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Advice from anyone with experience of severe sibling jealousy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,long sorry.

(19 Posts)
tori32 Fri 18-Jul-08 22:54:09

DD2 is now 16wks. DD1 is 2.6yo.
DD1 is constantly doing nasty things to dd2, such as crashing into her walker with her pram, shouting at her inches away from her face, taking toys off her. She also is constantly doing things to attention seek such as always needs a wee/poo when I bf, not eating meals unless fed, drawing on the carpet (which she has never done and which she knows is naughty.
I have tried everything to get her to see the baby as hers, tried bigging her up as big sister, treated her to things, time out for naughty behaviour (properly with 2 warnings) I give lots of praise when she does something good i.e. picks up a toy for her sister, eats dinner etc. Take her out most days somewhere she enjoys going.
I am now tearing my hair out because nothing seems to be working.

My question is what else can I try and how long does it go on?sad

I feel like I am constantly saying no or putting her in time out and it is getting me down.
I am blush to say she has even been role playing time out with her teddys sad When I asked her how long he had to stay there she said 'too long' sad

mumchie Fri 18-Jul-08 23:27:37

I wouldn't worry about your child putting her teddy in time out - it shows she's really grasping what the whole time out thing is about...imo.
I really have no solutions as to what else to do...sounds like your doing all the right things. It might get easier as your dd2 gets a bit older and more 'interesting' in your dd1's eyes and more interactive with her...then again that could make it worse sad.
I think you should carry on as your doing and ensure she gets lots of special Mummy and Daddy time...oh and choose your battles carefully!

edam Fri 18-Jul-08 23:37:05

Does she get any time at all on her own with you? If not, is there any way you can make it happen?

From dd1's POV, you can see how dd2 is a real pain in the bum. Turning up and grabbing all the attention and taking up all mummy's time.

Do you give her praise for being good when it's nothing to do with the baby, or only when it's dd2-related?

tori32 Sat 19-Jul-08 00:05:53

No, I give her lots of praise aside from baby, for doing well on her sponsored bounce and toddle waddle, eating nicely, doing well with making daddy a birthday card on thursday morning while baby was asleep. I do give her my time without baby when possible but its difficult because of bf dd2. I think perhaps I could express for 11am feed so I could take her somewhere on her own on the weekend, play gym, farm, swimming etc. She does go to lots of these types of places during the week but I always have dd1. DH could look after dd2 then and get more quality time with her.

cory Sat 19-Jul-08 11:02:25

Sounds like you are doing all the right things- but it may not be realistic to expect even the very right things to have anything like an instant effect on a 2-year-old.

Try not to get too upset about it as that is likely to prolong this phase. Accept that a 2-year-old is not mature enough to have much control over their feelings, make sure that they are not left unsupervised together and carry on muttering "this too will pass".

Dd was 3.6 when ds was born, I felt she was as well prepared as any child could be and we still went through a very rough phase. It does pass in the end. Or at the very least, the baby gets less breakable.

cory Sat 19-Jul-08 11:03:54

We also had the drawing on the carpet. The best bit was when she tried to tell me that ds had written the letters of the alpahbet on the carpet in felt tip pen while she was at school. Oh yeah, that would be one clever 6 month old!

edam Sat 19-Jul-08 11:05:15

grin at the baby becoming less breakable.

Agree it sounds like you are doing all the right things. It will take time for them to have an effect, I'm afraid.

Personally I'd go a bit easy on the first child when the second comes along except for stuff that is dangerous or hurting the baby. It is hard for them. (I only have one and am the eldest in my family so may be talking out of my behind on this one, though.)

tori32 Sun 20-Jul-08 13:01:28

{grin] at less breakable, I think thats the main thing, worrying about her hurting the baby. She does seem to be turning a corner and then she does something nasty. Like today she picked up the babies toys and gave them to her several times and then rammed the walker into the settee. The baby hasn't worked out reversing yet smile so was stuck, which dd1 knows full well hmm

littleducks Sun 20-Jul-08 13:16:38

hi tori

no advice but same story here with dd 2.2yo and ds 15 weeks

she can be quite loving at time but seems to be a pita more of the time and it is so hard not to get stressed and shout

ps. when you say baby walker do you mean a sit in thing with wheels all around and can your dd 'walk' in it? just cant see ds doing it, thought he was too small but if your dd likes it i might try at playgroup.....

tori32 Sun 20-Jul-08 13:36:59

Yes, its one with wheels and yes she can peddle it up and down the living room grin However, she is really big and solid and therefore is strong enough to do it iyswim (6-9mth clothes) Have a look at the pic on my profile of her in a leapfrog playstation at 15wks. smile
Glad its not just my dd anyway. Thanks for posting. I think part of the problem stemmed from having to feed dd2 every 1-1.5hrs until I weaned early at 13wks. As I was feeding so often it must have looked as though I was constantly holding/cuddling dd2 in dd1s eyes iyswim. Putting dd2 down in the walker or playstation gives me some hands free time to play with dd1 smile

Nighbynight Sun 20-Jul-08 13:54:15

heartfelt sympathy, tori. I was the younger sibling in this situation, which has poisoned both my sister's and my lives.

I would just make special time for the eldest alone, if that's possible.

littleducks Sun 20-Jul-08 14:05:17

just sorry i cant be more helpful, if i find a magic solution will post though

and thanks for explaining walker will try ds in something more upright at playgroup as he stll spends most of his time in baby gym or bouncy chair which can make him vulnerable if i take my eye of him and dd is in a mood

tori32 Sun 20-Jul-08 15:09:02

LOL when I put dd2 in a bouncy chair she ends up lying flat back grin She is 18.1lb LOL She would be a sitting duck in that!

CarGirl Sun 20-Jul-08 15:12:16

Can I suggest getting a large playpen such as the babydan babyden and use it to put baby in it whilst you do some painting/playdough etc with your older one.

I didn't have this problem but I found the playpen invaluable in keeping my babies (2 youngest) safe from accidental injury etc!

NellyTheElephant Mon 21-Jul-08 22:35:53

I know exactly what you are going through. My DDs are exactly 2 yrs apart and I found the period between DD2 being about 3 months and 6 months the WORST. DD1 was entirely unimpressed with DD2 at this stage and had cottoned on to the fact she was staying (I think the first few months she didn't realise it was permanent. BF was always difficult, what helped me a bit was setting up a routine for feeding DD2 that fitted in with DD1. By 4 months DD2 fed 5 times a day, I'd do the first feed at 7am, and so would usually be finished by 7.30 ish when DD1 got up, the 11am feed was the worst - I'd always have drinks, snacks available and to hand as a distraction and became a master of reading books to DD1 while feeding DD2 and had CBeebies or a DVD primed to be switched on if required (I am not a fan of TV as a prop generally but found it a huge help when BF and I stopped having to resort to it once we passed about 6 months). I then did the next feed at about 2.15pm when DD1 was still asleep for her afternon nap, fed again while DD1 was having her tea at about 5pm and then just had the pre-bed feed to get through. DD1's classic was always the wee or poo just as DD2 had settled into a feed, so I'd try and get her to go before I started feeding and she would generally agree to wait if CBeebies went on!

As well as structuring the feeds as best you can to avoid trouble, my main advice would be to do your utmost to ignore any bad or unpleasant behaviour towards the baby unless it is actually looking like it might hurt her, and even in those cases simply remove DD1 say no firmly, but without anger or too much telling off. I went through a stage where DD1's horrible behaviour was driving me mad and I got cross and upset and told her off, sent her for time out etc etc. It got us nowhere and her behaviour was getting worse and worse and she would do all sorts of bad things and tantrums to draw attention to herself and away from the baby. So DH and I changed tack completely and did what I said above. It was v hard and I had to send myself to time out in the corridor on many occasions to stop myself shouting at her, but her behaviour improved dramatically. I also stopped pointing the baby out to her at all - didn't try to get her to be nice to her or acknowledge her. She was obvioulsy there and part of our family but I stopped trying to make DD1 interact with her if that makes sense.

Things improved HUGELY when DD2 started crawling at 8 months - suddenly she was fun! Another leap forward when she started walking (although there was a bad patch when it was very tempting to shove her over as she tottered around!). Now (3.5 and 1.5) they are great together, sure they fight like crazy over things many times a day (and DD2 gives as good as she gets), but mainly they run around doing silly things together and giggling.

tori32 Mon 21-Jul-08 22:54:23

Kelly thanks for your great post, really helpful, although with the exception of doing time out still, I am doing everything else. Only problem being that dd2 wakes for a feed slightly earlier in the am and so all feeds are earlier. I also still have to dream feed her.It is getting better with 3 steps forward and 2 back iyswim. I do only react when she does dangerous things- unfortunately most of them are sad Did your dd1 shout into your dd2s face? Then dd2 screams, dd1 gets told off and then I have both crying and feel s* about it. sad

NellyTheElephant Tue 22-Jul-08 20:14:04

Yes she used to shout in her face and make her cry and her other classic was a kind of pretence that she was giving her a kiss and a cuddle when in fact she was squashing / pinching / poking her! Instead of telling DD1 off for shouting at DD2 try calmly say 'you know the baby doesn't like that' and pick up the baby to calm her.

A play pen was a god send to us (or travel cot would do) - I made a nice comfy nest with a fleece and soft toys and a wind up mobile over it and would put DD2 there for safety when I was e.g. cooking or going to the loo! Also she'd often be happy staring at the mobile for 10 - 15 mins while I did some colouring or sticking with DD1 to try and give her some extra attention occasionally. It's hard, but keep in mind that this is the worst stage and you will soon be through it - once the baby is crawling and more robust everything is easier.

idontbelieveit Tue 22-Jul-08 20:29:08

i've read this with interest as i'm expecting my 2nd baby and am wondering what it will be like. Can't offer much advice I'm afraid but i did read recently that feeding the second baby on the floor rather than sitting on the settee gives your older child the feeling that you're available even if you're not. Hope things improve for you soon.

doodledandy Tue 22-Jul-08 21:22:07

Mine are 17 months and 3 now and are beginning to play together quite well...

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