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Toddler struggling with newborn's arrival

(6 Posts)
chloechloe Sat 31-Dec-16 13:05:30

DD1 is 21 months and DD2 arrived 2 weeks ago. Fortunately the older one is besotted with her little sister, constantly kissing and cuddling her, helping with nappies and getting really concerned when she cries. But aside from that she's turned into a complete nightmare.

Admittedly it's been a tough 2 weeks - DD1 has been ill with an awful cold virus culminating in her eardrum bursting and her 4 incisors have all popped through at the same time. We had a house full of relatives over Christmas meaning I didn't see much of DD1 as I didn't want to struggle with BFing the baby with an audience.

Every day is just a constant battle with her tantrums and saying no to everything. I cook her favourite food and she either refuses to eat or spits it out and is barely eating anything (though this could also be illness or her teeth). She refuses to get dressed and after exhausting negotiation and distraction tactics I end up pinning her down, the same with nappy changes. When I'm not looking she takes all her clothes and nappy off and then comes and laughs at me. One nap time she took her nappy off and weed in the bed. I've hardly left the house in the last 2 weeks but when I do it ends in a meltdown with her kicking and screaming so much she's hanging out the buggy. When I go in to settle her in the night she screams for daddy and hits me in the face....

I know that the poor little thing is just confused and that it's her way of reacting to the change. But it's so hard trying to keep calm when you're sleep deprived and constantly being provoked. She's generally such a happy easy going baby but at the moment she's a total nightmare.

Thanks for reading this far - any advice gratefully received!

Me2go Sat 31-Dec-16 14:35:57

Congrats on your new baby flowers Sorry to hear you are in such a tough situation, I remember those days well!

My advice would be that if they both need tending to, always sort out the older one first. She is the one who will notice if she has to wait and she is the driving force in the sibling relationship. We don't want the older sibling to be resentful...they all need to know they're not going to miss out on your attention, which obviously will get a little less with each extra child you have.

Apart from that, it's only been two weeks, and what you describe sounds normal...and it sounds like you're doing well!

golfmonkey Sat 31-Dec-16 15:12:27

It'll definitely pass. I'd be firm about the bad behaviour but extra attentive when she is being good. Involve her with the new baby as much as possible-handing wipes to you etc. My dd1 went through a phase of not wanting me and it broke my heart for 3 weeks or so, then she got.used to her little sister. It's so exhausting with 2 under 2! But remember your big one is still a baby and can't talk yet to express her frustration. She's lashing out at you.because she knows you will always love her unconditionally and so she is 'safer' behaving like this with you than anyone else. I'm not going to.say it gets much easier as challenges just keep changing (I have a 2y and 8 month old), but this will definitely pass, hang in there xxx

Cranb0rne Sat 31-Dec-16 15:45:53

I have a 12 month old and a 3 year old and it is such a struggle in the beginning. My older DS was very upset with his new brother and hated it when I sat on the sofa feeding for hours. He had massive temper tantrums and was generally horrible to everyone who came to visit. We found that getting out as much as possible even in the early days really helped and I accepted every offer of help from friends and family. My family came round and took my older child out to soft play. It really does get easier, especially when the weather starts to improve and you can spend more time outside. Do you have any friends in the same boat? I was lucky to have a friend with two the same age and we spent a lot of time together. It really helped make things bearable. My older DS settled down after a few months and stopped acting up so much.

Zebrasinpyjamas Sat 31-Dec-16 16:47:58

It's tough. Dc1 was similar to yours for a few weeks, particularly when I was feeding dc2. I completely agree it's particularly tough for you as you are sleep deprived.

No huge pearls of wisdom other than I had a stash of toys from charity shops or old ones he hadn't seen for a while wrapped up. If things got bad or when I was about to feed DC2 I'd grab one as a ready made distraction. Other friends had a "feeding toy box" ie toys that only came out when dc2 was feeding so they remained a novelty.
Second the pp about going out the house regardless even if it's a 20 mins walk that takes 2 hours to prep for confused and keeping up the endless praise when Dc1 does something helpful. My highlight was when dc2 stopped crying (by coincidence ) as Dc1 sang "twinkle twinkle". Dc1 now believes he has a magical soothing voice grin.

It really will get easier. Congrats on your new arrival.

chloechloe Mon 02-Jan-17 14:05:46

Thanks for your kind replies - in my hormonal state they brought a tear to my eye!

I think it's extra hard in winter as it's freezing here (not in the U.K.) and with the days being so short it makes it harder to get out. I will make an effort to get out every day - the comment about the 2 hour preparation time is so very true! I got DD1 ready to go out today and whilst I put the baby in her snowsuit DD1 pulled off her shoes, coat, hat and trousers despite being desperate to go to the park 😂

I do have one friend who I met on my first mat leave and she had her second last week so I think I'll make an effort to arrange things with her once we've both found our feet a bit.

I think I just have to be grateful for the little things - like the fact DD1 went to sleep without any drama last night and slept through until 6:30!

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