for me and my father and we always discuss ways we could try to make them friends.I’m still hopeful that one day every rough patch will be smoothed over and they’ll learn to appreciate each other. I know this is rough on the parents but I feel like all you can do is to just not make the situation worse (don’t encourage rivalry or promote jealousy) and hope for the best. Good luck to you! I’m glad things are getting better with your little ones!

  13. This is so good to hear! My son is two months shy of three, and with his 6-week-old sister we’ve already been put through the ringer dealing with his antics and an added indifference to her. Not that I expected him to fall in love with her, but some acknowledgment would be welcomed! 🙂 As we brace for this next year, it’s helpful knowing there’s a light at the end of the three tunnel!

  14. Amen! We are in a similar boat here (3.5-year-old and 18-month-old sisters) and some days were so, so hard. We regularly look with our oldest through her baby pictures and videos, which she loves, so she can see that she once got just as much attention (and toys!) as her sister. Our girls don’t share a room yet, but they are pretty sweet on each other and the good times definitely outweigh the bad now.
    My sister is my best friend in the world, so I can only hope that my children will have that kind of relationship someday.

  15. Hi Joy (and other mama’s going through this too),
    Psychologically, what Ruby is going through is a regression. It’s a defense mechanism she turns to to help her reduce the anxiety of the negative feelings she’s experiencing. She knows she’s not supposed to feel the way she does toward Coco, and this conflict is causing her anxiety. She deals with that anxiety by regressing back into baby-mode so she can get that attention for herself too. It is difficult but she’s getting through it normally. Do some internet research for some tips and suggestions on how to help Ruby strengthen her bond to Coco.
    Best of luck to all!

  16. This is so awesome to read! Apart from the fact that I’m still a year away from ‘almost four’ but maybe we entered the ‘threes’ early and there’ll be light and (more regular sisterly) love soon!

  17. This made me cry when I read it! It’s easy to forget that other parents are experiencing the same challenges – it always looks like everyone has it figured out or that their children are more well-behaved and happy (our 3.5 year old girl is dealing with extreme anxiety and anger toward her 6 month old sister). It’s so heartening to read that it eases up and gets better with time. Coco and Ruby are such adorable, lovely sisters!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Along