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Expecting a son in 2 mths and wondering what behaviour to expect from DD1 who'll be 2.3 mths old - and how to manage it!

(24 Posts)
Jools78 Thu 09-Jul-09 11:34:54

My new baby is due when my DD1 will be 2.3 yrs old.

DD1 is very independent (although since we left her at her grandparents for 2 nights about a month ago, and since we moved her into her toddler bed I have noticed her becoming a little more clingy during the day); very communicative (talks all the time, picks up new words easily); a good eater and sleeper; but is just getting to that age of being a bit boisterous.

On Tuesday she threw something soft at a 2month old we'd gone to visit. She was obviously jealous of the attention on the baby and getting bored. She did say sorry, but 5 hours after the event! I get the sense that sometimes she's just lashing out without thinking.

I took it as a little bit of an omen of things to come, and want to prepare myself with some strategies to deal with jealous toddlers and sibling rivalry at her age.

Can anyone recommend simple things to do/say or any chapters of any books on how to best prepare the toddler, and help them come to terms with the new arrival?

Really excited to be having another, and sure she'll be a great big sister, but thinking I won't have the head space to read around this by the time the baby actually arrives. Any thoughts really welcomed! Thank you!

Jools78 Thu 09-Jul-09 11:35:53

Sorry - in title should read DD1 will be 2.3 YEARS old (of course!)

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 09-Jul-09 11:36:39

I shall watch this with interest as I am due a baby boy in November with a 3year old and have been wondering the same thing!

Jools78 Thu 09-Jul-09 11:38:46

Congrats, Pavlov! I did do an advanced search and found some other posts on this, but not for the age gap we'll have and for the kind of character my DD has!

flowerybeanbag Thu 09-Jul-09 11:40:04

<<lurks>>

Fennel Thu 09-Jul-09 11:41:27

you might not have any problems, we didn't have any noticeable issues, with a 17 month and then a 30 month gap. my dc were very used to their father and also aunt and uncle looking after them a lot, I think that made a big difference, so I wasn't the main carer anyway, just one of several.

Pinkjenny Thu 09-Jul-09 11:45:42

<prays for magic answers>

craftynclothy Thu 09-Jul-09 11:50:32

Dd will be 2.4 when dd2 is born.

We've done the following:
Call it "our" baby and "your sister" etc (so that it always includes her)
Asked her to help pick names
Let her 'help' the midwife at appointments (helps that we have an independent midwife so lots of time etc.) - she helps listen to the heartbeat and feel where baby is wink

I also have a friend who had a baby about a month ago so she's seen that baby and anytime me (or dh) has held it we've made her feel involved...so things like saying "Is the baby sleeping?" etc.

We've also encouraged her to play with her dolls and called them her baby iykwim. Things like saying "Are you cuddling your baby? Will you cuddle our baby when it's born?" type of thing.

Pinkjenny Thu 09-Jul-09 11:58:23

Dd will be 2.7 when the baby is born and keeps saying she is "getting a baby sister". Do you think we need to find out the sex in case it's a boy, so we can prepare her?

<secretly searches for a reason to find out the sex>

RorysRacingMa Thu 09-Jul-09 12:05:01

My daughter was 2 1/2 when son was born. She generally became more willful, pushing boundaries a lot, wanted to hold the baby in a headlock, kind and loving in a 2 y o kind of a way. All also typical 2 yo behaviour.

Meals and toileting were an issue as they were areas of control for her. But it's around 3 months in that i think the child realises the baby ain't going and starts to play up - they can be more whiney, more demanding, wanting cuddles the whole time because the baby is held a lot. That sort of thing. Trying to have special older child time can help.

Each child responds differently imo

phdlife Thu 09-Jul-09 12:21:25

ds was bang on 2 years when dd was born. He has mostly taken to her, and the biggest issue between them is still him wanting to kiss/pat/poke her when she's asleep - especially if one of us is holding her (which we do cos she's a velcro baby). At 12 weeks though it's pretty clear she adores him too.

But ds also began playing up at bedtime, and eventually I realised that it was his way of getting quality time with mama. It helps now to ditch dd from bed routine as much as possible (she has a flair for needing feeding during storytime) but we're still working on it!

Ceebee74 Thu 09-Jul-09 12:28:53

I wish I had some positive advice for you but I don't (don't read any further if you only want 'good' experiences wink)

My DS1 was 2.4 when DS2 was born - and I can honestly say, the first few months were the hardest time of my life and I look back now and wonder how the hell we survived tbh.

We did all the things you are told to about preparing the toddler - and it didn't make a blind bit of difference. He started to have major tantrums, whinged constantly, his sleeping went completely to pot (we had more disturbed nights with DS1 than the newborn hmm), he was quite aggressive towards DS2 (biting, hitting etc) - basically pushing every boundary he could.

Things we did - we set up a travel cot in the lounge to put DS2 in for the first 2 or 3 months so DS1 couldn't reach him (didn't stop him chucking things in though!), we started a reward chart and DS1 got a star for every day he didn't make DS2 cry, tried to give DS1 as much positive attention/1-2-1 time as we possibly could.

DS2 is nearly 8 months old now and it just got gradually easier - and probably by 6 months, things had settled down and now, DS1 plays really nicely with his brother, climbs in his cot and reads books to him/plays peekaboo with hime, his behaviour is just fantastic at the moment and he is an absolute delight to be around. His sleeping is completely back to normal again now and he rarely gets up in the middle of the night now.

Now a lot of what happened was probably just because he was 2, he has a very boisterous nature etc - I guess we will never know. And I will be honest and say we only coped because DS1 is/was still going to nursery 4 days a week which gave us all a break from each other.

(And don't even ask about the week when they both had chicken pox when DS2 was 10 weeks old....) wink

Sorry this is pretty crap but just wanted to share my experience - but I know loads of other mums who didn't have any problems at all so I think it is dependent on the personality of the child. My advice is 'head down and just get through each day the best you can' and, as I said, 8 months on, life with 2 children is pretty good now smile

Pinkjenny Thu 09-Jul-09 12:36:52

What was your toddler like before dd was born, Ceebee? Did he have a complete temporary personality change?

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 09-Jul-09 12:37:45

I forgot to say congratulations to you too jools78 and to everyone else due another baby!

Here is hoping for a smooth transition for all our babies.

I shall ignore Ceebees post grin sorry you found it so so hard with your LOs, I do know that DD went through a lot of what you descibed at about 2, so hopefully it was an age thing, rather than an age + new baby thing. Are things easier now?

Ceebee74 Thu 09-Jul-09 12:44:05

Pinkjenny DS1 has always been a boisterous little boy but the tantrums and whinging were new and the hitting and biting was definitely something we had not had before (he didn't confine that to DS2 btw, me and DH were also hit!). He had always been a very happy, sunny little boy - so it was awful to see him become so unhappy and the feelings of guilt that we had 'done' this to him were very hard to deal with.

Pav feel free to ignore my post grin yes, things are so much better now - DS1 has completely reverted back to his old self and seeing him playing with DS2 and DS2 giggling his little head off or DS1 cuddling DS2 and saying' mummy I love him so much' definitely makes it worthwhile - but it is easy to say now I am through the other side wink

Ceebee74 Thu 09-Jul-09 12:46:22

Also, I remember posting on here about all the problems in the early days and it seems it is VERY common for the toddler to misbehave at bedtime/during the night - when previously they were sleeping through.

rocketupbum Thu 09-Jul-09 13:42:31

My DS was 2.7 when DD born. It has really been ok all in all.
I made huge effort to include him in loads of stuff - nappy changing, washing. Also made big fuss of how much she loved him and commmented to her when he did stuff "look DD isn't your big brother clever!!" Now because I made such a fuss she thinks everything he does is hilarious and he plays up to this by trying to make her laugh all the time. (this has come back to haunt me at mealtimes esp!)
Try to get used to feeding while sitting on floor playing game/jigsaw/reading story. And popping baby down whenever poss. I used to really love the evenings when DS in bed and I could cuddle new baby without feeling guilty.
All no.1 feel a bit pushed out at the start I am sure but in the long run this time will pass and seeing my 2 playing and giggling togther is just fab.
Good luck

Jools78 Thu 09-Jul-09 13:49:18

Thanks for all your posts!

Ceebee74 The night time thing was a concern for us (as she'd been such a stellar sleeper in her cot) so I am HOPING that getting her into her bed will help. It was a tricky transition for us, and I think I would have been too exhausted with a baby, too, to go through all of that again. We've found a way of getting her into the bed which involves her listening to Winnie the Pooh which she loves, though I think we're going to need to ration it, cos she sometimes listens it for over an hour. We're going to cross that bridge next week, when she'll have been in a bed for 4 weeks. I think the most important thing for her will be to give her as much attention as possible at the end of the day, at bedtime. Planning on having lots of baby bouncer chairs and mats around so if need be I can put baby down. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm going to save this thread so I can look at it when DS is born so if we have any of those problems, I won't feel alone and have some tips. Glad to hear things have got better. DD1 already bites us, so I'm hoping that isn't going to spiral. (It's occasional, and often when she's been bitten at nursery or by friends, and then she remembers what her teeth can do!)

Thanks craftynclothy I've been taking her along to the midwifes etc. She goes to sleep with big baby and little baby on her pillow with her (they are quite small baby dolls). I'm thinking of getting a more realistic looking and sized doll so she can do a nappy change on it when I'm doing her brother's....

Pinkjenny We found out because I didn't want to have to sort through all the girls clothes with a newborn - we have three big blue IKEA bags of 0-2 yrs clothes now to give away (don't think we'll have another child after this) and doing that has helped to prepare psychologically for a boy. I will miss using some of the lovely clothes, but I have also arranged to do a direct swap with a friend I know who has a boy, and is now expecting a girl. Not necessarily the best reason to find out the sex, but one that was important to me...

RorysRacingMa I'm toying with the idea of potty training but am I mad to consider with only 2 months to go until DS is due do you think? She's ready (according to the no cry potty training solution quiz) and able to tell me when she needs a poo but I can't help thinking that she'll just regress if I do it before, and maybe I should just wait until she's a bit more acclimatised to having a baby brother.

Good luck, Pavlov!

pranma Thu 09-Jul-09 17:48:35

My dgs was 2.5 when his baby brother was born and there has been no problem.He too was very articulate and we read lots of stories about new babies joining a family.He is asked to help do things for 'his' little brother and is very proud of knowing where things eg.nappies are.One thing is that my dd managed to work it so that baby's feeds dont coincide with toddler's bedtime.They always ask him 'who do you want to put you to bed,mummy or daddy?'He likes the sense of control.In addition dd tries to focus on him whenever possible and baby gets his special time when older one isnt around.That is less necessary now as the baby is 4 and a half months and his brother loves to join in making him giggle etc.

RorysRacingMa Thu 09-Jul-09 20:32:06

I don't know much about the potty training lark. Some people say the summer is a good time to do it. Do you want to do it later when you could be in the middle of a feed and get a 'mummy i need a pee'?

There just seem so many variables that i couldn't say if it was a good idea or not. Two months is a good length of time to get a routine established ( mind you being 30 weeks pg at present the idea of running around has no appeal either)grin

londonartemis Fri 10-Jul-09 18:35:21

Hi Jools, I tried to make my DD feel that she was part of the grown ups and we had this little baby brother coming. I would pretend to ask her advice about him - What do you think he's crying about? Do you think he wants milk, or a nappy or a bath? I held back as far as I could about being precious about the new baby and tried to include her as much as possible in looking after him, so he was like a big live baby doll to her. Within a few months he was past the little tiny baby stage and she really cared about him. We're now ten years on from that, and they're still really good friends. Basically the new born had to fit in with her, rather than her with him.

mrsmcdreamy Sat 11-Jul-09 18:39:58

Our ds1 was 2.4 when ds2 was born and we had no issues that stick in my mind at all.

I was concerned because we'd moved abroad a couple of months before ds2 was born, so it was a very different environment for ds1 (no grandparents who he'd become very close to, for example; new playgroup; new 'friends' etc) and i was expecting some change in behaviour. Also, ds1 is a very physical, boisterous boy (although having said that, we'd never had issues with biting or hitting - only very vigorous cuddling or hugging!!) so I was, to a certain extent, dreading rough play or handling of the ds2.

However, none of my fears became a reality, thank goodness. In preparation, we had read the usual books about the arrival of a new baby, but that was about it.

There were no sleeping issues, but he was still in a cot at that stage and no toileting issues either as he was still in nappies. I never had problems with him demanding attention while I was breastfeeding, but cbeebies helped with that a lot!!

Good luck - I'm sure your dd will be fine. I'm pg with number 3 at the moment, and the age gap will be 2.4 yet again. However, I'm not feeling so confident about ds2's relationship with the baby, so I'll probably be back on here seeking advice when db3 is born!!

Jools78 Tue 14-Jul-09 21:56:03

Thanks mrsmcdreamy and londonartemis those are really helpful insights. 32 weeks now, so getting closer. I just looked at this book at borders but it was pretty anecdotal and very American. There doesn't seem to be that many books dedicated to it, I hope because it's not much of an issue grin

Gemzooks Tue 14-Jul-09 23:52:44

I have 2.9 DS and 3.5 month DD, first I would say be prepared for a big shock at how much more work it is with 2, and how you all have to stretch a bit to become a family of 4, the dynamic changes. second, it is inevitable for your DD's behaviour to be very odd at first, of course she will feel weird and pushed out. Also YOU will feel guilty at not having much time with her any more, but remember it will come back, you just have to find little bits of time with her. My DS who had been very angelic became really naughty for about 2 weeks. then it got better but he started getting up 20 times when put to bed (he went from cot into a toddler bed 10 weeks before the birth). Now, only 3 months later, I can honestly say we're coping and it's fine, and really lovely to see them developing a relationship. I try to involve him, also remind him of all the things he can do, and just try to model a tender, caring attitude to her which he copies, also try to give him extra attention when possible and make sure I'm 'fair' with cuddles and kisses. Don't worry, it will be strange at first but you'll be fine...and the birth and recovery so much better 2nd time, I found...

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