Young birds and mammals frequently solicit food by means of extravagant and apparently costly begging displays. Much attention has been devoted to the idea that these displays are honest signals of need, and that their apparent cost serves to maintain their honesty. Recent analyses, however, have shown that the cost needed to maintain a fully informative, honest signal may often be so great that both offspring (signaler) and parent (receiver) would do better to refrain from communication. This apparently calls into question the relevance of the costly signaling hypothesis. Here, I show that this argument overlooks the impact of sibling competition. When multiple signalers must compete for the attention of a receiver (as is commonly the case in parent-offspring interactions), I show that (all other things being equal) individual equilibrium signal costs will typically be lower. The greater the number of competitors, the smaller the mean cost, though the maximum level of signal intensity employed by very needy signalers may actually increase with the number of competitors. At the same time, costs become increasingly sensitive to relatedness among signalers as opposed to relatedness between signalers and receivers. As a result of these trends, signaling proves profitable for signalers under a much wider range of conditions when there is competition (though it is still likely to be unprofitable for receivers).