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Behaviour of 3 year old due to imminent new arrival

(13 Posts)
LeninGrad Wed 22-Jul-09 10:37:11

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fluffyanimal Wed 22-Jul-09 10:40:07

Lenin, you must be due around the same time as me. I also have a 3 year old ds so will watch this with interest. He's been fine so far but am waiting for the shit to hit the fan after no. 2 is born.

I'm sure it will all settle down in due course - sorry that's not much consolation but I too am resigned to having to just weather any behavioural changes with as much patience as I can muster.

LeninGrad Wed 22-Jul-09 10:45:42

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fluffyanimal Wed 22-Jul-09 11:28:22

Are you like me crippled with guilt at turning his little world upside down? grin I know it will all be fine in the long run but I don't think he really knows what's about to hit him. For that matter nor do I wink!

LeninGrad Wed 22-Jul-09 12:16:47

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herbgarden Wed 22-Jul-09 21:35:26

This takes me back. My ds turned 3 a couple of weeks ago and was just over 2.6 when DD was born in January. I'd spend a long time before she was born in tears sometimes feeling guilty about turning his world upside down. he's a sensitive soul as well and is quite clingy to me so really worried about how that would affect him. Towards the end (about where you both are now !) I was knackered and found looking after a toddler whilst heavily pregnant extremely exhausting....

I had a c-section with DD (did for DS too) - it was fine. He didn't meet DD until she came out of hospital (he had a holiday at his Granny's house who he sees a lot) and we didn't tell him what was going on - although he obviously knew a baby was on its way. The first meeting was a bit strange. I felt very emotional (pregnancy hormones) - he was a bit awkward but had been primed by Daddy who picked him up from nursery and told him what was going on. They were sweet and made a card for him to bring home to his new little sister.

I'd be lying if I said the first few weeks were easy but less from a "gosh I've got a newborn baby what the hell do I do" perspective but more from trying to make sure that DS got the attention that I thought he needed and dealing with the slightly oversensitive reaction to little things which went on. Having had a section too I wasn't feeling on top form s. His previously good sleeping record went a bit erratic so on top of the newborn wakings and everything else that was quite trying.

6 months on and all is much calmer from a 2 child perspective although he can really play up if he's tired and wants my attention at the crucial times (tea/bath/bed/bottle etc) and I have been known to lose it on occasion when both are yelling at 6.30 [mean mummy emoticon].

So, to answer your post - there are no miracles and you don't know how your DS will react to the new baby. My DS has been absolutely lovely with DD and I think almost misses her when she's not around now and couldn't imagine life without her. He's protective of her already and tells small children off if they come near wink - I think you're right though and you have to ride out the storm to let everyone get to know each other when the new one arrives and also for the family dynamic to re-adjust and re-settle. I was very very lucky to have had an extremely amenable no 2. Might be no 2 itis but she's a happy little thing which is a good job as DS has always been, shall we say, slightly tricky so I've still been able to focus quite a lot of time on him despite her arrival. I do also get a couple of days a week with just her and have on occasion palmed DD off on grandparents so that DS and I can have special time together and I love that time - I missed it when DD arrived as DS and I were always such a unit together. Somehow that re-established things for us, particularly if we were going through a particularly difficult phase (8/9 weeks rings a bell when the sleeplessness got to me).

Sorry I'll stop waffling now - but the best of luck - are your no 1's off to pre-school soon or do they also go to nursery ? At least if they are that gives you a nice mix of time with the baby and as a family too.

Habbibu Wed 22-Jul-09 21:39:18

Do you think it is because of the baby, or just because of being 3, iyswim? A friend did stick to her routine with her 2.5 yo when the new baby was born - going out to baby gym, etc etc - it looked knackering to start off with, but I see why she did it. Am sure it will pass, but feel for you - you've had a rough day, from the sounds of things, and maybe you're just feeling it all more just now?

fruitstick Wed 22-Jul-09 21:46:30

My DS was nearly 3 when DS2 was born. We also moved house (and area) when DS2 was 6 weeks old so poor DS1 really did have his life turned upside down.

DS is now 5 months old and things have really settled down but the first few months were tough on DS.

DS1 has always loved his little brother and there has never been any animosity towards him - a little over affectionate at times if anything smile

But it definitely came out in other ways. I didn't get a kiss for weeks! He didn't like me breastfeeding in the beginning and I do remember one day very clearly where I was sobbing as he was throwing bits of lego at me sad.

The key is to be consistent, or at least try to be. Try to discipline him now and don't let him off. Otherwise, when you do clamp down he will either blame the baby or, he'll take advantage of you if you don't.

It's difficult to know what's the baby and what's just being 3 but I think it helps to try and see things from their perspective.

For example, DS1 went for weeks refusing to eat anything but pasta with grated cheese (after eating very well beforehand). I went along with it for a while as I felt he just wanted to control something and have something stable and familiar in one area of his little life. After a few weeks I gradually started him giving him other stuff again and he was fine.

But now, 5 months on, they are lovely together and nobody makes DS2 laugh like his big brother!

herbgarden Wed 22-Jul-09 22:03:03

ps....ah yes, forgot the lovely upside....when we go in in the morning to get DD out of bed (he's always awake before her) the smile she gives him when she sees him after her long night alone is heart melting...

I also second the consistency thing. We've continued to go out and do our normal things although I have found, say, a local playgroup which caters better for both children as oppose to softplay which was better just for DS less stressful and I've met more mums with a same age no 2 as a result. Most of these things fit quite well into the morning allowing sleeps/feeding etc around them. Besides you need to go out - even DS has started to get up and turn cbeebies off and say "I've had enough telly now Mummy shock - I never thought I'd see the day grin

LeninGrad Thu 23-Jul-09 06:31:22

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LeninGrad Thu 23-Jul-09 19:30:28

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fruitstick Thu 23-Jul-09 23:00:15

For all my good advice and smug wisdom, DS completely trashed his room at bedtime in a Mick Jagger style. Bookcase emptied, wardrobe emptied, toys thrown.

2 steps forward, 3 back!

LeninGrad Thu 23-Jul-09 23:24:22

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