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sibling chaos now baby crawling

(12 Posts)
mamatilly Wed 24-Jun-09 19:40:22

i know it is a cliche, i had been warned, but suddenly harmony has left now that baby (8mths) is crawling and picking up toddler's (3 1/2yrs) toys...suddenly toddler says 'no baby no' 'go away' 'this is mine' 'naughty baby' 'etc etc etc...

things had been fairly harmonious since birth but dynamics have shifted and i need new strategies! and quick!

should toddler share? include baby? i find myself acting like a big toddler snatching things from him to show him how he likes it... oh dear. can't they just play together sweetly? i tried to encourage toddler to let baby be his Jess while he was postman pat, but seemed like he wanted to kick cat out of van pretty quick...


mamatilly Wed 24-Jun-09 20:01:19

mmm just found a link to a book 'siblings without rivalry' - think i need to check it out!

swissmiss Wed 24-Jun-09 20:07:35

Sorry don't have any wise words but can I tag along to this please. I'm wondering what advice you'll get.

DD1 is 3.4 and DD2 is 9mths. Baby is fully mobile and so far here DD1 is seriously dis-interested in DD2 but DS1 4.5 is the one who is always hoiking her off their toys, carrying out of the room and shutting the door in her face. shock

hairygodmother Wed 24-Jun-09 20:15:02

Ha ha wait till he starts walking! My dd2 (15 months) has just started walking and dd1 (3 1/2) is being driven mad by it. Strategy I adopted when crawling started was to keep telling toddler to put anything out of reach that she didn't want her little sister to get. This works for a while although of course you have to keep putting stuff higher and higher. Dd1 didn't get it for a while and just kept moving things to a different place on the floor! I think it taught her to work out what she was happy to let her sister play with and what she wasn't! But if she kept snatching things from her little sister (hers or otherwise) I would give dd2 something dd1 was very attached to (the opposite of snatching away which interestingly never occurred to me but might have been more effective!). Still have problems but they learn to work it out. If you get hold of book let me know what you think, think I need a copy myself!

hairygodmother Wed 24-Jun-09 20:17:35

X post there swissmiss, I too have the shutting door in face problem, I have just got some door wedges and those thingies to stop door closing properly so at least fingers remain attached. Kids eh?

swissmiss Wed 24-Jun-09 20:20:36

smile hairy.

Already given up on the door wedges here. The just got taken out and DD2 thinks they make great teething toys. At least DS1 plonks her down a good couple off feet away from said door and then beats a hasty retreat.

ksld Wed 24-Jun-09 20:25:49

I think it is important to get a balance - toddler must share some toys and some time, but must also have toys that are his alone that he doesn't have to share. Your toddler is not going to find the baby much of a playmate for a while yet, don't panic - mine play beautifully (when they are not fighting) now.

Some strategies I used
Help toddler to move toys to a table to continue playing alone
Make sure toddler understands baby needs space to crawl as much as toddler needs it to play, try to get agreement who will be where and then you police it.
Encourage toddler to 'play' with crawling baby - placing a desirable toy across the room and cheering baby as she crawls to it.
Get toddler to play games on the floor where baby can 'join in' (ie have something to chew on that is not a precious, necessary part of toddler's play)

KTNoo Wed 24-Jun-09 20:37:27

Oh I remember that! It will get better. At this stage you can't explain to your baby not to take older sibling's toys so you just have to focus on keeping some separate space for your older child and reminding her that the baby is small and doesn't understand about sharing yet.

Some things that helped me:

Older child plays with small toys e.g. playmobil on dining table.
Encourage sharing where possible and praise for spontaneous sharing.
Work towards older child keeping things in bedroom and a "toys in living room are shared" policy.
As younger child gets older they should have an equal say in things, e.g. what to watch on tv.
Encourage older child to distract baby with another toy if baby snatches.

By the time mine were 4 and 2 they were playing together quite well, and now they are 8 and 6 I can leave them to fight most things out themselves. Funny thing was we never seemed to have this phase when dc3 became mobile - maybe the older 2 by then were used to having to compromise.

Geocentric Wed 24-Jun-09 20:42:47

Mine had that, too. I used a lot of the strategies already mentioned by others. Also when my DC1 was really feeling bothered he would climb on the sofa where DD couldn't reach and that was his temporary sanctuary. By the time she learnt to climb on the sofa he was over the phase grin

hairygodmother Wed 24-Jun-09 20:45:02

KTNoo it's good to read your post as I am trying to do all those things that you suggest (am just about to put a dolls' house for my older dd in her bedroom in fact which will be just for her) and it's hard! Especially as no 2 is getting more and more independent-minded and demanding what she wants. Can see the tv in partic becoming a huge battleground! But as I say, it's nice to read your post and feel encouraged that there is light at the end of the tunnel! Will just keep plugging away till then (with my luck it'll happen when they're in their 20s and I'm too old to care!).

whomovedmychocolate Wed 24-Jun-09 20:46:26

We have a 'if you take a toy away you must replace it with another' rule. So if DD takes younger DS's toy she must give something else back. He chases her round like she's the best thing in the world and it drives her nuts. But actually they are starting to play together - he pushes her around while she sits on her big wheely dog. And it's only taken a few months to get there - he's a year next month. So you will get there

mamatilly Thu 25-Jun-09 13:54:34

great to read your experiences, and ideas.
i like idea of using table for undisturbed activities, and may also try fencing off a little zone where we can set up train set or lego safely.

today toddler has been unbelievably sweet to baby, long may it continue.


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