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Baby not here yet but Dd1 already misbehaving-please tell me how to help her?

(15 Posts)
Elsqueak Fri 05-Oct-12 10:54:58

DC2 expected in 4 wks and we have talked a lot about Dd1 getting to be a big sister etc. She seemed happy and quite proud about it but lately her behaviour has changed. Lots of foot stamping, throwing things and general grumpiness. Also she has started having accidents even though she's been dry for months.
Now I expected this after baby comes but not yet.

Today her nursery teacher said her behaviour there is quite out of character too and she is having to be disciplined more. She loves her teacher so I can imagine Dd1 may well be upset about disappointing her.
I am so worried that I am somehow missing how badly she might be feeling. We are always talking about things so I assumed things weren't that bad.

I guess I just need some sage advice/experiences of similar. I don't want her to feel pushed out by Dc2 but it's inevitable a big change will affect her, I know.

Feel so guilty. What can I do?

Elsqueak Fri 05-Oct-12 10:56:04

Dd is 3 by he way.

Hpbp Fri 05-Oct-12 21:20:22

My kids have an age gap of 3.9 years, I read books about having a baby brother or sister with DS1, that some things would change, others would not, I got DH to spend lots and lots of time with DS even if they have always done so from the beginning, I reassured DS that I still love him.... He used to kiss my bump to say hello to baby. When his sister arrived 9 weeks ago, he went to her straight away kissing her hand, stroking her head gently. He is now helping me to change her or bathe her.... But he is also wetting his bed everynight although he was dry for more than 6 months and waking me up 3 or 4 times a night. Tough but you have to explain, reassure, cuddle the eldest as much as you can now. It will pass, I am sure.

diddlediddledumpling Fri 05-Oct-12 21:28:04

I've seen something similar with both ds1 and ds2 now, when a baby came along. Change in behaviour, toileting accidents, etc. I felt terribly guilty, but being aware of it and giving as much reassurance and attention as possible are all you can really do. Her wee life is about to change drastically and that's bound to cause a reaction. It is surprising that it's happening already, but them if you've talked about it a lot then she's clearly understood what's going to happen.

Elsqueak Sat 06-Oct-12 08:22:48

Thank you both so much. I will keep on reassuring, talking and listening to her.

Fingers crossed all hell's not going to break lose when baby is here.

diddlediddledumpling Sat 06-Oct-12 08:35:28

Ds1 was 5 when I had ds3 in January and seemed anxious coming up to the end of the pregnancy, but has been a fantastic big brother. He told me at the time he was worried that the baby would cry a lot at night so that he wouldn't be able to sleep, although that was maybe just him putting his general worries into words. Once baby came, it was like a switch had been flicked and ds1 was fine. Ds2 was 3 and while he was fine before the birth, he's been a wee bit altered since. But it's only manifested itself as him being a bit clingy to ds1 and telling me he loves me all the time. Like I said, such a big change for them. I've tried to inv

diddlediddledumpling Sat 06-Oct-12 08:40:56

Bah! I've tried to involve them as much as possible, while making sure ds3 is actually safe (ds1 would like to take him to play in his top bunk!). Encouraging them to talk about their feelings has helped too, although it also made the guilt hard to take sometimes. I just tried to remember that siblings are a blessing and the pros outweigh the cons. Good luck for the rest of your pregnancy.

AngelDog Sat 06-Oct-12 09:04:12

Maybe allowing her to still see herself as a 'baby' rather than the 'big sister' would help?

One friend's 3 y.o. DD made a big deal about saying how she had 'little hands' and 'little feet' and was a 'little girl' in the run up to her baby brother's arrival, and babying her a bit more seemed to help.

I tell DS (2.9; DC2 due in 3 weeks) that we'll have two babies - a toddler baby and a baby baby. He seems to like that idea.

He is interested and enthusiastic about DC2, finding toys that he'd like to give him to play with, and thrilled at me saying I'll have more time to sit and read books / play with him instead of going out or doing housework. But he's clearly bothered by things like whether there'll be enough space on my lap, the fact that he'll sometimes have to sleep in the spare room with DH (DS and I currently co-sleep). I think it's normal for them to be worried beforehand.

Elsqueak Sat 06-Oct-12 09:48:48

Thanks diddle. It's nice that your DS2 has DS1 to cling to. I will definitely be trying to coax her to talk to me about how she's feeling.

Angel dog, I hadn't thought of her still wanting to be the baby. It makes sense though. She has been playing at being a baby lately so that is certainly something to consider. Thank you.

Wasn't prepared for the level of guilt this would bring out in me!

A friend of mine said she hadn't really been talking to her little one before her baby came and she's had a lot of problems - an example; big sister repeatedly biting the newborn's toes.

chickadidoda Sat 06-Oct-12 20:13:04

My Ds1 had just turned 4 when ds2 was born, and while I was pregnant his behaviour deteriorated and we were v worried about how he would be when the new baby arrived. As it happens we had nothing to worry about and he has really taken to being a big brother. I really think that it was the 'unknown' that caused him to play up. Everyone was talking to him about being a big brother and how exciting it would be to have a new baby in the family but he didn't have the emotional skills to understand how that would impact his life.
Once ds2 was born we were very careful to include ds1 but without any pressure to be a 'big brother' we made sure he got the attention he was used to as an only one and once he saw this little bundle was no threat to him he took it all in his stride and 16months on they are wonderful to watch together. 2 dc is a wonderful, yet busy, dynamic. Good luck smile

MrsMiniversCharlady Sat 06-Oct-12 20:20:56

This might sound like I'm a bad mother, but I've never really made much of a fuss about having a new baby. I've mentioned it to them obviously, but I've consciously tried not to make it sound like a big deal. My reasoning is that for most toddlers, a new baby is not something they can really imagine, and not something that they're likely to be very interested in either! And I thought that lots of talk about being a big brother/sister might be stressful for them and place expectations on them that they don't have the maturity to deal with.

So I've kept all the preparations really low-key and not expected anything of my older child/children. When the baby has arrived I've never expected them to be pleased, or like them even! I also made a deliberate effort to ignore the baby some of the time and concentrate on the older child as well as not wrapping the baby up in cotton wool.

I dont' know whether I was just lucky, but I've done the new baby 'thing' 3 times now, and have never seen any change in behaviour.

MrsMiniversCharlady Sat 06-Oct-12 20:21:57

reading that back the last bit sounds smug, it's not meant to be. I've messed up just about every other thing as a parent grin

AngelDog Sat 06-Oct-12 21:50:01

Another good tip I read is to sometimes say to the baby things like, "I know you'd like me to pick you up & cuddle you now, but you'll have to wait till I've finished doing x for DC1." That way the older child doesn't feel like it's always them having to wait for your attention because you're doing things with the baby.

We must be due the same week OP smile

DD is really confused. Her behaviour has been playing up too, but we havent had any bed wetting yet.

Shes always asking if the baby is kicking. She talks to it etc. But then when I talk to her about what will happen when its born (going to her dads while I go to hospital etc etc) she seems quiet and says she doesnt want to see the baby.

I guess its just such an unknown for her. I have no idea how she will react once its here. I intend on making sure she gets one on one time with me and knows that she can help with baby if she wants, but doesnt have to.

Its so hard isnt it. I feel so bad.

Elsqueak Sun 07-Oct-12 08:42:57

Thanks all. Some good stories there. Really hope it's some tension she can feel building (trying to keep a lid on my birth nerves but perhaps I'm not doing very well) and she's feeling unsettled.
Would be lovely if she is all laid back once Dc2 comes.

Angel dog, another good idea to try, thank you!

Dd1 did ask if daddy could go to the hospital to collect baby and could I stay
home with her! It may be that that is bothering her.

Thanks all. Your device and stories have really helped.

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