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pg with toddler - will it get worse before it gets better?

(18 Posts)
titferbrains Tue 09-Aug-11 19:43:30

Everyone says that it's harder to be pg with a toddler than to care for newborn and toddler. DD is very trying atm except when she watches TV, and then it's impossible to communicate with her....

She is fighting back about everything I ask her to do, I am constantly having to say if you don't do x then no tv/bedtime story/smoothie etc.

Really can't see this improving with arrival of baby. How did you find your toddler changed once baby arrived? Am just not sure how I will cope with disciplining DD while baby is new and I'm feeling hormonal and protective. Also very worried about dd trying to hurt new baby - which every toddler seems to do at some stage. How to stay calm and be firm but not have the red mist come down?!

Gastonladybird Tue 09-Aug-11 19:46:28

How old is dd and will she be when lo arrives? In my very limited experience there is a big improvement between 2-3 (that said I will lurk as am also pregnant with older toddler)

titferbrains Tue 09-Aug-11 19:52:17

well dd is nearly 3, and we had just the odd tantrum when she turned 2, we ignored them and they stopped.

Now she is crying and screaming when she doesn't get her own way. My current tactic is to stay calm and say "I'm sorry if that makes you sad but you still can't do X" and she seems to get over it relatively quickly. But it's annoying to have to do this over and over throughout the day.

She is very articulate, active, demanding and bossy. I love her but she is never easy going, tends to question everything rather than sitting back for the ride IYKWIM. I really think she is going thru a phase of fighting things just because she can - this eve she was screaming about going upstairs, putting on pyjamas, brushing teeth and am anticipating rage about going to bed too. All brief but really, we do the same bloody thing every night. Why fight routine????? hmm

SybilBeddows Tue 09-Aug-11 19:54:11

you will be fine.
it's easier once new baby comes because it's physically hard being pg and toddlers are physically hard work. You will have more energy despite the lack of sleep and it will all seem easier because of that.

Neither of my older dcs have ever tried to hurt their younger siblings so it is not inevitable. There is a good chance she will be either fascinated by the baby, or utterly uninterested in it.

don't worry!

Gastonladybird Tue 09-Aug-11 19:55:06

I can't give any tips but lots of sympathy (dh out and after bedtime routine that involved Henry kissinger levels of diplomacy) I am now too tired to move and get food.

titferbrains Tue 09-Aug-11 19:56:10

thanks sybil am struggling to get from one day to the next so really cannot see a bright happy future but will try to remember yr kind words.

SybilBeddows Tue 09-Aug-11 20:02:28

Being pregnant with toddler is tiring like nothing else. I remember it well.
You are always having to lift them up (despite all that stuff about pregnant women not lifting heavy weights) and bend down.

it will definitely get easier.

DeWe Tue 09-Aug-11 20:25:19

No. I'd definitely say I'd rather have a newborn and a toddler than pregnant and a toddler. I've done it twice too.
None of my older dc has tried to hurt the baby. However my youngest (age 4) will now chase his screaming sisters through the house. He thinks it's a great game. Can't convince them not to do it, so he continues. <sigh>

NellyTheElephant Tue 09-Aug-11 20:32:18

I do remember extreme relief when the baby was born. It is hell being pregnant when you have a toddler and in some ways it was easier when the baby was born (both times - I have 3 DCs with 2 yrs between each). I think that in a way the first 4 - 6 weeks were a bit of a honeymoon period, despite the exhaustion of broken nights etc somehow we struggled though OK and the toddler was OK with much CBeebies etc. Each time I found it did all get much harder again after those first few weeks as the debilitation of exhaustion really set in for me and the toddler realised that the baby wasn't going anywhere and started kicking off about it as the jealousy stage set in.

Re the hurting thing - I went through that (not initially - it started after a few months) and life saver was a playpen. I made a little nest for the baby in the playpen and had a cot mobile over it etc and it meant that I had a safe place to plonk the baby down where the toddler couldn't reach if I had to answer the door / go to the loo / cook tea etc

Of course it does all get easier again. Toddler tends to start taking a proper interest in the baby once there is smiling and crawling and fun stuff and suddenly you have a little team of two on your hands and it's great, and they are both sleeping and so are you and suddenly life is pretty much back on track and the sun is shining (as it were). I'd say that after the initial couple of weeks of relief once the baby is born the first 6 months will really just be a bit of an endurance exercise to be survived and then your life can start again!!

naturalbaby Tue 09-Aug-11 20:44:00

neither of my older boys tried to hurt their baby brother. they were much younger so did poke a bit out of curiosity but ds1 is 3 now and i get regular comments about how kind and gentle he is with baby brother. he's been through a difficult phase of refusing to do as he's told, screaming and shouting etc and i realised it was because i wasn't giving him much proper attention so he was playing up for attention. a week or two later he's completely different after just one or two activities each week just me and him. the other thing that's make the biggest difference is me modelling behaviour i want to see in him - i've gone over the top to be really nice and full of praise when he does the simplest things. the copy all the baby talk as well with baby so i over do it on the soppy cuddly baby side and the big boys copy it.

Twosugarsplease Tue 09-Aug-11 21:10:10

Hi titfer, I also remember it well, my 2 ds's are 12 & 13 now. A friend of mine is due her baby today, she also has a 14 month ds, plus 3 others, she too is worried just like you....I found my ds who was 2 yrs 1 month at the time my 2nd ds was born to be oblivious to it all, yeah he was aware of a new little person, he hugged him when he first saw him and had a look on his face like we had just given him a present, but the problem infact was me ! I automatically assumed I would have a jealous toddler and I made myself Sick with worry that he was feeling left out, unloved etc I remember once while feeding new ds my toddler walked passed me with a runny nose, I couldn't reach him to wipe it and I started to cry looking at him because 'to me ' he looked uncared for....so what I'm trying to say is (sorry for going on ) i fussed too much. I created a problem by trying to fix what didn't exist, i made it hard for myself, giving myself too much to think about. My mum simply said when I told her, put a box of tissues somewhere handy, I did and he would get one himself and be proud, I learned how to treat 'my baby' desperate to have a little slack, like a little boy, talking to him telling him, only babies cry like your new ds.... And so on, whatever is necessary to say. Don't get me wrong, you may have your days....but to remember they are just wanting to be big and independent really does get you through and understand them better. I now have a 2 year old, big gap for me for a change ( was our little surprise) he has his moments. My god does he ! But a bit of independence with limits thrown in...bingo! The battles aren't as frequent. Best wishes x

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 10-Aug-11 17:23:23

Am glad to read this...am 33wks and ds will be 19m when dc2 arrives.

I keep kipping when ds does so the house is a tip and we are living off jacket spuds.

I keep taking ds outside and letting him torment play with the dog while i stand around and mn on my phone point out the occasional lady bird.

I just feel knackered. I keep wondering how i'll cope with two...and then remember that at least i won't be pg then...

petaluma Thu 11-Aug-11 14:55:03

I'm 32 weeks and ds will be 25 months when dd is born. I feel your pain.

DD bump clearly sleeps in the day ( I think it's cos I'm so active with Ds) as she kicks like a mule ALL night so I'm doubly exhausted. I woke up this morning from a brief sleep having dreamt that I was an extra in Alien because of the internal violence!

DH is lovely but has absolutely no concept of how hard it is doing all this mother and pg stuff combined.

I'm supposed to having a c section this time round, as a result of a low lying placenta, and people keep telling me how lucky I am. LUCKY???! Last time I had one, I could barely walk, held my stomach up with my hands for a week, couldn't lift anything or drive for ages - and I though that was bad with a newborn - now I've got a toddler (who likes 'uppies') I don't think 'luck' enters into it.

I should be going upstairs to wake ds up from his afternoon nap now (he'd probably sleep until 4 if I let him) but I really can't be arsed, and I have no idea what I'm going to do to entertain him until bedtime - which, if I don't wake him up now, will be considerably later than his usual 7pm. DH is out tonight too, so I can't even share the load.

Dammit, I'm off to wake the beast. Deferred gratification and all that.

And to cap it off, I have the worst case of constipation ever. (do you think that was invented to mildly prepare us for child birth????)

AnnetteTwitcher Thu 11-Aug-11 19:59:49

Being pregnant with a toddler is the absolute pits! I now have ds1, 2.4 and ds2, 9 wks and whilst it is soooo full on it is much easier / more enjoyable than I thought it would be...although I did spend 9 months imagining the 7th circle of hell in an effort to manage my own expectations!

I had c-section,dh only took 5 days PL due to work commitments and we have no family nearby. Not quite sure how managed it but peppa pig definitely had a big part to play in keeping ds1 occupied.

You'll be fine, and if all else fails at least you can drink again!

grin

That grin is of the gritted teeth variety btw.

Allegrogirl Thu 11-Aug-11 20:26:55

My toddler was actually much better once the baby arrived. She was 2.10 and having missed the terrible twos is now a full on threenager but I think she found pregnancy unsettling as she knew something was happening but not sure what. She is hard work now but no worse than friends DC's with no siblings.

She has never been horrible to the baby. She mostly ignored her sister for the first 6 months but now DD2 is 11 months they are really lovely together. There are lots of giggles. DD 1 does actaully keep DD2 entertained and I can see how things will be easier on holidays and car journeys in the future having two.

I know lots of families with similar age gaps and none of us have had major jealousy or aggression....yet! We have made a big effort to make a fuss of DD1 and refer to DD2 as 'your sister' rather than 'our baby'. Lots of 'your sister is smiling at you because you're so funny/clever' etc. Seems to help.

And just accept that there will be lots of TV in the first few months and it gets better.

AnnetteTwitcher Thu 11-Aug-11 22:18:49

Also re the jealousy, not sure if this is just a happy coincidence but a lot of ds1's friends from nursery & nct lot have just had 2nd babies and I think maybe possible that we've not experienced any jealousy because he's got used to seeing newborns/older siblings so it just seems quite normal to him.

Or we might just be lucky!

Have you got anyone you can buddy up with??

titferbrains Thu 11-Aug-11 22:27:43

So nice to read the replies on this thread. It really is tough getting thru the days right now. Have just confirmed my C-sec due date which I'm a bit sad about, but good to know when baby will finally be out and to focus now on preparing DD.

Think people have misunderstood about hurting baby - I just mean, for example that DD is almost always gentle with small babies, but occasionally I see her squeezing their hand a bit too hard - I think it's more a curiosity thing - to see if babies are like dolls. She is also really into poking her dolls' eyes which I find a bit alarming, I keep reminding her that we don't do that to real babies... I doubt that she would be malicious but she may well hurt the baby in the process of discovering just how fragile they are.

DD pushing lots of buttons today, stood in the middle of the road to examine a puddle today and I had to take her by the arm to get her off the road (she is normally very good about crossing roads) and when we got across I said "We don't stand on the road, we always walk across! You're going to get yourself killed!" - she looked at me sternly and said "No! I'm not killed!" (Am fairly sure she doesn't know what the word killed means). No idea how to handle her being bossy back to me all the time when I am used to bossing her pretty effectively....ARGH!

Allegrogirl we have fully embraced the tv. Am just stressing about how to tire her out now, even after a full day outside playing with no nap she is still taking time to fall asleep. I cannot believe her stamina and energy. The last 2 mornings she has come in to wake me up (!) and I've let her watch toy story on the ipad in order to get an extra half hour in bed blush but I need every minute of sleep I can get!

titferbrains Wed 17-Aug-11 09:09:18

Resurrecting this thread as DD's behaviour is getting worse.

Failing to say please anymore, just stamping foot and saying I want...

How do I reassure her?

She appears to need very little sleep at the mo which is also a bit tough, we've just been away for a few days staying with family and they were stunned/horrified by how much energy she has and how little sleep she needs eg. brief nap during day = won't fall asleep before 9, poss 9 30.

She just isn't very pleasant to be around atm. Anything I can do???

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