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My 20 mo keeps hitting and scratching my newborn

(11 Posts)
Littlejo26 Fri 14-Aug-09 14:35:19

Im at my wits end, DS who is 20 months just keep son hurting DD who is only 3 weeks. I know he's just adjusting to her and in his eyes, his life has been turned upside down. But he keeps making her bleed, by scratching her mainly across her face. He's always slapping her head.

I try not to hold her all day, im BF so have to hold her at some point, but he usually lashes out when we're playing together, he gets up and whacks her, or he hits her when she starts crying.

I know its hurting her cos she really sobs and sometimes her face looks horredous from the scratches. I just cant cope anymore with him and am beginning to "hate" him when he does it.

I dont know how to control him, everyone keeps saying thats he's too young to understand but you tell him off and he will look at you in the eye and give her another whack. He's always been a hitter so to speak, i cant go out to play groups cos im too scared he will hurt another child.

Any advice on how to cope or deal with his behaviour?

juuule Fri 14-Aug-09 15:45:02

All you can do is keep encourging him to be gentle with her. Gently say no if it looks like he's going for her. Mostly, though, you have to protect her. If you are feeding her keep her head out of his reach, shield her with one hand, move out of his way at the same time speaking to him to be nice etc. If you are feeding her and it's possible put on a dvd or tv programme for him to watch with you. Get him interested in a game or when you sit down to feed her ask him to get some books to read to you.
Having patience with him will pay off but you do need to keep your dd out of harm's way.

misdee Fri 14-Aug-09 16:09:10

totally sumpathese. my nephew is 22months old, and is constantly hurt my 9month old dd4 and other children. its very harde work, and i can never put dd4 down when i visit. he has been doing it for a while, since she was first born.

Ceebee74 Fri 14-Aug-09 16:18:40

I totally sympathise as DS1 was like this with DS2 sad

Fortunately, it wasn't constant - he would just as often stroke/kiss him. But we decided we needed to do whatever it took to keep DS2 safe so we ended up setting up a travel cot in the lounge where we would put DS2 when he wasn't feeding so he wasn't in DS1's reach - and if we couldn't put him in that, we just made sure they weren't ever left alone together and watched DS1 like a hawk for signs he was going to scratch/bite - usually if he was tired/bored.

It was a really tough time though and I don't really look back at DS2's early days with happiness sad - but DS2 is 9 months old now and things are SO much better (well almost - now that DS2 is sitting up, DS1 now seems to think DS2 is some kind of skittle to be knocked down <sigh>)

Littlejo26 Fri 14-Aug-09 18:52:21

Thank you for your replies. Its good to hear from people who have been in the same situation, makes me not feel too alone. I feel so down about it and worried PND will creep in.

I always do my best to keep my newborn out of harms reach, its just such hard work. I really miss my DS, hes changed alot since my DD's arrival I hope he returns to his old self soon as he's clearly not happy.

I feel awful for him cos ive "ruined" his life by having DD and I feel awful for her cos she keeps getting hurt

Comewhinewithme Fri 14-Aug-09 18:57:01

My dd threw a magnet (the kind you stick in books) at my 11 week old dd today I told her no she did it again I put her on the naughty ste and she came back in and threw something else .

It is jealousy just wish I knew how to stop it .

cazboldy Fri 14-Aug-09 18:57:53

Is not his fault.

can you involve him more, like asking him to get nappies/ bath them together/ cuddling them together

I never had this between mine, although dd will bite ds3 (who is 15 months older) now occasionally - usually to get her own way - i think maybe it is an instincive thing

Ceebee74 Fri 14-Aug-09 19:43:27

Littlejo I could have written your last post about 8 months lovely sunny happy (if a little cheeky) DS1 disappeared the day DS2 was born and was replaced by a whingy, tantrummy, aggressive little boy sad I too felt guilty about ruining his life...exactly as you feel now.

I literally took one day at a time and just kept thinking it would get better...and it did. Gradually things got easier and DS1 returned back to his usual self within a few weeks - I can't remember exactly when but probably by about the time DS2 was 6 or 7 weeks old.

Our situation was not helped by the fact DS1's sleep went to pieces the day DS2 was born aswell - which obviously made him tired during the day and made his behaviour worse. It was a very vicious circle which gradually disappeared.

As I said in my previous post, it really did ruin the first few weeks of DS2's life but not, 9 months later, things are great and it is a distant memory...just remember, one day at a time.

moaningminniewhingesagain Fri 14-Aug-09 19:56:00

DD was almost 21mo when DS born and I had similar, am BF and she was v jealous - would try to hit him on his head, poke his eyes, and I felt very GGGGRRR DON'T HURT MY BABY all the time. It calmed down a lot, DS is almost 8mo now.

DD still very jealous at times, but now he is quite big (DD is pretty tiny so he is catching up super quick)it is less of an issue. I started to take her to a playgroup regularly (even though it's the last thing I felt like doing as I was so shattered), make sure I had episodes of Peppa Pig and Fifi on the sky+, and find quiet things to occupy her for feeding times, like jigsaws/colouring/a big tub of weaning spoons to 'sort out'. She adores him now, loves making him laugh, she feeds him, whether I want her to or notgrin and is getting good at sharing/taking turns.

I pick my battles, so if they are both getting nappies changed and she wants him to go first, I go with it. But being nasty is not tolerated, she gets 2 warnings then put in her room for a few mins.

It's horrible now but it really will get better.

Lorry123 Mon 17-Aug-09 15:21:56

I am in a really similar situation - my 2 and half year old boy constantly hits his 8 month old brother, or tries to crush him. I know it is purely attention seeking as he looks out of the corner of his eye at me when he is doing it. I always react, say no and try to put him on the naughty step (not that he will even sit on that now!) but it doesn't seem to be abating. I'm wondering whether ignoring this behaviour whilst keeping a watchful eye, would be a better tact. It is so boring to constantly battle with him over this - it's driving me nuts!

jerin Mon 17-Aug-09 20:10:26

I have 15 months between my DS and my DTs and DS has thankfully been fine with them most of the time although there have been moments. I took loads of advice from the nurses in SCBU whilst my DTs were waiting to come home and some from HV - I think these have really helped. I used to put DTs in travel cot in lounge during day. When they woke for a feed I'd ignore their cries at first and continue reading book with DS or doing what we were doing - I'd say oh no the babies need feeding... or he's dropped his dummy...ssshhh sssshhh babies we're watching tv or similar. Then I'd say I think we're gonna have to feed them.... I bottle fed but obviously took twice as long which would often test his patience.
My health visitor advised that if Ds hit a baby to make a big fuss of the baby but ignore DS that way it didnt give him the attention he wanted. Lately, DTs are 7 months now i find that DS likes to be traeted just the same a s them - they are all in one room, I tell however is making a fuss to ssshhh, make them kiss each other good night. They are beginning to play together now and only today I was thinking how lucky I've been.... probably not what you wanted to hear but I hope maybe my ideas will work. Incidently a friend who has similar age gap put her DD down to pick up new DS and DD wailed - but I think it was because she didnt warn her or let her know. I'd always tell DS what I was planning to do and take my time in getting round to doing it..good luck

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