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Struggling to cope with 19 mth old and 5 wk old
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rjeffrey1985 · 05/01/2011 10:56

I'm struggling to cope with my DS who is now 19 mths and my DD who is 5 and half weeks.

DS is not talking yet and only understands basic instructions. He is terrible for throwing things so I can;t take my eyes off him for a second as I'm afraid he'll wallop my DD on the head with a toy/his cup/a remote e.t.c.

When DD was born we removed all hard toys and just left soft ones (of which quite a few were hurled across the room and landed on baby) but since Christmas he's got loads of new toys and I feel mean taking them away from him. So I'm now having to watch his every move. I also can't really put them in his bedroom as we only have a tiny two bedroom house and his bedroom has the iron, ironing board, laundry basket etc in it as there isn't any room anywhere else at the minute so it's too dangerous for him to play in there.

He also throws terrible tantrums whenever he wants attention (which now always seems to be whenever I'm feeding/changing his sister) and tends to smack me/throw something at me or headbutt me until I pick him up. He does not listen when disciplined and too young to understand time out.

It's really starting to get me down. Any advice would be more than welcome??

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FlamingoBingo · 05/01/2011 11:00

Sad

Lots of love is what he needs - hard as that may be!

When children are feeling insecure, they try to test if you love them unconditionally or not by behaving badly. The more you put them away from you, or yell at them when they do it, the more insecure they feel ("mummy only loves me when I'm nice!"), and hte more they test.

Don't discipline him - just cuddle him and tell him firmly that hitting/throwing is not acceptable. Being angry is ok, but his behaviour when he is angry is not.

Lots of demonstrative love.

Stick baby in a sling - a good wraparound carrier is great because babies can just live in them! - and then you can get on with doing things with him, and keep baby safe at the same time.

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JingleHell · 05/01/2011 11:04

mY ds1 was 20m when ds2 arrived so I know how you feel! We also had a v.tiny place at the time so I understand your dilema. TBH, it is hard, but you'll get through it! I had ds2 in a sling or bouncy chair a lot of the time so I could play with ds1. I also went to a lot of babygroups etc, so that ds1 could run around and play and not feel like he was having to always be careful because of the new baby (also meant I got a chance to sit down and have a cup of tea!) I think it's important to carry on with your ds's routine as much as poss so he doesn't resent the new arrival. good luck

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rjeffrey1985 · 05/01/2011 11:12

"flamingobingo" - But won't cuddling him when he's doing something naughty give him false signals ("if I smack and throw things I get cuddles off mummy")?

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rjeffrey1985 · 05/01/2011 11:19

"jinglehell" - going to babygroup is also a nightmare because he throws everything at the other kids (not necessarilly on purpose but just coz he enjoys throwing everything) so again I cannot take my eyes off him and am constantly jumping up and down to take toys off him. He's also very clumsy so ends up falling over or off the top of something e.g a chair/slide e.t.c. so I literally have to follow him around everywhere. It wasn;t too bad when it was just him but it's extremely difficult doing this with a baby in tow :(

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DreamingofFour · 05/01/2011 16:24

I had same age gap. Sling is good idea. You could try taking some of the hard toys away and giving them back when he has got over this phase or keeping the hard toys in his room only. I would pick one behaviour at a time to work on - for me it was throwing so I said no then did time out consistently just for that behaviour, then once i had that sussed, I moved onto the next most bad one. Having this structure helped me and I think him too. I think kids do understand no at this stage so stick with not rewarding bad behaviour (and lots of cuddles at other times)

While he is in his throwing phase I would avoid playgroups as too stressful. Instead try a trip to swings or park every day to wear him out in the morning. I know it is cold right now so wrap up warm obviously!

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FlamingoBingo · 05/01/2011 18:30

No, you can never spoil a child with cuddles. You can tell a child off very effecitively while you're cuddling them. Having a go at them from afar just makes them frightened that you've stopped loving them.

If he's throwing and smacking to get cuddles, then he's not getting enough cuddles.

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hollyfort · 05/01/2011 21:24

You poor thing, i know how u must feel but believe me things will settle down and u will look bk at this and hardly remember a thing! I have 4 kids and there is approx 22 mths between each except no 3 and 4 there is 19 mths, I can remember trying to breastfeed no 4 and trying to protect him from a wallop from dc3! Poor dc4 did end up getting a bit of a wallop but was grand, didn't stop him guzzling!! lol! My public health nurse said it can take up to 3mths for the whole family to settle down after a new baby joins the family, of course I ended up getting severe pnd at that stage, but ur doing the best u can do and remember the other child still really is a baby, it will get better, mayb if you made a game out of getting him to get stuff for you and piling on the praise when he does, "oh! you are so good for getting xyz for new baby" hth

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hollyfort · 05/01/2011 21:26

By the way forgot to add when i was 8mths pregnant with my fourth (ds 3) i said, "i bet ds2 is going to b climbing on the table when baby arrives and sure enough he was!!

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PoppetUK · 07/01/2011 21:34

I just want to say hi and how I feel for you. I've got a 20 month old and I'm finding him really tough right now for similar reasons. He throws everything.

I also had a similar age gap between my first two (now 6 and 5).

Practical tips, get baby used to a travel cot / play pen now. You will find it a god send later on when you want to keep number 2 contained. Can you stick a gate on an area. The way my house was designed I could stick a gate on the kitchen and baby could be in the chair or car seat. This would live me free to run about the house without stressing what DD was going to do to baby. If I needed the toilet I could quickly go. Getting out of the house would be easier to.

I also want to add that I hit a real low about 6 weeks in with my two. I was exhausted. I now had 6 weeks of no rhythm and sleep. Many of my friends had just one child and I kept beating myself up about what I couldn't give my kids. If only I could have seen the love, the giggles and joy they give each other a few months on. You've just reminded me what I need to hold onto right now when I start thinking about what I'm not giving them.

Hang in there.

Poppet

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WannabeaShootingStar · 08/01/2011 16:01

Hi, I had the same gap with DD1 and DD2 and just felt like I 'survived' the first six months or so when it got much much easier.
Now they are 5 and 4 and the best of friends so it will all be worth it :)

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