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3-year-old horribly jealous baby

(6 Posts)
juneau Sat 27-Aug-11 15:04:45

I admit I hadn't realised how bad things had got, until today. This morning my 3-year-old hauled the baby off his play mat and left him in the middle of the floor. He thought it was funny. I'd thought DH was in the living room with the kids, but wandered into the office. Then after lunch baby was sleeping in his bouncer in the dining room and I saw DS1 deliberately go up to him and shake him awake. There have been many other incidents of him violently bouncing the bouncer when he thinks I'm not looking or hugging the baby too fiercely. He can never leave the baby alone - he's forever poking and prodding at him, saying mean things about him and just generally being unpleasant. I'm afraid for the baby and really starting to dislike my older child, which I feel awful about, but I feel this fierce protectiveness of the baby.

I've tried doing nice things with DS1, I booked him onto some fun things this past month to try and give him extra attention. When the baby sleeps we cook, read books, play games, etc, although there are times when I'm feeding or holding the baby and I know he's feeling neglected. But they both have to wait their turn for my attention - as all children with a sibling do. Does anyone have any advice? I'm feeling fed up and every time I leave the room now when I'm home alone with both of them I have to take baby with me - to the loo, to the kitchen to make a cup of tea - because I daren't leave him in the same room with DS1, unsupervised.

juneau Sat 27-Aug-11 15:17:19

Sorry, that should say '3-year-old horribly jealous OF baby'

Ripeberry Sat 27-Aug-11 15:20:23

This is very common, just normal sibling rivalry. You are doing the right thing by giving full attention to the eldest when you can. But in the end you need to start enforcing some 'time out' if he continues to be hurting the baby on purpose.
I'm looking after two siblings, one is just 3yrs old and the baby has just turned one. The eldest does not like the fact that baby can now walk and get his toys, so he spends a lot of time hitting, pushing and screaming in the face of the youngest.
Much worse when the mum turns up and he will go right accross the room just to wack his brother.
We are starting to implement time outs and he is responding to it. He plays with special toys at the big table so baby brother can't ruin them.
Tiredness can also make the eldest worse, but I can tell you that babies can give as good as they get once they start crawling and have more control.

The baby sibling is developing a mean streak of pinching and hair pulling, but hopefully he will grow out of it.

AchtungBaby Sat 27-Aug-11 15:21:12

I don't have any relevant experience I'm afraid, juneau.

Nonetheless smile, what about carrying the baby in a sling for an hour or 2 / day? Then your DS1 could get attention from you, even when your baby (DS2?) is awake.

Octaviapink Sat 27-Aug-11 19:40:54

I think it's normal not to be able to leave them alone together - just what having two is all about, for a while. I have a 9mo and a 2.3 yo and I still don't leave them alone together for longer than a few minutes, especially at 'danger' times of day (hungry, tired etc) - one of them always comes with me. I do make a big deal of the things that she can do that he can't - for example when we're playing with playdoh she'll say something like 'DS play too' and I'll say 'no he can't, he's too little'. We use timeouts, as well, for when she's inflicted violence on him - it's the ONLY time we use it and it's more or less the only 'punishment' she gets. It does get better, but slowly.

yawningbear Sat 27-Aug-11 21:39:43

Hi juneau, I could have written your post. I have a 2.9 year old DD and a nearly 7 month old DS. DD is terribly jealous and can be very rough although we have tried to keep things pretty much the same for her and I do spend lots of one to one time with her. Like you I have found myself disliking her at times which is crazy as I adore her and we do have a really close relationship. I tried to introduce 'time out' for her when she hurts him but it was awful, it would have taken most of the day, supernanny style to have got her to co-operate and it left all of us feeling worse so that was ditched. Currently we have a jar that we are filling with pasta when she is gentle, listens etc and she has been told she can go to the local charity shop and choose a toy when she has filled it up! She also loves cbeebies so if she is watching something when she hurts him she looses tv time for 5 minutes. This seems to be working grin. She does want to be able to play with him and have contact with him so I am trying to find ways that she can play safely with him and have very supervised cuddles with him and that seems to be helping too. We spent ages today rolling a ball back and forth between the three of us which she loved. How old is your baby? Is your DS able to speak to you about his feelings at all?

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