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Two year old adjusting to new baby

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  • Two year old adjusting to new baby

    My DS (27 months) has been so emotional and tempermental in the last few weeks (my DD is now 9 weeks old). We stayed with my parents for the first 4 weeks and since we returned home he's been sick and tired. He wakes up tired and cranky and throws tantrums throughout the day. I try hard to be understanding and nurturing but by the evening I've had it and get so frustrated, especially as I try not to leave my DD to cry on her own. Often I have them both on my lap simply crying. By the time he's asleep I feel exhausted and guilty for not having been more patient. Any suggestions on how others have dealt with a toddler adjusting to a new baby?

  • #2
    Oh Blessedmummy, I could have written your post!!!

    My DD is 26.5months and my DS is 3.5months old now and I still have days where I'm sitting on the floor holding both of them while they cry. I think our toddlers are just at that age where their emotions are very pure and strong and uncontrollable. Some days my toddler is very much a baby still and needs lots of attention and other days, she is more "big girl" and is very independent.

    It is hard because sometimes you have to decide who needs you the most...such a tough decision when they both need you.

    I do not have any advice on helping the adjustment because I think time is really all we have. I do my best to give my toddler one-on-one attention when my DS is asleep. Unfortunately, my DS doesn't nap well at all because my toddler is quite lively and loud. But, when he is asleep, I try to read some books and cuddle with her. We've had to change our naptime routine for my DD several times thru the past 3 months and I have to say...she is very resilient.

    I find that I do not have any personal time whatsoever from the moment I wake up in the mornings until both of them are asleep for the evening.

    Do you have a partner who can take over with your daughter for a short time in the evening so that you can reconnect with your son? Maybe a special ritual that ya'll used to do before your daughter was born?

    I think the meltdowns are going to is just that age for them. I try to trouble shoot them when they occur for me to see if there was anything I could have done to avert it. Sometimes I can do things different, other times, I cannot.

    Don't guilt-trip yourself to much. Your children know that you love them and your family WILL make it thru this transition intact. Just take a deep breath and give your babies a big kiss..

    Feel free to PM me if you just want to chat. We might be able to help each other out!


    • #3
      What helped immensely with my 2-year old was something I read in "Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves" by Naomi Aldort. It's just the last few pages of the book if I remember correctly and well worth the read.

      She talks about how important it is to validate your child's feelings, now matter how extreme they seem to you. (Feelings are always ok, certain actions are not). I think she gives an example about wishing we could throw the baby in the trash or something. I didn't go quite that far, but said things like "Do you sometimes wish it was just me and you again?" "Do wish the baby would go away?" "It's hard having a little brother, isn't it?" All he would do is nod his head and cry, but it made such a difference to him that he thought I understood exactly how he was feeling. Every time he would act out in some way I would repeat these things and within a couple days he was like a whole new kid. It was a huge turning point for us.

      My boys are nearly 3 and nearly 1 now and things are generally very good around here. It does get better! Good luck.


      • #4
        For my son (3yrs old) the most important thing for him was he wanted to be held! Keep in mind he is near 40LBS and my new baby (now 6mo) is now 18lbs! So sometimes I would carry my 3yr old on my back in the Ergo and my baby in the front in a mai-tai...not very much! but whenever I could...It was very important to him. He also missed us feeding him and "babying" him which I think is normal to want especially as the children ages and learns new skills...Yes I need to go to the chiropractor!


        • #5
          i'm also wondering if, while they're both crying, you could distract them w/a book or something interactive? stacking blocks? in the early days, i spent a lot of time w/one in the sling, while i played w/the other on the floor.

          also, you say he wakes up tired, he may simply not be getting good, restful sleep. maybe trying to get him to bed a few minutes earlier could help?


          • #6
            Thank you for the replies. I really needed to hear that others had similar experiences and that you did get through them. I do agree that DS is not getting enough sleep right now, especially as he has been really sick the last few weeks. He hates to go to sleep and lately has been going to bed when we go to bed (we all sleep in one bed). I think I will take him to bed earlier and have some one-to-one time reading and cuddling.

            We took the kids to the park a couple of days ago and while DH took care of DD, I spent time playing with DS. He was able to tell me he "felt sad" because there was "no time for hugs". Reading your replies also tapped into my emotions and I had a good cry... thanks! I think part of why I feel so overwhelmed is that I haven't had any time for myself since DD was born. Can I also ask how are you disciplining? On some occasions I just cuddle and on others I have to be firm (like when he has gone to hit DD). Thanks again... it's so good to be able to "speak" to others who parent similarly.


            • #7
              NIghtime parenting: The Nurse-aholic and the new born.

              Wow... I am feeling so the same way!...In addition to his more pronounced tantrums, my other problem is that he is turning into a nurse-aholic. A month ago, I was working full time (until 3 days before I gave birth to my daughter), Then he nursed, when I got home, at bedtime, and sometimes during the night. He would allow my sister to rock him for naptimes. Now, that his one month old sister is here, my 27 month old is nursing 3-10 times during the day and 2-5 times at night..... If he hears her stir he wants to nurse too. Any suggestions om how to give him some other sleep associations?


              • #8
                Originally posted by blessedmummy View Post
                Can I also ask how are you disciplining? On some occasions I just cuddle and on others I have to be firm (like when he has gone to hit DD).
                i think you'd need to be more specific in your question. but API's discipline Principle is here


                • #9
                  My firstborn was only 12 months old when his little brother was born. He followed me around the house for about 2 weeks and screamed bloody murder whenever I nursed his brother, changed his brother's diaper, etc... Then just like that it was over and he went back to normal. Not exactly helpful, I know! It sounds like your 2 year old might have something else going on, teething? sick? earache? My boys both had some kind of intestinal bug this weekend-not fun at all. It is a hard transition, and trust me I'm not looking forward to the boys' reaction to their baby sister who is due mid-June. But they DO adjust.


                  • #10
                    nurse-aholic... again

                    Wll my 27 month old has a cold... but other than that he is not sick and is not teething... Maybe a growth spurt... But really I am worried that I have taught him to only be able to fall asleep while sucking..... I am not trying to ween him completely... but I would like to give him another tool for falling asleep.... In my recent attempts, I have tried to rock him instead.... He doesn't want to stop nursing and gets very upset.... not very helpful for relaxing into sleep...


                    • #11
                      I think we have to move beyond behaviorism in these cases. Obviously the super-nursers need more of something to 'fill their love cup' and its the most easiest and quickest for the child to just nurse to fill it. I find if I take the thing my son wants away or act supremely annoyed that he wants it (now it is carrying, when he was younger it was nursing also) HE ONLY WANTS IT MORE and is supremely insulted that I wasn't giving it to him easily and with love. With new babies we are frantic and desperately tired and trying to do everything and I think your oldest sees that and wants his calm mommy who is willing to give nursing without so much drama. From his perspective he might see what he has lost and how it is different and he is fighting to get what he needs. Maybe you should sit down and nurse him for five minutes (maybe a timer to show him?) and while he is nursing 'pet' his hair or gently pat on his back to give him another special mommy touch association and try to eventually move away from the nursing. Show him that he is still important to you (even though his behavior is driving you crazy!) and that he still had a right to get cuddles and nursing from mommy.
                      I hope it improves!


                      • #12
                        nightime weaning posts helpful

                        Well thank you for all your replies...
                        I basically have 2 issues...some discipline challenges as there is a new sibling... and the nighttime nursing issue... The tantrums are getting easier as he adjusts to his new sister (fortunately she is not a high need baby)... and I guess it will just take more time and patience. Once I realized there was a nighttime weaning forum to read, I realized that this is where it is eventually heading. I got some good book ideas and hints from that forum.... and will eventually go that route. Going to our easter service on saturday night really helped too... I think I was just feeling out of whack spiritually in general.... I also splurged on a YMCA membership to get some exercise... After 2 years of doing NOTHING for myself and giving it all to my child, husband, and job... I am hoping this will help polish my mirror and give me a positive atitude to deal with my wonderful son and new daughter.