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2 year old reaction to newborn(19 Posts)
Just looking for any experience with bringing a new baby home to a 2 year old. My boy seems to have really struggled with his emotions today when he met our new baby. He didn't know what to feel, whenever the baby cries he cries. He wants to hug the baby, then wants it sent away and says get out. Broken my heart today and feeling like a complete failure to him. Anybody experienced anything similar? What can I do to make this adjustment easier for him?
We got him a present from the baby, we are planning to involve him in as much as possible with changing/watching/helping with the baby- I just need him to accept the baby first.
He might not accept the baby for a while, and that's ok. A baby is a lot to accept! I'd keep it all really lowkey and chilled, don't push him to interact with the baby unless he wants to, and make sure he's still getting lots of one on one time with both of you. It can take months if not years to get used to not being an only child! Cut yourselves some slack.
Our toddker was really happy when he saw him in hospital and for the first couple of weeks he was a pita. Quite naughty and seeking attention. He got over it fairly quickly. I give him as much attention as poss, but also let him know I have to feed baby etc. He now likes getting nappies and stuff and has accepted him. He has stopped being so rough and now knows he needs to be gentle. Sometimes he asks that I put baby in rocker etc and sometimes I will if I can. It's still really early days. It's a massive change, but my toddker did adapt. I hope yours does too. He was 2 yrs two months when we brought our newborn home.
Normal. It's a big change in their lives. My 3yo swung between being all excited over baby brother, complaining bitterly that "he doesn't have time for me" (no darling, he's 2 weeks old), and throwing things at his head.
A few things that helped. Always trying to give attention to her while I was breastfeeding. Finding a game that we could play all three of us together. We used to climb into bed and the bed became a car, with baby brother (lying on his back and waving his arms in the air) the driver, and the car went to places she directed where we bought lots of imaginary sweets. Let dad take the baby in the evenings to get me more time with her. Try to be understanding and not overreact when she expressed annoyance or upset.
The good news is, it passed. By the time baby was 6 months old I didn't have to shut him in securely when I went to the loo (I had worried about her hurting him). By the time he was 2 and they were sharing a bedroom, I would quite often come in in the night to find him in her bed: he'd woken up scared after a nightmare and gone to the place where he felt safe.
Now they are both grown up, it's lovely to hear them share banter, know that they confide in each other things they wouldn't confide in us, know they have each other's backs.
This will pass, OP. Just don't put pressure on by expecting too much, too soon.
Thank you all! I knew it would be harder for him, I think I just didn't expect the full extent. He's always such a happy boy, and it broke my heart to see him so overwhelmed and upset and not being able to do anything about it.
I know in the long run in will be great for both of them, for now we are holding on to our hats x
When I brought DD2 home I didn’t have expectations that her older sister should help. She was little more than a baby herself. We did lots of reading and films snuggled up with the baby while I was feeding, then baby in a stretchy wrap so I was hands free for the toddler. DD1 wasn’t a big fan of her sister, especially when she cried. DD2 quickly learned to smile and laugh at DD1 and started crawling after her at 6 months. DD1 took an interest at that point.
@DefConOne why didn't you have those expectations? It's not really expectations is it? It's involving them. Toddlers naturally LOVE helping. My two year old likes to put shopping away ( can't now cos of corona 😢) unload dishwasher, get nappies and change mat l, put on nappy cream (usually on his belly 😂) He likes to be involved and it certainly helps.
@mum2boys20 it's still really early days. . My boy definitely got better after a week and is fine now. I hope its the same for you x.
Thanks @Rubyroost he has settled now we are a week in. We are now just in denial phase I think. Pretend he's not there until he cries! We are just rotating between me and dad so that both boys get time with both of us 1-1. Will be harder next week when dad has to return to work, but we will get there!
Completely agree that I don't expect my son to help. I don't need him to do anything, it's not about my expectations. I want him to feel involved and not pushed out. Hopefully it will help him bond with the baby too. He loves helping me, tries to hoover, and likes to have a cloth whilst I clean so he can pretend to clean too- everyone will have their own way of doing things, but this is what's right for us.
Denial phase sounds alright. My toddler still ignores 'baby brother'. Although baby brother now smiles at him and he likes that he smiles at him. I think they're just blobs to them until they start doing stuff and I don't blame them not being interested. I think girls may be a bit different in their nature, but boys are probably less interested. My toddler now laughs when baby brother is smiling at him.
My DD didn’t show any interest in a baby arriving and doesn’t like babies. The approach I took felt right and worked well for us. DD2 was just there and I didn’t force any interest. It developed naturally in it’s own time. Just my experience and a different point if view.
My toddler didn’t naturally love helping. They aren’t all the same are they.
No @DefConOne but there's research to support that toddlers have an innate drive to help.
Rubyroost, in my experience it is very much about parents being sensitive to the reactions of their own particular toddler at that particular moment in time. And I have a very large extended family so have watched this phenomenon at close hand several times. Not only are they not all the same as one another, individual toddlers don't react the same all the time either.
Helping can definitely be great for a toddler, but you also need to watch that particular toddler: is it making them happy or more anxious?
Sometimes they regress instead, and that may also be something they need.
In your experience maybe, but controlled psychology experiments tell you something different
Yes, but it was my experience, my toddler, I actually needed to deal with. And the OP will need to deal with her toddler, whatever they may turn out to be like, not a controlled psychology experiment.
I have a 2 year old and a 9 week old baby. My eldest was really excited at first, but that quickly changed. My Daughter has tried to hit/kick/bite/throw cushions at the baby.
9 weeks in and no improvement for me. The only thing I found that worked is to get my Daughter to play "teachers" with her and show her all her teddy's and tell her what colour they are/what they look like etc, hoping it stood soon!!!
My daughters have an age gap of 6 years so my elder one was ok with my new born but my parents tell me stories about how my elder sister got jealous of me when i was born. xD and guess what i learned to sit on my own very late because of her and she was getting all the attention at first but later she accepted the fact that she was stuck with me and got okay with me. LOL Anyways.... point is some kids do that. Don't worry give good attention to both of them and they will be fine.
Apparently I wanted to throw my sister in the river when she arrived! I was 2.5. I didn't, she made it to adulthood! 😂
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