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AIBU?

To wonder if everyone with a baby and an older child feels like they just ignore the eldest?

38 replies

Spinachpesto · 28/01/2024 16:59

I feel really sorry for ds(3). As lovely as his 6 month old sibling is, he just doesn’t get a look in. She is going through an exceptionally fussy and demanding stage but when we’re in the house I feel like he’s just abandoned in front of paw patrol Sad

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

28 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
43%
You are NOT being unreasonable
57%
Bkjahshue · 28/01/2024 17:03

I found it went through phases depending what was going on; when the younger one napped the older one got solid attention , when the older was at nursery the younger one got more focus. Theyre a little older now and I make sure my elder one has time at bedtime with me once the younger one is in bed.

ImDuranDuran · 28/01/2024 17:06

Yes, I feel like this and have a massive age gap (not intentionally).

DD is a teen and a very trying one at that. I feel awful when it feels like I'm telling her off and cooing at her toddler brother in the same breath (again, not intentionally Blush).

I make a huge effort to spend time with her and give her my undivided attention when DS is in bed. We have no family support so this is the only real time she 'has us' on our own. Most of the time she doesn't want my attention, which is understandable as a teen, but there are times when she does reach out and I'm glad that she knows that I'm still there.

It must be very difficult with a 3 year old.

MissersMercer · 28/01/2024 17:44

My sibling has 3 and the eldest is definitely left out. It's really sad actually as he gets told off a lot as he should 'set an example' when he's only little himself.

VictoriaSponge34 · 28/01/2024 17:47

It is difficult. My ds is 3 and DD is 5 weeks old so things are very busy and our family dynamics have changed. I do feel ds is left to the TV sometimes so I try my best to spend time with him when I'm not expressing or feeding newborn.

Spinachpesto · 28/01/2024 17:50

It’s a struggle. I do try to spend one on one time with DC1 but baby is so fussy.

OP posts:
RhubarbGingerJam · 28/01/2024 17:51

I went out a lot in mornings as I found it easier as worried about this.

They also got attention when second one napped in afternoon - and I when baby was bf a lot would engaged eldest in play and talk and reading books while doing so.

Did at times feel stretched - but all got attention.

JennyForeigner · 28/01/2024 17:51

The other way around. We have a four year old and toddler twins. Our oldest has learned to fight hard for attention and is very good at getting it. It's the twins that we worry suffer a bit in comparison - they never get to go swimming or on outings alone and haven't had half of the adventures the eldest had had at their age.

Spinachpesto · 28/01/2024 17:59

Twins must be absolutely exhausting. I don’t know how people cope. Obviously people do because people have twins!

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Rummikub · 28/01/2024 18:15

3.5 year gap between my two. And eldest remembers losing my attention when dc2 born.
it was hard work. And eventually we each tried to focus on one child each. So after if fed dc2 I’d then go spend time with dc 1. Even if that was pairing socks together!

It wasn’t easy though and I still feel guilty. It’s quite hard to be mindful in those early stages. And if you can recognise it and try to mitigate then you are doing really well.

Pigeonqueen · 28/01/2024 18:18

This won’t be a popular answer but to some extent you have to ignore the baby more than your older child - the toddler will remember it more than the baby. I’m not suggesting you throw your baby to the wilderness but honestly a bit of crying here and there won’t do any harm at all. It’s just life.

Likemyjealouseel · 28/01/2024 18:18

No, I definitely ignored the baby a lot more. He was very very placid though. I sent the toddler to nursery 3h per day during maternity leave though, that also helped a lot.

CurlewKate · 28/01/2024 18:19

My line was that the baby was basically fine so long as it was fed and clean and comfortable. It was the older one who needed the attention.

ColdButSunny · 28/01/2024 18:23

I felt the opposite OP! DC2 was a very 'easy' baby though.

NewName24 · 28/01/2024 18:23

No. Quite the opposite.
The older one had all the attention that comes from being first Grandchild / great grandchild / nephew on one side. dc 2 always has had to share attention not only of parents, but all the wider family.
By the time you get to dc3 you realise that a baby fits right in and is far easier to 'fit in to' what you are doing with the older one(s) than expecting the older one(s) to fit round the baby.

DoorPath · 28/01/2024 18:29

No, the opposite. I felt that because my 3 your old could talk, they got way more of my attention. I noticed that my breast feeding mother friends really ignored their eldest in favour of their young babies, which I felt was a bit sad - the eldest kids always felt so abandoned.

Ladyj84 · 28/01/2024 18:31

We have a 3 year old and 2 year twins luckily they all at the stage of playing well together and I love doing arty stuff with them all. I can't think there's been anytime I've had to leave 3 year old out, always included him in everything once his sister's came along to

Spinachpesto · 28/01/2024 18:34

I’m not sure any of you would actually ignore a crying baby though?

@Ladyj84 you do post quite a lot of contradictory things though, so to be totally honest I’m never sure what I can believe.

OP posts:
JennyForeigner · 28/01/2024 19:41

@Spinachpesto

Actually they're delightful! Maybe a bit of benign not jumping to every wimper isn't a bad thing, because the twins are very laid back compared to our single one. Barring the odd biting incident they bimble around together very happily. One talks, the other climbs the walls. There's a balance in the universe/twindom.

Spinachpesto · 28/01/2024 19:46

They sounds lovely @JennyForeigner

There is a difference between a whimper and a cry though, and while I agree you can ignore one it’s pretty much impossible to ignore the other for sustained periods of time, and I don’t think anyone here would actually suggest I should.

OP posts:
MargaretThursday · 28/01/2024 19:52

I think there's a mixture.
When your dc1 was a baby you gave them all the whole time undivided attention. Your dc2 doesn't get that.

But they won't know that at that age, and even if they do it doesn't mean anything.

What I used to do was sometimes say "dc2 you have to wait a moment. I must do this for dc1". This meant that dc1 could hear that they were getting priority.

I do know what you mean about the cry though. Dc2 used to go from 0 to 60 in a split second. So she'd be happy playing/sleeping one moment, and then the next would be stripping the plaster off the walls with her cries.
Both dc1 and dc3 used to have a good few minutes of gently fussing and whinging which gave you chance to finish what you were doing before they bothered crying. In dc3's case it was probably 50/50 whether they went to sleep rather than cry as well. Poor abandoned baby.

110APiccadilly · 28/01/2024 19:54

DoorPath · 28/01/2024 18:29

No, the opposite. I felt that because my 3 your old could talk, they got way more of my attention. I noticed that my breast feeding mother friends really ignored their eldest in favour of their young babies, which I felt was a bit sad - the eldest kids always felt so abandoned.

In general, if anything, I've felt DD2 gets less of my attention (of course she does, I'm comparing with DD1 at her age!)

DD1 absolutely loved me breastfeeding DD2 though - I was stuck on the sofa and hence available to read her stories! We must have read so many books in the first two or three months. I'd basically get DD2 latched on and we'd settle in for a book-a-thon.

Spinachpesto · 28/01/2024 19:55

@MargaretThursday thanks … I have tried the ‘you will have to wait’ but not sure DC1 even notices! Probably can’t hear me when DC2 is really crying!

OP posts:
hangingonfordearlife1 · 28/01/2024 20:04

my eldest is 13 years older than my smallest, my middle child is 11 years older....both of them have been neglected i feel as my youngest is very full on active and inquisitive and into terrible twos. my middle one is very independent and i barely see her, makes me really sad

Urgenthelplease · 28/01/2024 20:09

I feel the opposite, when I have both the poor baby gets ignored in favour of the toddler. She just demands so much attention and is much more likely to be doing something dangerous. The baby has the most placid nature and thank god.

Likemyjealouseel · 29/01/2024 16:11

Spinachpesto · 28/01/2024 18:34

I’m not sure any of you would actually ignore a crying baby though?

@Ladyj84 you do post quite a lot of contradictory things though, so to be totally honest I’m never sure what I can believe.

The baby very rarely cried, he was the easiest of easy babies. That’s why I think it isn’t helpful to compare. Not all babies are like that — my first definitely wasn’t — and what you can do with them is correspondingly different.

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