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2.4 yr DS and new baby, any tips?

(11 Posts)
karma Sun 23-Jan-05 21:36:31

Probably worrying unnecessarily, but our new baby is due any time, and I'm starting to get really worried about how our 2.4yr old son is going to react. His behaviour has changed over the last few months (probably normal anyway for a child of this age), and he's become very clingy to mummy and only mummy can do anything for him. This is really draining on me, and I know that I won't be able to give him this level of attention when the new baby arrives. I'm also going through the whole guilt trip thing of thinking that he will think we don't love him as much once he has to share our attention with his sibling. He's a very sensitive, intelligent little boy who to make matters worse keeps saying "mummy loves you".
Has anyone got any tips on how to handle the situation both now and once the baby arrives? I pretty much know the obvious stuff, I guess I need some reassurance from others that things will turn out OK, and that our son will adapt to the new situation. Has anyone been through anything similar? Would really value people's thoughts at this stressful and emotional time. Thanks.

collision Sun 23-Jan-05 22:08:21

My ds2 was born in Nov and ds1 was 2.9yrs. I was worried too but, as it turns out unnecessarily.

A few tips though. Buy a present for your ds from the baby......something he really wants and then you can tell him how kind the baby was etc
Also. make sure that when ds sees you for the first time after the baby is born that you are not holding the baby. Make him feel super-special and hug him for as long as he wants. Dont stress either about him wanting your attention when you are feeding the baby. There is plenty of room for 2 on knees even when you are feeding. I also tried not to keep going on about 'mind the baby, dont squash the baby etc' (If it is deliberate that is another matter) but babies are quite strong and not as delicate as we sometimes think. Will think of more but I am sure all will be well. HTH

morningpaper Sun 23-Jan-05 22:10:37

I've got no personal experience but a friend of mine was in this situation recently. Her dd had become very clingy towards the end of her pregnancy, but when the baby was born she was absolutely FINE again. We thought perhaps she was so unsure about what was happening that the little girl was just getting stressed, but once her brother was born, she understood and it all clicked into place. They are getting on fine now. Good luck. xxx

Aero Sun 23-Jan-05 22:18:29

Yes - all will be well! My ds was this age when dd was born and I worried sooooooooooo much. Yes, he did change in the most subtle of ways for a while after she arrived, but nothing serious or lasting and he soon got used to her being around. I was very worried that I couldn't possibly love dd as much as ds1 at the time, but that was unfounded too.
Just be sure to lavish lots of attention on ds and engage him in helping with the new baby - after all, he will notice the attention thing so much more than the new arrival, who will simply want his/her needs met (obviously that includes lots of love and cuddles for baby too). When baby is sleeping is a good time to play with him and reassure him that you still love him as much as before.
It won't be long until things settle down and it will feel as if baby has always been there. Good luck with it all anyway.
btw, we now have three and all the worries I had between ds1 and dd never surfaced when I was expecting ds2, probably because it did all settle down and there was nothing to worry about too much really! HTH if it made any sense!

bizzi Sun 23-Jan-05 22:23:15

Karma, we stressed too during pregnancy of dd1, she came home from hospital with a prezzie for him and we made a big fuss of him with her, encourageing him to hold her on his lap (all v supervised!) telling him how proud we were of him with his new sister etc.
I kept books and gentle toys beside the sofa I fed her on and called him to cuddle up for a read while I fed, this had the desired affect of making him feel wanted consequently he had no need to crowd me!
As for dd2's arrival we got it all wrong. Ds had taken to brotherhood so well and dd1 is such a layed back little girl that we did no preparing thinking she'd be fine, we'd put unnecessary effort in etc But infact she really struggled with the new babys' sudden appearance into the family. It's worth the effort.
Also get visitors, grannies, uncles etc to give your ds extra attention before cooing over the new babe.
goodluck, you'll be fine because you're prepared for difficulties.

keziah Sun 23-Jan-05 22:30:16

I used to make a little squeaky voice and make the baby 'talk' to my other children. They loved the fact that the new baby was talking to them and seemed to find it incredibly funny! Wish i could laugh that easily!!
That way the baby can say 'be gentle with me' and 'your'e a great brother/sister' etc.
This may all sound a bit cheesy but it did really work for me.
Good luck to you all x

RTKangaMummy Sun 23-Jan-05 22:39:04

please ask friends and relatives to bring a little pressie for him as well as baby

One of the families i was a nanny for had 3rd baby

people came to visit and walked straight past the boys and went to baby and gave pressie.

It was so sad their little faces just fell.

after all the baby doesnt care if they went to talk to DS instead of the baby

please either ask them to bring 2 pressies or not one for baby and to ignore the baby when they first visit.

sure it will be fine good luck

juniperdewdrop Sun 23-Jan-05 23:00:32

that's excellent advice kangamummy

I'd over do it with DS as I've been there so know how upset they can get. DS1 was 2.10 when DS2 was born and I got a bit ratty tbh it didn't last long but DS1 stuttered for a short while.

Also agree with pressie, maybe something DS has been after for a while? Doesn't matter if it's a big thing you could put a picture of it in an envelope from baby with a little card?

The baby will be totally fine being ignored for a while whilst DS is getting squeezed Of course we didn't realise babies can survive without us carrying them everywhere with the first borns

lots of hugs and you've always got us lot for support hun, something I didn't have with DS1.

aloha Sun 23-Jan-05 23:37:45

Keziah, dd not yet born (but imminent) and ds (3) LOVES it when I do her little voice. He says 'Baby sister, you are my best baby' and 'she' replies "And you are my best big brother" - and then ds says "And you are the best mummy' - it's all very touching. He also promises to teach her all manner of things, including, as of yesterday, to 'drink beer'! Your post makes me realise it might well be a good thing to keep up baby sister's 'voice' once she is born.

nailpolish Mon 24-Jan-05 08:06:38

karma, i have a 2.4 yr old and a 4 mth old, when i was pg with dd2 i was really worried too. i didnt speak much about the new baby when i was pg, dd1 didnt seem to understand much anyway. when i went into hospital mum looked after dd1, and she was very good, speaking about how dd1 was going to have a new baby in the house, she spoke very excitedly and dd1 got very excited too. when dd2 was born, mum took dd1 to the shops on the way to the hospital and said 'we are going to buy a new hat for your baby sister' dd1 was so excited. i think it helped that my mum kept saying 'your baby sister, your baby sister'

when dd2 came into the ward, she stood at the door and shouted 'wheres my baby sister' and ran over and covered her in kisses. she was so over-excited that she was a bit ott, grabbing dd2, kissing her really hard, etc. i was careful not to give dd1 into trouble for being rough, i gently explained she was only a little baby, etc etc and dd1 is now very gentle.

when we got home i never had a minutes peace to be with the new baby on my own, i had to include dd1 in everything and when i was feeding etc dd1 had to be there, almost sitting on top of the 2 of us, but i made sure she was included in everything, explained everything i was doing, let her give dd2 kisses whenever she wanted etc. if she woke dd2 with kisses, i didnt give her into trouble. it was very very hard but now after 4 mths i still have a clingy dd1 but she is not clingy to me - shes clingy to her baby sister! she always has to sit beside her, if i am changing nappies she has to be there to wipe dd2's bum etc.

it hard work but worth it when dd1 says 'i love my baby sister'

i think if you make everything fun, eg, when your new baby does something, even a small thing, like a big burp, say to your ds 'WOW did you hear that BIG BURP' and laugh hysterically, it is something you are doing together (oh dear that sounds stupid, i hope you know what i mean)

just now during the day its hard when im trying to get the baby settled down for a nap and dd1 is yelling 'mummy come and do my puzzle' but when dd2 gets to sleep eventually i say to dd1 'babys asleep, come on. lets go and play'

she gets excited at that.

you dont get to cuddle your 2nd baby on your own as much as the 1st time, but wait til your ds is in bed and then get your cuddle time then with your new baby

hth and good luck

karma Mon 24-Jan-05 21:03:38

That's been really great guys, getting all those supportive messages from you. I'm sure I'm worrying unnecessarily, but even so it's really helped to hear from others who have been through similar things. Thanks again - I'm sure this won't be the last message I post, and if anyone else has any tips or experience, it would be gratefully received. Cheers for helping me feel less worried!

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