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When toddlers decide to regress and act like babies how long do they take to snap out of it.

(6 Posts)
ajm200 Fri 12-Sep-08 13:47:30

We've got a second child on the way and despite lots of plans to get everything ready gradually, the last month has been a mass of changes for my DS who is 21 months.

- We've had to change the car, getting rid of his beloved 'magic roof' car
- The new car then packed in and we've got another one that he hates
- He's changed bedrooms
- He's moved from a cot to a bed
- Daddy has stopped cycling to work and takes the car instead in case I go into labour
- A crib has appeared in Mummy and Daddy's room
- Mummy is on crutches

His reaction to all of this is to start insisting that he is a baby not a big boy.
He's refusing to use the potty or toilet despite being dry during the day for ages
He won't use a knife and fork
He demands a bottle for all of his drinks.
Is very clingy despite being very independant up until now..

I'm ignoring the behaviour and treating it as a phase. I don't want to react and prolong it. Baby is arriving soon so that will be more change and upheavel for him. how long can I expect it to continue? I'm worried that he's a bit overwhelmed by it all.

Any advice or examples from your experience would be great!

ChupitosGalore Fri 12-Sep-08 13:54:49


my 'older' two were 2.5 and 18m when my third was born... the first one adapted to the other two arriving beautifully, ds2 had a little more trouble; was a bit like you describe your ds.
id say, try to set aside time to lavish on him doing whatever he wants at least (even loafing watching telly), say, once a week for an afternoon or someting, over and above the time he gets in the normal course of things.
it seems to work for ds2.

just try to create as much consistancy from here on in for him. the changes youve all been through couldnt have been helped, but he'll settle down with a bit more time to adjust. imo/e anyway.

a good book to have and refer to is how to talk... really does seem helpful.

good luck!

ajm200 Fri 12-Sep-08 14:14:22

I probably could made a better job of explaining my reaction to him.

He gets limitless hugs and kisses, loads of one-to-one time with me and his dad.

When I say I'm ignoring the odd behaviour, I mean that I'm not making a fuss about it. I don't give him the bottle but I have put him back into nappies rather than fight over the potty. I still try to get him to use it but won't react if he refuses.

Elibean Fri 12-Sep-08 14:20:36

dd1 was nearly 3 when dd2 was born, so older, but imo same things apply...

I'd give him loads of reassurance, and I'd also take a step back with him and let him be a baby for a while, in some ways. By all means stay steady with providing fork, cup, and potty - but I personally would let him have a bottle when he wants one, cuddle and reassure on demand, let him use fingers to eat etc.

Reassure yourself too - 21 months IS a baby, really! And we all regress when scared/overwhelmed - its normal to be overwhelmed by change, its ok as well, and its also alright to need extra comfort through it.

Honestly, try not to worry - there'll come a time when he'll want to be different to the 'new' baby, and prove he's a big boy: at which point you can give him loads of encouragement and affirmation for being big!

ChupitosGalore Fri 12-Sep-08 16:27:16

oh i wasnt saying you werent being loving! im sure you are lavishing him with attention.,

tbh, i think you prob are doing all you can and know all you need to know. i think all you prob need is some reassurance that This Too Will Pass

fwiw - there are still times in the day, and every night at bedtime that all 3 of mine have baby bottles and they are now 5, 4 and 2.8... i had every intetion of stopping their use at 12m, but things didnt woerk out that way, and hey, i really dont think its a problem.

ds2 coulkdnt be arsed to grace us all with words for ages after he knew parfectly well what everyione was saying... and he looked me pointedly one day when ds3 was a couple of months old, pointed at himself and said 'baby' in a v measured way. in one word he expressed his discomfort at being usurped rerally quite well i thought and i'll always remember his serious little face (was v sweet and really amusing toogrin)... like i say, its ok for him to get clingy etc, but it really will pass.

fwiw, the antsyness of my older one/s was way more pronounced in the lead up to the births... its the unknown that unsettles them most i think... after the arrivals, thye were surprisingly quick to settle down.

i have rambled in random fashion (as is my wont) but i hope some of that helpssmile)

Chaotica Fri 12-Sep-08 17:06:58

I went along with a lot of it (although DD was 17m and had less far to regress). She also didn't start until DS arrived as she had no idea he was arriving.

We just treated "Baby DD" as a game (which sometimes Baby Mummy joined in by crawling around) while at the same time emphasizing what she could do and DS couldn't. There was a lot of "I know you want a yogurt DS, but you'll have to wait until you're older" to the point that DD says "older" to DS about things even now he's allowed them. We also had a lot of Baby DD growing up -- she'd go from crawling to walking and we'd be telling everyone in the room how clever she was to walk so quickly etc.

She grew out of it for the most part. Now she just pretends to be a lion instead grin.

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