Finding it impossible to play with 3.6yo when 10mo baby is awake 😫

(11 Posts)
BotBotticelli Tue 14-Jun-16 15:49:45

Am I missing a trick? How do other mums with 2 manage this stage?

Ds2 is 10mo and almost walking. Cruising round the furniture everywhere and smashing his head on the floor every 5 mins. Or wanting to hold my finger and walk around the house trashing it.

His favourite activity is demolishing 3.6yo DS1's train track/car garage/dinosaur tableaux (!) that he has built or whatever he is playing with really.

As such I am finding it impossible to sit down and play with ds1 whilst the baby is awake. Luckily the baby naps for an hour in the morning and 90 mins after lunch and I always make sure I get straight down on the floor and play trains or whatever so ds1 during baby's nap time even though I really want to lie on the sofa and drink gin

But even so, this is a lot less mummy attention than ds1 is used to and as such his behaviour has gone right down the shitter of late. Tantrums, not listening, outright disobedience and rough/hurtful behaviour towards the baby aplenty.

What is everyone else with 2 kids doing? Is the 3 year old supposed to just bimble about on his own waiting rather sadly for the baby to go down for a sleep??? I try to find things for us all to do together but it always ends in the baby wrecking it or sustaining a mild head injury after around 4 minutes. Gah!

The older one does go to nursery 3 days so I am not worried about his stimulation levels generally. And we do go out A LOT to parks and groups etc cod it's easier put and about.

But ye gods every minute in te house with them feels like a year...!

Please give me your tips to survive this stage and tell me it ends please?!?

eyebrowsonfleek Tue 14-Jun-16 15:52:56

Can ds1 play on a table while ds2 plays at floor level?
I know someone who used their room divider thing for babies (baby Dan) to create a safe space for the older child.

thenewaveragebear1983 Tue 14-Jun-16 15:59:47

I was literally pondering starting this thread! I have a 4 yo and an 8mo. Baby is cruising, falling, opening cupboard doors, eats everything he finds. 4yo loves Lego. Baby eats Lego. 4yo spends too much time in the playroom while iam in lounge with baby. We have stairgates across some doorways, such as our utility room, but 4yo can 't open them, so can't get to the toilet easily (as is through utility room). I am constantly picking up 'stuff' and saying no. The two ages to me just don't seem to be a good mix, 4 is too young for the level of independence required while I'm looking after baby. Sorry op, this doesn't help you one bit, but at least you know you're not alone!

NapQueen Tue 14-Jun-16 16:03:34

I've a 4.4yo and an 18mo. DS started to get mobile around 10mo (crawling) and walked not long ago. I used to (and still do to an extent), play 1:1 with dc1 when DS is on naps. Yes it's less than before but that's the situation really, and in a few months they will start to play together.

I'm starting to get to the point where we can do crafts at the table, or all play trains but it's very very new.

I mainly just take them/took them out. To the park, beach, farm etc. Dd then gets my interaction as DS is in the buggy;and then he gets out for a walk and I just keep one eye on dd as she wanders round exploring.

BotBotticelli Tue 14-Jun-16 20:19:38

Thank you all - glad to hear I am not alone! I think lots of days out is the key then!

I like the idea of encouraging the 3yo to play on the table so baby can't wreck his games. But it doesn't solve the main problem which is my attention: 3yo DS wants me to play WITH him a lot of the time and obviously I can't whilst I am trying to stop the baby smashing his head open on the door frames/eating coal out the fire etc etc etc.

I guess by 3.6yo he ought to be capable of playing by himself a bit. And he is. But it's just all fucking day at the moment - apart from when the baby naps.

I guess I just wanted to check that this is ok and not gonna damage the older one?? I feel like he is just getting left to his own devices a lot and he obviously doesn't like it ☹️

We tell him we love him loads and I do play with him during baby's nap times and we have lots of lovely stories and cuddles at bedtime. Is this enough??

imwithspud Tue 14-Jun-16 22:28:17

I can relate, I have a 3.5yo and just turned 1year old. I've had my hands full since DD2 started crawling. Feeling lots of guilt in regards to DD1 at the moment, I feel like I don't spend enough time with her and I also feel like I'm constantly telling her off for one thing or another. It's hard, no advice but you have my sympathies. I can't wait till they're both old enough to play together, at least the pressure will be off me a bit then probably replaced by something else though.

imwithspud Tue 14-Jun-16 22:30:59

Forgot to add, despite the guilt I'm pretty sure we won't damage our older DC's. Learning to entertain themselves is a valuable life skill as is learning that they're not always the centre of attention. Of course they won't like it, but when you have more than one young child needs must. As long as you give attention when you can then it will all work out fine. Give it another 20 years and we probably won't even remember this time.

MrsJayy Tue 14-Jun-16 22:36:36

You are spending time with your son while baby is asleep its fine putting your sons things on a table is a good idea does the baby go to bed first ? Do a special thing when baby is in bed but you dont have to play with your son all the time chatting to him about his play is playing with him too. Can you do something together with them ask him to join in on a story or something if you can get the baby to stop bashing about for 5 minutes

minipie Wed 15-Jun-16 11:06:43

Hi Botbot <waves> we have had a few months of this as DD2 is 15 months so been mobile and dangerous for a while.

The answer (sorry) is that yes DD1 has to play by herself until DD2 naps. When DD2 naps we have "just us two" time and I will promise her a favourite activity. And if she's doing something she doesn't want wrecked then she climbs on the big sofa (which DD2 can't quite get up on) and does it there, or at the kitchen table.

TBH she's mostly quite good at playing on her own neglectful mother guilt so it hasn't been too bad. Though of course she wants my attention most on the days DD2 is playing up hmm

There are a few things they both enjoy together (bubbles, music, hiding in a pop up tent/sofa den, bathtime) so those are good.

It does get easier - at 15 months DD2 is properly walking, less likely to injure herself and trash stuff than she was at 10 months, and DD1's got used to the competition for attention (well mostly...)

What about playdates? If you have a friend round for DS1 that could take some of the pressure off you? Or could he do more nursery (is he doing 3 half or whole days?)

minipie Wed 15-Jun-16 11:08:05

Oh and yeah it's not going to damage him to have to play by himself sometimes - or at least I hope not or mine are irretrievably messed up grin

corythatwas Fri 17-Jun-16 19:20:27

Can you invent a game where the 10 mo has a part. When ds was newborn, his 3yo sister was quite unsettled, so I invented a game where the bed became a car and the baby was the driver (lying on his back and waving his arms in the air was about all he could do at that time) and took us to all these special shops where we bought very few groceries and every increasing quantities of sweets.

I don't know, something like zookeepers perhaps, or explorers in the jungles. Anything where whatever the baby does naturally becomes part of the game.

I found that really strengthened the bond between them.

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