New baby and almost 3 year old DD- what have I done?

(42 Posts)
BazilGin Fri 27-Jun-14 09:54:46

Today is my second day at home with 2 week old DS and my almost 3 year old DD. As awful as it sounds, all I keep thinking is "what have I done". I had such a wonderful relationship with DD, now it feels like it's gone and she hates me. I tandem nurse, but she asks for milk constantly now and I question my own nursing choices.
DS is a fairly low maintenance baby, but just got a nappy rash as he constantly trickles poo. I must have changed him 8 times within 3 hour period.
I am a bit of a mess, just can't see it ever being fun or even manageable. I feel like a crap mum, not giving enough attention to either of them. My lovely mil took DD out today and I can't stop crying.
How does anyone get anything done or even gets out with 2? We attempted park yesterday, as soon as DD wanted to be pushed on the swing, DS started crying. She then escaped me and I had to chase her with newborn still latched on to me, it was a disaster.
I think I just wanted to rant a bit, feels better to get it off my chest.

BazilGin Fri 27-Jun-14 09:56:08

I should have added, second day at home with both kids and no DH, he had to go bak to work sad

Seeline Fri 27-Jun-14 10:03:15

Getting out really does help. Have your nappy bag for the baby constantly ready so you don't have to worry about that. Don't worry about having the baby dressed either - sleepsuits are fine. Try going to groups if you can - DD will be occupied and there will be other people to lend a hand. If baby sleeps leave him in the buggy and spend some time with DD. If he needs feeding DD can go off and play with the others. If you're lucky one of the other mums may even make you a cup of tea.
Get your DD to 'help' so that she feels wanted and needed - she can fetch nappies etc at change time, help at bath time, and even 'entertain' with songs etc.
When you are feeding the baby use that time to read to DD, have a basket of special activities that you can do with her whilst feeding - books, stickers etc.
It will get better. I think once you get used to the idea that you cannot spend the whole time revolving round the new baby like you did with the first one, but the new baby fitting in with everyday life it really helps. I discovered that babies really can last a bit if a feed is really inconvenient, nothing really bad happened if you don't go to them the second they cry etc.
Good luck and congratulations!!

Mintyy Fri 27-Jun-14 10:08:38

Oh its really hard! I remember dh's first day back at work when I was in the exact same situation (dd was 2yrs 8 months when I had my little boy). I was so proud that I managed to make her cheese on toast with cherry tomatoes for her dinner - it felt like a massive achievement.

All I can say is you will get used to it and things will get easier.

Do you have friends in a similar situation? Having a cup of tea with a mate who understands is the best thing of all - preferably in a park cafe or somewhere similar where your toddlers can run about.

Is it worth getting the constant trickle of poo checked out? Doesn't seem quite right in such a young breastfed baby.

I feel for you op, brew, cake, flowers.

Ledkr Fri 27-Jun-14 10:11:42

I have five and I always feel like that after they are born. I can't never be arsed to go back to night feeds and nappies etc.
all I can say is that it goes off after a bit. Don't forget you are post natal and your body and hormones are all over the place, get some help if you can and see this period as temporary and an excuse to do sod all but look after your babies.
And yes lots of cake.

Haggisfish Fri 27-Jun-14 10:21:36

I tandem fed, too, with the same age gap. I found 3 yo DD was less demanding after about three weeks, and I had to be quite firm in the end and 'restrict' her to 3 feeds a day - I replaced them with milky hot chocolate. I used to feed DS after DD which meant he got less of the watery milk and his bum was ok. It does get better! It is blummin hard though, especially when 'helpful' others made comments about 3yo DD feeding - I didn't want her to feel pushed out or excluded so I definitely did not want to stop feeding her when DS came along. However, DS ended up weaning off BF much earlier than DD - he stopped feeding at 9 months. I feel slightly guilty about this because I think he may have carried on for longer if DD wasn't feeding as well, but he just didn't seem as bothered about it as she had been. She still remembers being fed - I like that we fed for so long.

wrapsuperstar Fri 27-Jun-14 10:40:00

Just posting to say you aren't the only one!

I have a brilliant, beautiful, incredibly high needs 2.4 year old DD and a 17-day old girl too. Like you, I was (am!) very close to the older child and have been struggling terribly with the adjustment to having another small person to consider.

DD1 has been regressing a little bit with her sleep and toileting. Am having to have her in bed with me whilst DP looks after baby and brings her to me for feeds. We don't quite tandem nurse, but DD1 has returned to the breast with a lot of interest and a slight bit of territorialism ('I WANT a turn' just as I prepare to feed baby).

Get a good, comfortable, safe sling. When I take the girls out, the littlest can stay in the sling for a good while which frees me up to chase after her big sister. I make sure that we take every possible opportunity to go out with DP as a foresome too, it is so much easier with two pairs of hands. With the nice weather hopefully you can achieve this sometimes even with your partner back at work. Oh, and my biggest tip is to make sure you carve out time both in the home and out with just your eldest. This is possible even with breastfeeding if you time it just right.

Good luck -- this has largely been hell for me so far, just got to remain positive and learn to spread yourself very thin indeed for a while! wink flowers

Standinginline Fri 27-Jun-14 10:48:44

It definitely does get easier !! I remember being in a rush to get home from hospital with my newborn and then thinking wtf have I done (and that was with my partner home as well !! ) and wanting to get back. My son was 2 and a half then ,and the first week of being alone with them ,partner at work ,I was constantly anxious. But now I can honestly say it's a thousand times easier (she's nearly one now and sons 3 and a half ). The thing that gets to me is sons constant bickering with her when she plays with his toys etc...

DustyRusty Fri 27-Jun-14 10:49:02

Similar situation, just slightly further on - DD is nearly 3, DS is 11 weeks. It's been hell to be honest & I've really struggled, but feel things are slowly getting better now. First three months are just survival mode!

Standinginline Fri 27-Jun-14 10:50:14

Oh and I had a baby bjorn miracle baby carrier ,hardly noticed she was on my chest when I was doing housework and whatnot.

Monkeyandanimal Fri 27-Jun-14 11:02:54

oh god it's so hard, but you know what? It does get easier. (i have a 4 yr old, a 2.5 yr old and a 7 month old). You get used it. They get used to it. And you have given your DD the best present, though she may not think it now. I love that my kids are close in age and so can go to the same activities and enjoy them together. They potter about together at home, and when the older one is at nursery the middle one doesn't quite know what to do with himself.....it's lovely that they are friends, and I feel a little sorry for Only children! So your daughter will get used to the baby, and it will be the best thing you could have ever done for her. Not to mention all the social things she will learn from having a sibling, like sharing, turn-taking, role-play games. In the meantime, don't try to achieve too much. Just be very kind to yourself and the little ones; lots of treats for all of you. get out occasionally to stay sane. Go for a drive so they both sleep and when they do park up and read a book, or get a coffee from a garage/drive thru and read a magazine. Forget the housework.

Good luck! In 6 weeks it will be easier. In 6 months you will be totally used to it and on top of it!

BazilGin Fri 27-Jun-14 12:22:55

Thank you so, so much to everyone who took time to reply. I really needed a pat on the back today and some reassurance that it does get easier. It's the strangest feeling, to suddenly doubt myself so much after what it felt like 3 years of confident parenting.
I remember feeling so tearful and anxious with my first too, but I didn't think it would happen to me again!
I have a sling, but I haven't figured out how to use it yet and DS is below recommended weight. Once he gets a bit bigger, I will probably use my beco gemini carrier.
I am tryin to give DD as much attention as possible, but it's not always easy. Just need to survive it and hope it gets easier.x

puddock Fri 27-Jun-14 12:37:02

I remember this very well when my DS2 arrived (2.3 yr gap). It really will pass.
I would recommend finding some help with the sling if it's not easy to use - you can find sling meets, libraries and consultants near you on this map, it really will make a lot of difference.
Also, it's lovely if friends or family offer to spend time with your DD while you are with baby DS, but on the occasions when you feel it's possible, swap it around so they are with the baby and you can get some one-to-one with your DD instead.

I remember this! My DD was 3.3 when DS was born and it was hard entertaining DD while BFing and doing all the necessary baby stuff with DS. My tips:

-Get out as much as you can - try soft play. Hopefully baby will sleep/feed while you get to have a drink and DD can play by herself at 3. I also found the library was excellent. The children's area in our local library has a few bean bags etc, which DD loved jumping sitting on. Of course, we could also read stories while I got a comfy seat to feed DS in. They also have a good baby change area and wifi, so I spent as much time in there as I could!

-Make time for DD when DS is sleeping or in his bouncy chair etc. Make a big deal about being 'big girls together' and doing something special just for you two. It can be as simple as having a little tea party together (water in her toy teacups and a biscuit or two).

-Don't put yourself under pressure to cook amazing meals, keep the house tidy etc. It's much harder with two at this age, so take what help you can and don't worry about it for now.

-One day when I couldn't face venturing out, I placated DD with a 'play park' - I put cushions on the floor, moved furniture round to make an obstacle course and she LOVED it! Preferred it to the real park as it was exciting, and it meant I could sit down and feed DS etc while I encouraged her playing.

My DD is now nearly 5 and DS 18 months and it is so much easier. The baby stage doesn't last long and honestly you will be looking back on these days with fondness before you know it.

NotCitrus Fri 27-Jun-14 14:29:52

Do you have any outside space? Even if not, putting baby on a towel with no nappy on is great for rash, and the lowest laundry solution.
I found reminding ds of all the fun things he could do that Dd couldn't really helped - eating ice cream and going down the slide, mainly. Would she like a mini milk or milk and biscuit while baby has a feed?

BazilGin Sat 28-Jun-14 03:54:18

Thank you for even more fantastic tips! DH is going to stay with DS tomorrow while DD and I go to the park together. I really need some time alone with her.
I am going to prepare her more snacks for when baby is feeding too. I was trying to be more strict about it because we just hit a lot of fussiness at mealtimes, but it's probably attention seeking so I will ignore for now. We are probably watching too much tv/ipad sometimes but I suppose it won't hurt her in the long run...i also need to get more confident about venturing out with two!

Shahsham Sat 28-Jun-14 04:45:33

A few weeks ago I started a thread called 'Im in toddler and baby hell' so I totally understand.

They are 2.9 and nearly 8 weeks now and it is getting slightly easier. DS1 is less emotional (tho still cries far more than before) and sometimes sleeps through the night (Im ignoring last night cos hes teething!)

I go to parks with enclosed play areas and put DS2 in the pram. I feel happier then about playing with DS1 (tho obviously im never more than a few metres from the pram!). I also chat to some nice mums so when DS1 needs the loo I can nip off with him and ask someone to keep an eye on DS2. I find it easier than the sling.

I also put DS2 to sleep in a different room during the day. I find DS1 is happier if during the day theres been an hour or 2 without the constant presence of the baby.

And yes when DH is there he takes the baby and i play or cuddle DS1.

SunshineOutdoors Sat 28-Jun-14 04:46:38

I have a two year age gap and it's bloody impossible at first. They're 11 months and nearly three now and it does get loads better. They have their moments but for the most part are great little mates and have lots of giggles together. It honestly does get loads easier but don't feel bad at the moment as I don't know anyone who doesn't feel like you at the start.

Keep an eye on yourself and get help/support if needed. Pnd crept up on me while I was struggling and since getting help with that I've felt a lot better. Not saying it will happen to you but just help yourself as much as you can as it's difficult and tiring and emotional being a new mum to two young children. It sounds like you're doing a great job being so caring.

lostprince Sat 28-Jun-14 04:49:34

It gets better I promise. In a similar situation but a few weeks ahead of you. Keep going, you are doing great.

lucy101 Sat 28-Jun-14 04:57:35

Honestly it will get better. I have the same gap (ds 3, dd 12 weeks) and it was hell for the first 6 weeks and then it's been just better and better ever since. I am loving it now (apart from bedtime!).

Hi OP

Hang in there, I know it's so hard not to panic but it WILL get easier and pretty soon too. I remember thinking 'there's no way I can do this, so now we're stuck' - there is a 19 month gap between my DD and DS and the early days are tough. Just try to live in "day-tight compartments" (this is from a book by Dale Carnegie), basically don't worry about tomorrow, don't worry about the future, just do your best right now until bedtime. Live in the present. Breathe, breathe. Go very slowly and very calmly (if you can, of course - sometimes it takes a lot of self control not to panic). And over time, things will sort themselves out. Don't worry about housework or anything that's not a necessity. Be really kind to yourself. Get all the help you can. And know that in a little while, when you see your children exchanging first smiles, or in a little while longer, when you see them playing together, your heart will swell with happiness and gratitude :-)))

BazilGin Tue 01-Jul-14 06:24:34

Thanks again. At the moment, it's all about counting hours till bedtime, it makes me feel really bad! My DD is showing more signs of jealousy and last night I hardly slept because DS was so gassy. dD woke up at 5.30, just as I was putting him to sleep. Nightmare!

MissCalamity Tue 01-Jul-14 08:51:16

I have a bit of a bigger age gap, Ds is 4.6 & I have a 10 week old DD.

It's been really difficult & I'm almost jealous of people who just have had their first as it's just feeding & sleeping and not trying to entertain all the time. DS first question when he wakes up, (normally before 6am) is what are we doing today?! Luckily he is at nursery 2.5 days a week, so I do get a slight bit of rest, dreading the summer holidays though!

The house looks like a bombsite & Ds has had more than his fair share of TV/playing on the computer, while I feed. DD is so easy in comparison, she's been smiling at her brother for the past month & is getting used to all the noise from him.

Definitely try & get out every day, especially in this lovely weather, I feel like it makes the world of difference (and tires Ds out!)

WeGotThere Tue 01-Jul-14 12:34:42

Hi Bazil,

I have 2.4yo DD and 12woDS. I was petrified before my first day alone with them but it got easier. Second having changing bag ready to go at a moments notice. Also lots of 'big girl' jobs and treats/rewards with lots and lots of cuddles and attention. Out every morning and either garden or baking/crafts etc... in the afternoons. Also started using TV a LOT more (currently watching Tangled on Netflix while I feed DS). Sometimes a simple change of room can help.

Already she is better and DS smiles at her when she sings or tries to include him. He is feeding less often which helps too. I have a loose plan for the day like what we're having for lunch and where we're going but like PP said deal with present and take it half hour at a time.

BazilGin Fri 11-Jul-14 21:09:35

I keep re-reading all the responses to make myself feel better. I feel like my lovely little girl and my relationship with her is gone. Her behaviour is awful and getting worse., I get kicked/hit on a daily basis. She refuses to sit at the table for meals and then moans for treats all day. I am constantly told to go away, today she actually said she didn't love me anymore. Of course, I try to be patient, and keep telling her that I love her, even if she is mad or her bahaviour isn't great. But I grieve the loss of my lovely girl, not sure if I am ever getting her back again.

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