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When an Older Sibling Has a Favorite Twin

When an Older Sibling Has a Favorite Twin

older sibling

Last updated on August 13th, 2023 at 11:50 am

A MoM recently asked:

My 3 year old seems to have a favorite twin. She will offer toys, lay down with, and talk to one much more than the other. Unless I gently encourage her to share her attention with both, she seems to exclude him. I’m really not worried, just a little sad. Has anyone else with older children experienced this? How long did it last? And do you have any suggestions to guide her into including both boys in play time? Thank you in advance for any advice.

Here’s what our Twiniversity fans had to say:

I have 4 older kids and since Baby A seems to want my oldest the most, my second oldest has taken to Baby B more. So it’s similar but reversed since it’s actually the twins who seem to have a favorite older sibling.

My identical girls are 18 months old. My 5 year old stepson plays with both but cannot tell them apart and calls them both by the same name, Emma. His mother has actually asked me where the other twin, Jessa, plays since he never mentions her in stories when he returns to her home. The truth is, he plays with them, equally.

For us it seems to change as the years go by and the twins needs change. When my twins were born, Baby A could do no wrong in my 9 year old son’s eyes. Baby A has Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect that required surgery at 6 months. Baby B on the other hand, “stole my mom” in my son’s mind. Fast forward 3 years and Baby B is my now 12 year old’s little buddy. My 12 year old seems to now have a short fuse with Baby A. I expect that this will change again down the road.

I was thinking similarly of my 3 year old daughter and my identical 18 month boys. My daughter can’t tell them apart and seems to play with them equally for now although she will insist the one she is playing with is Zak or Zeke, whether or not it really is the right one.

siblings holding hands

My 4 year old daughter favors the girl of our boy/girl twins. I’m not sweating it too much because I figure it’s “a girl thing”.

My twins are 11. My oldest is 17 and has favored one twin over the other since birth. My 14 year old favors one depending on what activity they are doing but they do all love each other.

As a twin myself (and currently pregnant with twins) growing up, my older sister would always choose to play with my twin rather than me. I recall she sometimes even tried to split us up with an argument but as soon as we grew up. Roles changed and now my older sister is my best friend and has been for the last 10 years and it’s my twin we have nothing in common with. Don’t worry about it, the variety is good and teaches your twins to be independent of each other.

My oldest has always been closer to one twin since they were born. They have a bond like no other, the other twin is often left out, but she gets pushy and fights to be included. I have tried to encourage my oldest to play with the other but they just end up fighting.

My 4 year old was the same way. She is slightly better about it than she used to be. I did the same thing, just encourage, encourage, and encourage some more. It doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love the other one any less, she just feels more of a bond with one over the other. It’ll get better!

My older daughter was 19 months old when my twins were born. She favored Baby A over Baby B, but soon it changed and she favored B over A. Now 3 years later they all play nicely together most of the time. Just give it some time keep up the encouragement for both and it will happen.


Both my 9 year old and 5 year old have a favorite twin. Luckily they favor different babies so no one gets left out. I think it has to do with personalities. My daughter wants to cuddle and love on the babies. The cuddly baby and she get along better. My son likes to make the babies laugh and run, so the more outgoing twin gets more of his attention. I am an only child so no real sibling experience before having my own kids, but I see that even now my husband gets along better and wants to spend time with one of his siblings over the other two, so maybe it’s normal?

My twins are 18 months and my 7 year old has always favored the more developed twin, but it’s getting better!

My 8 year old favors one twin over the other but she is getting better. She loves them both but I just think she feels a closer bond with my other daughter. It probably doesn’t help that my son was a pretty fussy infant and wanted me all the time and his twin sister is more independent and takes to other people easily.

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