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Dd seems so unhappy- new baby due(24 Posts)
I've posted a few times re sleep issues and difficult behaviour in my 2.9 yo recently... But the bottom line is, the new baby is due next week and my little daughter just seems so unhappy and confused. She knows that the baby is coming and it seems to be affecting her so badly.
She wakes in the night, she demands to be held by me constantly in the day, she was up for 90 mins last night screaming mummy over and over, but I was unable to comfort her. She complains of a sore bum when in bed- but we can find nothing wrong, there's no uti, she is fine in the day- so I can only think she does this because she knows we can't ignore it. She has tantrums, she refuses to nap, she rejects her dad, she acts up at childcare.
Until now I've mostly been worried about how I will cope with her being like this, and a new baby...now I'm just hugely wobbly and upset about how she seems to be feeling, wondering if we've made a mistake, and feeling horribly guilty about turning her little world upside down. And worried about how to cope.
Am 38w 3d pregnant btw.
Ah don't feel you've made a mistake, or feel guilty, she can't process how she feels so it'll take her a while to adapt. Please don't fret, I am sure someone else will be along with helpful ideas.
Keep reassuring her with cuddles and try not to feel she is inconsolable - she will probably be a massive daddy's girl when the baby arrives. When you go into hospital leave something in her bed you wear that smells of you like a t shirt or cardi she can cuddle up to. Buy a gift for her from the baby. If visitors to see you remember to include her and not just focus on the newborn, that'll go a long way to help her not feel excluded.
Thanks for the advice. We have a gift for her from the baby, and I've put together a bag of activities and treats for her to have while we're at hosp. I'm anxious about leaving her as I don't want her to feel abandoned (pfb syndrome!).
I hope she can get a lot of joy from the experience of having a baby brother as well as the unsettling stuff...
Jeez I'm a hormonal wreck, keep crying about it!
You sound like you've got it under control, there isn't much more you can do beyond letting Nature take its course, having your baby and returning home. I've heard other mums say they just kept up a soothing reassuring patter along the lines of what a good girl she is, how baby can't do much yet and yet she'll love her big sister, who'll show her how to use a spoon, dress herself when she's bigger, blah blah.
As long as your daughter still gets to do her usual favourite stuff and you don't try and tell her she must love the baby, in fact at times acknowledge if she's a wee bit grumpy or jealous, "That's a shame.. do you feel a bit cross now," but keep up the cuddles and still have her on your lap when baby's sleeping. Then she's still got mummy and daddy and feels secure and doesn't feel having a sibling is a negative thing, (crosses fingers).
if she has a sore bum at night she might have worms - you can get medicene at the pharmacist - my 2 yo was really distressed at night because of them
I suspect a lot of it is age-related developmental stuff, not new baby stuff. I was reading a good post about this here. 2.5 - 3 years is a difficult phase developmentally.
Not napping is an enormous factor too - it affects behaviour, night sleep etc.
My DS1 (nearly 2.10) has been a lot like this. It's been going on for a couple of months. He's a very chilled boy, but we've had tantrums, food refusal, extreme fussy eating and generally difficult behaviour. He dropped his nap about 2 months ago. He is clearly overtired, but if he naps he doesn't get sleepy till 10.30pm at the earliest, so naps are a disaster.
DS2 is now 17 days old. It has been hard work but is improving. The first night home from hospital both DSs were up for 4.5 hours straight (our tandem co-sleeping arrangement really didn't work!) and DS1 was up for 1.5 hours every night for a week and a half or so. Now he is still waking quite a lot but is going back to sleep much more quickly, and getting much less upset in the night. DH deals with his waking while I see to DS2, though I usually have to go and give DS1 bf at one point.
DS1 absolutely adores DS2 though. The novelty is starting to wear off so he's less excited about it, but he loves to give him cuddles, kisses and to twiddle DS2's ear instead of mine, which is what he usually uses as a comfort object.
I've found (unsurprisingly) that my mood has a huge effect on DS1. The crosser I am, the more difficult he becomes. We've also been super-consistent on certain issues. I've picked the things which annoy me most rather than the ones I think matter most. So we've been going overboard on getting him to ask politely for things because when I'm tired, him shouting about wanting things tips me right over the edge anger-wise.
When I'm feeling fraught, I've tried to use some of the ideas for being kind to your child here.
Hope it's not as bad as you fear.
Thank you, really useful post AngelDog
Another one struggling with a 2 year old - DD is 2.6 and new baby due in a few months . . .not sure how I will cope with the tantrums and a newborn!!
Thanks so much for all the fantastic advice.
Housesalehelp, how do you diagnose worms- just by looking at their poo? (retch). I had wondered about that...
Angeldog it is good to hear from someone who is in the boat we are about to be in. I think I need to accept we're all in for a rocky ride!
Dd slept beautifully last night (no nap but slightly early bedtime) and has a day of treats with her grandma lined up, so hopefully that will help her feel special. She has also woken up with an awful cough which might explain some of the most recent madness... Or maybe she's just a toddler, eh?
I remember this well. Two things to reassure you. The toddler is probrably anxious about you, my ds visibley relaxed once dd was here. Secondly IME it was so much easier to care for a newborn and toddler than be heavily pregnant and care for a toddler.Ds was a complete nightmare just before dd was born ,but so much easier just a few days later. Good luck
Regarding the sore bum, have you checked for worms? My older sister could not work out what was wrong with her little girl when she was complaining of a sore bottom for days until she worked out it was worms that she must have picked up at nursery! Just a thought, and it is really easily treated. Good luck with new baby!!!
Oh, sorry just noticed someone has already mentioned worms!!!
honestly go to the pharmacist and tell the the symtums - that itching at night is the classic one - I personally think its worth giving them the medicine just in case - its lot more common that you think
I echo what some others have said here.
My DC2 is now 9 weeks old, DC1 is 2.7 years old.
It is much easier to cope with a toddler and a newborn than I thought it'd be, and it's a delight to see the 2 of them together. DD smiles whenever DS is with her, and DS is so cute trying to help me by bringing wipes, nappies etc.
One thing I will say is that DS has got clingy to his dad now, and has said to me several times, "daddy is my friend, you're DD's friend." this has made me a bit sad, but at same time I'm glad he has his dad to identify with, IYSWIM.
DS (prior to DD coming along) used to sleep great all night... now, it's like musical beds... sometimes he's in with us, sometimes DH ends up on the floor all night trying to settle him etc. Has been tough, but I've been told it'll get better in time
Thank you I am close to tears at all the lovely advice here. After a great night last night, we had mega tantrums again this evening. She suddenly went quiet and I predict she's passed out on her bedroom floor, poor thing. It doesn't sound like much when written down does it- a toddler throwing a paddy- but it's so distressing when it's your child beside themselves, you don't know what to do, and you feel they have you over a barrel... And then you imagine a cluster-feeding baby thrown into the crazy mix...
Will explore the worms angle... She also has a terrible cold which can't be helping. Clever us conceiving a baby due just in time for the cold/flu season
It is so encouraging to hear that she may actually settle down when new baby is here. Also that she may become more daddy-focused. At the moment it is exhausting being the only one she wants, not to mention upsetting for her adoring dad to be rejected constantly...
I suppose at least, once the baby is here, we'll know what we're dealing with, both in terms of dd's reaction and how easy/hard the new baby is. It will be a known quantity rather than the weight of anticipation we are all feeling right now...
my DS who was bit older when DC2 was born was awful just before his brother was born - settled down loads when baby arrived
If she doesn't nap I'd go for a really early bedtime. Apparently the total amount of sleep is what matters, so if she normally naps for an hour, she'd need bedtime an hour earlier on days she doesn't nap.
DS has also got much closer to DH thanks to them sleeping in the same room rather than DS with me. He now sometimes wants DH instead of me, which is a refreshing change for both of us.
How are you today ShushBaby?
I was wondering how your DD has taken to seeing her old baby things come out for the baby. I remember before DD arrived, showing DS pictures of himself as a tiny one and he was almost disbelieving.
All the best
Oh thanks so much for checking in! We are ok today after a disturbed night last night. Have got worm meds and changed all sheets etc. Doc agreed it sounds like worms. So thanks for the tip-off! She has also been running a temperature and has a terrible cough and inflamed eardrums (doc looked) so I wonder if the most recent disturbances are partly down to her coming down with a virus or similar.
Dd loves all the baby things (and loves 'sorting them out'- grrr) and looking at pics of her as a baby. We are indulging her desire to be held/act like a baby, and trying to reinforce the idea that she will be a special big sister.
She had a short nap today, and went to sleep without a peep tonight, I just hope she doesn't wake up in a strop again later... Could do with a good kip.
Thanks again for support, I really really appreciate it.
Oh, that 'sorting things out' sounds very familiar!
Thought I'd just pop in to say that DH and I were commenting what a huge difference there is now compared with DS1 at first (DS2 is 3 weeks old). DS1 is still waking a bit at night, but usually goes straight off again after a quick cuddle from DH. He is sleeping later in the mornings instead of waking early, and he is eating meals, mostly without tantrums, whereas it was hideous trying to get any food into him in the early days. I feel like everything's getting easier now.
Thanks Angeldog, that's reassuring. Today has been a pretty good day, and she slept really well last night. Tonight I'm tense at the thought of all these
fucking fireworks waking her up but hoping for another settled night.
Although dd has definitely been unsettled, for physical and probably baby-related reasons, I think I've also been projecting my own fears about having another baby onto her. I've been in denial really, about the reality of it for me. Not giving birth- I'm fine about that. But the new baby part. I'm scared!
Tell your daughter that you love her more than you ever believed possible and having another baby will not change how you feel about her, she will always be your baby and that the new baby will mean there is just more love to go around. (It's true by the way!! The baby bubble will make you all fall in love with each other all over again!)
Well he's here (born yesterday) and big sister adores him! I don't get a look in, she's so keen to cuddle him constantly. It's such early days, and I'm sure she'll have her moments- she had a few last night!- but am hopeful.
Oh and she's perked up a lot since we gave her the worm medicine ...
Worms have a lot to answer for. It was my very first thought when I read your OP a minute ago (far too late obviously!).
Try to remember that any behavioural changes you might attribute to the new baby could well have happened anyway. Toddlers are tricky, yet adorable, little creatures
Congratulations - hope you recover quickly and all adjust soon. Enjoy those newborn snuggles.
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