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Oh dear God help. Two year old and newborn. Need I say more?

(43 Posts)
mylittlepuds Wed 24-Apr-13 18:42:26

Jeeeeeesus. I need my glass of wine tonight. We have a newborn (two weeks) and a toddler (just turned two). His behaviour was never great (not through lack of trying - naughty step etc) but now, dear Lord, it's ramped up ten fold. My DH goes back to work in a week and I need some tactics quick smart.

He is (of course) absolutely wonderful grin but we do need to get this behaviour sorted - it feels like he has literally tantrumed all day today with spurts of quiet whilst cartoos are on (and I detest him watching too many). He hits other children too...I'm also concerned about our newborn who flinches at his screaming and has to put up with non stop noise until he's in bed.

We do naughty step for two mins religiously. It does calm him down and make him think about his behaviour.

We use distraction. Sometimes works sometimes doesn't.

Bribery. Rarely works.

Getting him to 'help out'. Rarely works.

Any other ideas very welcomed!

TerrariaMum Wed 24-Apr-13 18:45:36

No ideas, I'm afraid, but you are not alone. DD1 is almost 2.5 and DD2 is 1 week old and this sounds familiar.

SizzleSazz Wed 24-Apr-13 18:47:07

Ignore was always my default - 21 month age gap.

It does get better though. Honest grin

SconesForTea Wed 24-Apr-13 18:47:52

Read 123-Magic by Thomas Phelan. Some great discipline ideas.

Myliferocks Wed 24-Apr-13 18:50:07

You have my sympathies! grin

I had a 2 yr old, 13 mth old and a newborn as well as an 8 and 4 yr old!

I'm not much help but I can say that it does get easier!

TheSecondComing Wed 24-Apr-13 18:52:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Juniperdewdropofbrandy Wed 24-Apr-13 18:57:59

I went through this too except ds1 wasn't naughty I was just paranoid as he seemed huge compared to the baby. I soon got a grip though and lavished him with attention and all was well. DS2 was a very easy baby so didn't mind being left in bouncy chair etc.. DS1 wasn't so easy as a baby,he demanded attention all the time for a year. Then was a doddle.

Is there a playgroup near by that you can take him to? Places where he can burn energy. Someone who can take the baby whilst you have one to one with dc1?

He's just being a bit jealous by the sounds of it? Unless he was like this before baby?

Shiraztastic Wed 24-Apr-13 18:58:52

It is completely normal and would probably happen whether newborn had come along or not. The main difference is that you are so tired and busy it's even harder to cope with.

Distraction, ignoring and trying to stay calm. Naughty step is pointless. Also try to predict tantrums... Eg give food every couple of hours before he gets hungry, go for walk/ drive to get him to sleep when he's tired and needs a nap, give warnings, eg "in 5 mins we're going to tidy this away"'
, then 3 mins, then 2, 1. Offer choices where both are acceptable " would you like to put your shoes on first or your coat?". Don't sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles. Does it really matter if he wears odd clothing combos or refuses to wear a coat?

Engage him and get him to help by fetching things. Remember to play with him. You can do puzzles or play with cars on the floor whilst feeding/changing baby.

Make things fun, eg if he won't put his socks on, say 'oh, I gues this is my hat then, but I'm not sure i can get it on my head" and pretend to put it on. Fits of giggles followed by insistence on wearing it properly may follow!

Be kind to yourself. It will pass faster than you think. Don't take it personally, it is a normal developmental phase. Remember - the mess you see on their face is the mess going on in their head sad, sometimes keeping that in mind helps me stay calm!

mylittlepuds Wed 24-Apr-13 19:00:41

Ahhh so this is normal?! Well thanks for all of your supportive replies - at least I know it's not just my DS who has started getting v disapproving looks at soft play. Bloody hell. I really worry about DS jumping on DDs head whilst I'm feeding her as he's so 'physical'.

I'll certainly try out the book recommendation and draw some kind of strengths from everyone else's replies. God knows I'll need it!

mylittlepuds Wed 24-Apr-13 19:01:52

Thesecondcoming - park idea is lovely. Hope it warms up soon.

lljkk Wed 24-Apr-13 19:02:17

I probably did something right because I don't remember any of this type of thing (23 month gap). Sadly I have no clue what my great parenting was.

mylittlepuds Wed 24-Apr-13 19:06:14

Thanks Shiraz - my heart does break for him when he gets so past himself and we get frustrated and annoyed. It does help taking a step back and remembering he's a baby too.

Juniper - my God the him being huge thing TOTALLY freaked me out but I'm getting to grips with it a bit. Yes he's always been a 'character' but it's just really amplified since DD came along.

mylittlepuds Wed 24-Apr-13 19:07:08

Lljkk envy

tumbletumble Wed 24-Apr-13 19:07:12

DS2 went through a hitting phase at that age. I tried various discipline techniques and the only one that worked was, after one warning, to leave wherever we were and go home. I know it's really annoying if you've just arrived, but I only had to do it twice and he stopped hitting other kids.

mylittlepuds Wed 24-Apr-13 19:08:58

Ah tumble - I find it so hard getting all organised and out! Can you remember how old your DS2 was? I worry I'd do this and he'd be none the bloody wiser (he's 24 months)

Shiraztastic Wed 24-Apr-13 19:28:35

Oh, and leave the house every day, preferably with the toddler on foot at a snails pace' especially to go to the playground. Exercise and fresh air both aid good behaviour in preschool children Ime.

A good sling for the baby is a godsend too.

Go Easy yourself, it sounds like you're doing great. You're only 2 weeks in smile

ReallyBadBreath Wed 24-Apr-13 19:37:50

Get out out out. Forget toddler groups, soft play or anywhere else you may get judged.

I'd also forget the naughty step - it doesn't really work for under 3s that well.

When does he kick off? Does he have a nap? Have you kept his routine in place?

rowrowrowtheboat Wed 24-Apr-13 19:45:13

I have an similar age gap. When baby is sleeping, try having as much one on one with DS even if you haven't got the energy. 15 mins of focused attention before the next feed reduced the tantrums of DD1 and she was more accepting when baby did need the feed.

I also had friends round lots in the first few weeks as the distraction worked for everyone.

I also wondered if I got more tantrums on the days I was even more tired, maybe I was less patient then, so, make the most of early nights and all offers of help.

Mine get on fabulously now and I love the age gap and their relationship. It will click in place.

backinaminute Wed 24-Apr-13 19:48:46

I'm nearly 5 months in, I've got a 20 month gap.

I won't lie, I found the first few week hideous but I promise it does get better.

I totally agree with what the others have said. I have a list of 'safe places' to go with both of them, mostly soft play. I go out every morning and then that eases my conscience if ds1 watches cbeebies all afternoon.

We have cut back on tv again now but it saved my sanity for the first few months. Also, I have found my friends I made through ds1 to be brilliant as they mostly only have one child and like newborn cuddles. Going out with them helps, 2 adults to 3 children is a better ratio grin.

I got fed up of saying 'gently with ds2' but still say it lots of times now. I have to say though that ds2 is quite tough and is used to being pulled about as ds1 is so affectionate.

Pull in all the help you can, if people ask if they can do anything bite their hand off and give them a job - even if it's to go with you somewhere to help or look after the children while you have a bath.

Also, when dp went back to work I found getting showered and dressed before he left crucial. It made me feel a million times better and psychologically I find it easier to deal with everything in my clothes (other wise the process of having a shower and getting dressed can take hours, there were times I spent all morning wrapped in a towel, trying to get dressed but being distracted by feeding or tantrums etc grin).

SingSongMummy Wed 24-Apr-13 20:54:44

Shiraz - great posts, totally agree. Wanted to add that I have a 22 month age gap and did lots of research on different playgroups/classes to go to each morning as I knew that the baby would have a good hours sleep on the morning and that I would be able to give my attention to DD1 at said activity so we were having some fun together and then if it was a good friendly group, when the baby woke up and needed feeding, DD1 could play on whilst being helped by other kind parents. I also used the sling all the time.

All toddlers get challenging at this age so don't be hard on yourself and think that it is caused by having your lovely baby!

DialMforMummy Wed 24-Apr-13 21:17:04

We have a 19 months gap.
We sometimes jokingly compare DS1 to a labrador in that he needs to exercise outside twice a day. Getting out as much as possible seems like a very sensible option. You're lucky, with the summer hopefully there will be decent days when you can spend time outside.
I would not rule out playgroups though, they are great because when DC1 runs around creating havoc you can have a bit of cuddly time with DC2.
I found that I had to be mega organised. I shower in the evening so when I get up I can put my clothes straight on. Agree that it would be helpful if DH help dress the DC before going to work (organise what they are going to wear the night before as well).
DC1 went through a phase where he was quite challenging. Whenever he was misbehaving, we'd put him in the naughty corner, if anything that'd give him a bit of time to calm down. Many people say that the naughty step is pointless at this age but it worked pretty well for us. Then again, all children are different.
DC1 loves DC2 and, as someone else said, DC2 is often being strangled cuddled by DC1 and they seem to both love each other company.

Don't get embarrassed by your DC's tantrums, they are quite natural at this age and screw people judging. They have never had kids, obviously.
Good luck.

mylittlepuds Wed 24-Apr-13 21:35:52

Thank you everyone!! Such good advice and it's really helped calmed me down. So...mega organisation, get ready before DH out the door, get toddler out and about on the morning (group or other activity), rely on cartoons a bit for lazy(ish) afternoon - oh and screw the tuts from other parents judging DS. Does happen a lot with us and that was before DD arrived! Thanks everyone grin

MrsGubbins Thu 25-Apr-13 09:02:12

balloons are your friend! when I'm feeding the newborn we play with a balloon, 2.5 yr old loves chasing it around and I don't have palpitations if it goes near the baby! I also ask the toddlers 'permission' to feed, change and pick up the baby... so far she hasn't refused and I think it makes her feel in control, I don't ask as often as I did in the first few weeks and now she'll tell me to pick him up if he stirs.

we also go out every morning and if we're back for the afternoon it's cbeebies all the way, i figure these few months of excess Mr Tumble aren't going to turn her to mush!

congrats and good luck!

snickers251 Thu 25-Apr-13 09:20:51

No advice just plenty of empathy here!

Have 2.7yo ds and 5wk dd. a few weeks ago I could have written you post but slowly we are getting into the 'organisation' thing. Only yesterday at the park while ds went off and did his thing, I had some much needed bonding time with dd in the shade, prior to this I felt like a feeding and changing machine to dd as all my time was spent trying to avoid tantrums with ds!

We have the added stress of poo withholding which is making ds unbearable and I too was a bit embarrassed by the judgey types but I am so beyond tiredness to care anymore!

So very pleased the weather is improving its really helping us get out of the house more grin

BedHanger Thu 25-Apr-13 09:35:52

Hello again (I'm on your 'newborn feeding every two hours' thread). We're in the midst of this too - DS1 is 2.6yo and DS2 is nearly 8wo, ebf.

It's bonkers, properly bonkers. DS2 is fairly chilled (ie no colic or anything), but needs holding all the time. DS1's world has obviously been shaken at the very foundations sad and he's veered from very affectionate to biting DS2 on the leg in a fit of pique. He's also going through a phase that might affectionately be termed "boisterous" hmm.

Tbh, even when he's feeling happy about the little usurper it's tiring. I managed to get a sleeping DS2 into his bouncy chair the other day and was rubbing my hands with glee at the thought of all the chores I could now get done. Less than FIVE MINUTES later, DS1 clocked him and went over yelling "hello BABY! CUDDLE!" before performing a rugby-style pile on grin. We're trying hard to help him see his new brother as a positive addition, so I had to grit my teeth and congratulate him on what a fab big brother he is, but shall we be gentle?

I have consumed by own body weight in chocolate over the last two months, I swear!

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