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Help! Toddler scratching newborn

(11 Posts)
Mikethenight2good Mon 04-Jul-16 09:52:12


I have a 2.5 yr and a 8 week old baby. I am literally at the end of my tether (& sleep deprived).
My Toddler keeps scratching our newborn. As I can't put baby down as he tries to hurt him, I end up having baby in the sling. Which I knows fuel the jealousy but I don't know what to do. I was just playing a game with a Toddler whilst feeding the baby, and he has (again) scratched his face.
He gets timeout but I am really stuck.

Any advice gratefully received

superking Mon 04-Jul-16 10:05:22

That sounds really upsetting and stressful, poor you. Have you talked to your toddler to try to get to the bottom of why they are doing it? I know it is hard for a 2.5 year old to understand and vocalise what are probably quite complicated feelings but I would be trying to resolve through communication as far as possible.

What is your toddler's overall attitude to the new arrival - hostile? Ambivalent? Excited? Could you try to encourage a more gentle attitude by talking excitedly about the important role of a big sister/ brother and involving as much as possible in helping care for the baby eg choosing clothes, helping with baths etc?

After 8 weeks you may have tried all these already, in which case apologies! Hang in there.

DesignedForLife Mon 04-Jul-16 10:45:40

Can you put the baby in a travel cot or similar that your toddler can't get into, and give some quality time to toddler?

TheWildRumpyPumpus Mon 04-Jul-16 11:17:59

Is he intentionally hurting the baby or just being over-enthusiastic?

Can you make sure both toddler and baby have short nails (I thought one of mine was scratching the baby but it turned out to be self-inflicted!).

I agree with giving the toddler 'helpful' jobs to do - fetching nappies/wipes, choosing baby's outfit for the day, 'reading' a story. Make them feel important!

Mikethenight2good Mon 04-Jul-16 14:51:47

Hi thanks for your responses.
His behaviour at nursery is excellent, they are always singing his praises. He loves it there. It's just at home where it all goes wrong.
He originally loved his little brother, but I think once he figured he wasn't going back, then the jealousy kicked in.
Baby will sleep in the pram but not for long. Plus toddler will sometimes go and push the pram or lean in and hit him. Hence the sling seems to be the only safety this poor baby has! I do an activity with toddler once a week and my mum will have the baby so we have time together. I also make sure I spend 1 on 1time when hubby is home ie bedtime etc. I also am trying over praising him for doing good things but I feel we always end up in time out.
I showed him baby face, where he had scratched and he says sorry but does he mean it? He also hits me and hubby at home if he doesn't get his own way. I am not sure I have the right punishment in place. We do timeout. But he is not really attached to any toy, by confiscating it doesn't have an impact.
I ams starting to feel like that I can't cope with my own kid.

corythatwas Tue 05-Jul-16 17:26:27

My dd was like this and she was quite a bit older (3.5). I had to constantly keep between her and baby ds. When I went to the loo I put him in the bedroom with the latch on, it was just constant vigilance.

If it is any consolation to you, they are now teenagers and absolutely adore each other, enjoy each other's company, have been there for each other during some horrendously tough times.

originalmavis Tue 05-Jul-16 17:31:10

Have you mentioned it to the nursery? They will be able to address it with play and books. It must be horrible for you.

gubbinsy Tue 05-Jul-16 22:22:37

I've had to read this twice to check I hadn't posted sleep deprived and forgotten. Having the exact same issue. DS1 is 2.7 and DS2 9 weeks. It's so hard isn't it.
We've tried lots of things but nothing really helping hugely - think it might be time. Some days better than others and I've realised my mood/way I am with him can make a difference. Today's been bad with h lots of hitting (we appear to have moved from scratching to slapping - at least that doesn't bleed) but I was impatient and v tired today so not as good at distracting from stuff. I get into negative spirals which seem to make hitting etc worse
We're going with a no 'insert method of hurting' then remove baby and lots of fuss.
He's started asking straight away if we're still his best friend (sob) so reassuring that yes we are but don't like hitting/hurting. Who knows what's best but trying to be consistent- easier said than done when knackered and getting all your buttons pushed!

thescruffiestgiantintown Tue 05-Jul-16 23:33:16

I hope this doesn't sound patronising, but have you tried empathising with him? This is the route I take for pretty much all my 2.5yo's bad behaviour (well, 90% of the time - sometimes I'm too tired!) including negative behaviour towards her newborn brother.
I use this in conjunction with Janet Lansbury "I won't let you..." language. Actually let me just find her blog post about siblings, she'll explain it much better than me!

thescruffiestgiantintown Tue 05-Jul-16 23:34:07

gubbinsy Wed 06-Jul-16 00:55:50

Not patronising at all. We do a lot of that and also a lot of talking about how hard it is but I think we were doing too much of it so gone back to simpler message pulped with a more positive approach donuts not dwelled on.
I do a lot of I won't let you when I can see/sense he's getting close!

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