DD1 (21 months) struggling to cope with new baby(2 Posts)
Hi everyone. I had DD2 last week and ever since we came home DD1 (21 months) hasn't been coping with the arrival of her sister. I understand it is a momentous time of change for her and we are trying to be as patient as we can with her (whilst being sleep deprived!).
Any suggestions on how we can make this easier on her?
Examples of her behaviour:
- does not want to approach DD2
- very clingy and whiney
- asking for milk whenever she sees me bfing DD2
- refusing to eat unless I'm the one feeding her
- refusing to sleep in her cot (we are cosleeping with DD2 and she wants to sleep with us too. In theory not a problem except our bed is too small for this to be a long term arrangement).
My ds1 was older when I had ds2 so there was maybe a different level of understanding. But I think you just have to be really gentle with her and run with it. Her world has been turned upside-down and it will take time for you all to adjust. I remember me and DH having to consciously remind each other that ds1 was really still a baby as well (he was 3.4 when ds2 was born) - they seem so enormous and grown-up when you have a newborn as comparison!
Things we did that I think helped were:
People that came to visit made a big fuss of ds1. They had a hold of the baby but really spent a lot of time with his older brother.
I put a drink (in a sippy cup) and snack in the fridge ready so that when I was BFing and da1 immediately decided he was hungry he could go and help himself. He loved this (but may not work with your dd1 as she's younger)
I spent as much time with ds1 as I could when the baby was asleep. I also really tried to do some bedtimes (v difficult with cluster feeding) as it was a lovely way to reconnect at the end of the day. But I tried to talk to him about just normal things. Not relating everything to the baby. If he wanted to ignore his brother that was okay - there's no reason that they should love this new interloper immediately and I personally think its expecting too much of them to think that they might. (Ignore all the FB etc things about toddler adoring their new siblings - they really upset me at first)
My DH really stepped up and became the parent of choice for ds1. This has been really hard for me and we're just coming out of the other side of it now. I spent a long time feeling guilty about ds1 but then I realised that ds2 has the right to a babyhood as well. He spends a lot of his time being put down quickly so that I can attend to ds1 (doesn't so him any harm). But actually make sure you let your self spend a bit of time just gazing at your lovely new baby as well - you won't get this time back with her and it goes even quicker the second time. I swear I blinked and he was 6 weeks old.
In your situation I would just let dd take her time if you can. It might be tough. At one stage ds1 said to me "why did we have a baby?" In a really sad voice. But now (ds2 is 9 months) he gets him toys, talks to him when he wakes up and is crying, gets his breakfast ready etc. they're really growing into one another and it's lovely to see.
Sorry I'm rambling. Middle of the night BFing - brain still asleep I think! Good luck!
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