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any tips for managing slightly manic toddler and new baby? PLEASE!

(16 Posts)
motherpeculiar Fri 29-Apr-05 12:12:53

hi all - typing one handed with new babe on lap so apols in advance...

have 3wk old dd (3 wks today - hurrah!) and dd1 is 2y 10m.

dd1 going berserk at the moment - normally emotional enough but now bedtime especially very trying - didn't get her down until 10pm last night after many tantrums and shrieking fits and outright refusals - she has always been difficult to get to bed but this is incredible

she is also biting dh (never bitten before) hitting me and has pinched the baby

won't let dh change her nappy or get her dressed without hours of negotiation/fighting. in fact everything seems to take hours of negotiation.

we are both knackered and wondering what we've done/how we can possibly survive (only partly joking )

i know this is probably quite normal and her world has changed immensely but how can we get through it without recourse to the, oft-mentioned in this household, one-way tickets to venezuala (the prospect of which is sometimes the only thing i think keeps poor old dh going!)

any tips for how to manage this, or reading material you've found useful?

btw dd1 is generally a lovely little girl, and can be very gentle and loving with her wee sis too. she is just very volatile at present and hard work with the newbie to deal with too

bakedpotato Fri 29-Apr-05 12:53:48

congratulations on DD2. I did ask ages ago for tips on managing two -- i'll try to find it for you.
I have a bigger gap with my 2 (3 yrs 3 mths) which has possibly made it easier. the best advice anyone gave me was to go to the older child first when they're both crying.
I also found that negotiating with DD went out of the window when the baby arrived. there simply isn't the time. she adjusted quite quickly when she saw we were serious. lots of praise when she does 'big girl' things and helps us, though.
Soon DD2 will start to smile at DD1 and generally find her hilarious and fascinating (DS first noticed DD when he was around 10 wks, and he hasnt taken his eyes off her since), a lovely ego massage for the older child, and at that point it gets easier.
will try to find thatlink.

bakedpotato Fri 29-Apr-05 12:56:52

here it is

FLUM Fri 29-Apr-05 13:00:51

OMG - boot camp?

Super nanny tips... time out, naughty step - goddarn sticker charts.

a week at Granny's for some old fashioned discipline.

popsycal Fri 29-Apr-05 13:02:00

watching this thread with interest.............

RachelsAunty Fri 29-Apr-05 13:31:45

I love How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish; Paperback (May 3, 2001)and Siblings without rivalry by the same people. available on Amazon for £6.99. all about rewards and positive reinforcement. Works on husbands and colleagues too!

Fennel Fri 29-Apr-05 13:36:50

it is very early days yet for dd1 to be used to having a sister. it can only get easier!

I had 3 in 4 years and things we found helpful to stop jealously were things like being a bit rude about the baby - "silly little baby" etc when she dribbles (after all the baby won't understand what you're saying). It makes the toddler feel big and clever. And sometimes, as bakedpotato says, ignoring the baby crying to attend to the older child. Make it explicit, eg "No baby, I can't pick you up til I've finished reading to your sister".

motherofboys Fri 29-Apr-05 14:01:43

I have 3 - the first two have 19 months between them so big juggling act. In the early days I gave as much attention to DS1 and simply 'serviced' the baby (if you get my meaning)which worked then.......I am having alot of trouble with sibling rivalry now (DS1 now 9) and wonder whether i overdid it?
Tantrums should always be ignored though?!?!

popsycal Fri 29-Apr-05 14:03:34

i ordered that book lasstr week and am waiting for it to arrive

collision Fri 29-Apr-05 14:07:36

I agree with MotherofBoys.....we gave ds1 a lot of attention and just looked after ds2 which sounds mean but ds2 was fine and ds1 needed a lot of reassurance at first.

Biting should not be tolerated though and hitting the baby is out of order. At her age she should understand this is not acceptable and I would bring in a time out step and see if that helps.

Is she getting enough exercise? She should be tired at the end of the day.....maybe dont let her nap so that she is tired and falls into bed.

motherpeculiar Fri 29-Apr-05 15:34:14

thanks everyone -

bakedpotato - that thread made for very interesting reading, made me feel a bit better that we're not the only ones with these issues, and also made me laugh quite a lot which may actually have been even more helpful!

I think our main problem is that DD1 has never been good at going to bed - believe me we have tried everything. Even before dd2 it could take over an hour to finally get her down and it was always me rather than DH who was more sucessful (he is a bit of a soft touch when it comes to one more story etc and she milks it for all she can). Since I now tend to be busy feeding DD2 around DD1s bedtime, or trying to relax a bit (FOOL WOMAN !)any routine we did have has gone to pot. SHe is definitely tired by bedtime as she doesn't nap during the day but she has a will of iron and seems to have recently realised that we can't actually force her to stay in bed. Well, I suppose we COULD strap her in somehow but I'm not sure about this approach....

Will order those two books and see if any of the tips in there help.

We do have a time out step which is in operation quite a bit, I guess we just have to stick with it and hopefully things will iron out eventually.

jigger Fri 29-Apr-05 16:29:58

Silly things that might come in handy include

1 - put away all of No 1's books that have too small a font. You can only read the really big fonts at bed time whilst breast feeding/holding new baby at the same time as settling the first.

2 - get out & about with No1 as much as possible. No 2 will happily snooze in car seat whilst you are visiting and only really demand attention for feeds/nappies meanwhile No 1 will be happy with old friends/familiar surroundings

3 - pack day bag the night before if you are going out as both will invariably act up as you are trying to get out of the door and you are bound to forget something

jigger Fri 29-Apr-05 16:33:09

Thought of another one

If new baby is crying as it is close to nap/bed time and No 1 is acting up......attend to No 1. I can remember quite a few times when I turned around to settle with No2 after having fixed No 1 only to find that she had settled herself. The lack of attention meant that she had far far fewer problems settling herself to sleep. See there is a bonus!!

emkana Fri 29-Apr-05 19:24:27

The thing that worked fantastically well for me was to carry dd2 in a ring sling ( like this one . It meant that I still had both hands free to do everything I normally did with dd1, with dd2 happy and contented because she was close to me. You can even b/feed in it! And dd1 quite often "forgot" that dd2 was even there, because dd2 was sort of hidden in the sling...
I can't recommend getting one highly enough, I wouldn't have survived without it!

skiingmummy Fri 29-Apr-05 21:35:59

OMG this is a brilliant thread.
Don't know if anyone remembers me but I had DD in Feb - shes now 11 weeks old. I've basically not been on to MN to post since she was born because of lack of time and the fact my DS toddler has turned into someone else!!

Bedtimes - he won't stay in bed and go to sleep unless you stay in his room. Otherwise he gets out of bed and stands at the top of the stairs screaming and crying. Hes been waking up once or twice a night and coming into our room crying. Hes been waking up at 5am or thereabouts. For the first 2 weeks I tried the taking him back to bed calmly saying 'its time for bed' but one night after doing this for 3 hours solid. I was knackered, he was hysterical and DD needed feeding. So now we stay with him till he falls asleep. Please God let it get better soon.

Behaviour - a serious amount of testing the boundaries and hes started biting. Not good.

Skin - his skin has flared up with the ecxma he had as a baby. Apparently because hes stressed.

Love all the advice. Just hope things get better soon coz I need some sleep!!

motherpeculiar Sat 30-Apr-05 14:29:47

skiingmummy - sounds all too familiar. How old is your DS? I feel shattered even thinking this might all still be going on in 11 weeks!

last night was a bit better, although still much shrieking and creating she did stay in bed from about 8.30 onwards and didn't wake during the night. I so sympathise with you - it is bad enough dealing with a newborn at night but at least you expect to have to do that. In our case the newborn has been a dream at nights, wakes, feeds, goes back to sleep no problem while DD1 has had DH up for hours...

trying to start enforcing limits a bit more stringently from now on, and have got DH on board by getting him to agree that when he says NO (eg no more stories) he won't then give in and tell her another one. It's not going to be easy...

I am dreading next Wednesday, as DH will be working that night and I'll have them both from when I pick DD1 up from nursery at 5ish. It'll be the first time and I am absolutely dreading it. Current plan involves bottle of wine for me and letting DD1 fall asleep downstairs as I just dread the whole bedtime bit so much and really don't see how I can wrestle her into bed and keep her there with the newbie in tow. However, I will continue to attempt to come up with a more constructive plan of action. I like emkana's idea of wearing DD2 while I do the necessary with DD1. Unfortunately I find slings very hard on my knackered old back, but maybe just for an hour or so I could do it. Jigger's tip about the font size on the books is a smasher too, I'd never have thought of that...

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