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Feel guilty for attachment parenting new baby (making sibling jealous)

(5 Posts)
roseability Fri 17-Jul-09 21:35:37

I have a DS (3) and DD (4 weeks)

I am pretty much co sleeping and baby wearing DD. I had PND and terrible anxiety when DS was born and he was a very unsettled baby initially (although he is a very happy little boy now!). So I was determined that this time I would enjoy it and go with the flow more. I have a lovely bond with DD and am I so much more relaxed this time.

However I feel guilty that I do not spend enough quality time with DS. He has been great with my DD but he has been angry at me. Sometimes he looks like he is struggling with it and I feel so sad for him. I feel it does not help that I carry/feed/hold DD a lot. Although I do make time each day with him e.g. bedtime stories and we go out together the three of us and do stuff he likes. I also chat/play with him whilst I am holding her.

A couple of my friends have suggested that they left the baby to cry and put them down more so that they could give the eldest more attention and this makes me feel guilty. However I just cannot leave my DD to cry unless of course it is urgent and my DS needs the loo for example.

Am I being unfair on my DS?

roseability Fri 17-Jul-09 21:37:52

I would like to add that I didn't leave DS to cry either. I just had a terrible time trying to get him to sleep!

Fizzylemonade Fri 17-Jul-09 22:40:50

I did attachment parenting with ds2, ds1 was just 3 when he was born, so I did the whole sling thing.

I showed ds1 photos of him as a baby in my arms (didn't do sling with him) and talked about babies needing looking after and got him to help where he could and when he was willing grin

I wouldn't leave your daughter to cry, maybe try to put her down for a bit but talk about what you are doing. Ds2 cried so I would say to ds1, look your brother seems sad, maybe he wants a cuddle. Shall we give him one together? Also make comparisons of your ds1 eating food and that dd can't because she is only a baby.

I think it helped reinforce the fact that they are different now but when they are babies that they all need to be held, cuddled, fed and need everything done for them.

You WILL always feel guilty for not spending enough time with your ds because he had you all to himself. I was exactly the same. I am a sahm so ds1 had me for 3 years!

idontbelieveit Fri 17-Jul-09 23:14:33

I have a dd (3) and a new dd who is now 5 months. Dd1 was very unsettled at first but now she has loads of fun with the baby and is the only one who can really make her laugh. I wsa relieved she was angry at me and not the baby to be honest. I still have guilty days but it's certainly easier now than it was at 4 weeks.
You have to remember that your ds is really secure and happy now because of the way you looked after him when he was a baby and he can deal with the changes that the new baby brings.
dd1 loves looking at pictures of me and my little sister when we were babies and i think that's helped her as well as looking at photos when she was tiny.

phlossie Sat 18-Jul-09 13:50:41

I think feelings towards your pfb become quite strange when your dc2 arrives, no matter what you do. I read that the smallest, neediest child becomes a mother's prime focus, and it's biological or hormonal (or both).

It's also completely normal for it to take some adjustment for your pfb. My health visitor told me that it would be like your husband coming home with a new wife who he said he loved just as much as you and expecting you not to just put up with her but to love her too! I liked that analogy.

My dcs are closer in age (19 months), so my eldest (ds) had more needs than he does now at 3.5 yo. For that reason, I did have to leave my dd on her own to cry for short periods and I hated it. My guilt was often the other way around - he had had my full attention as a baby, and she had to share me. DD had colic, so while I didn't fully attachment parent, I held her a lot - and she fed a lot. So I had the guilt you have too - a pang when I couldn't play with my ds because I was feeding dd again.

So I think that you feel an element of guilt whatever you do.

I think that you are doing the most important thing and that's doing what feels good for you. You've got a lovely bond with your new baby, and while it seems unfair on your pfb (I'm a pfb, so I know all about this), parents do learn through trial and error, and you're not going to do what didn't work for your first again - that would make no sense.

Enjoy your new baby, she won't stay like this for long, and it will get easier with each milestone. Try and get your ds involved and ask for his help, and keep on doing stuff with your ds where you can interact with him without putting the baby down.

Sounds like you're doing a great job!

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