My first born is 19 months old and we expect a sibling in the next 4 months. It seems like she is reaching new tantrum levels...she is overall so wonderful, but I am struggling a LOT with how to parent her. Sleep has been a bit of a nightmare (crying has morphed to out-right screams and meltdowns, naps mean 30 minutes to 2 hours of battle). She is clingier than ever, constantly demanding I pick her up throughout the day when she walks, runs, and climbs very well. I am just not sure how much I can "discipline" her at this age. I feel like she can sense a change in the family home, and she is scared. For instance, I can't lift her as much b/c my lower back and uterus really start cramping, which infuriates her. I've already weaned her and need her to sleep through the night so I (we, actually) can be well rested, especially in the few weeks leading up to birth.
I have given her a dolly that looks like a child (her other dolls are animals), and we practice taking care of it, feeding it, putting it in the car seat, changing its diaper. We show her my tummy and tell her to say hi to the baby. These are the small ways I am trying to prep her for a new sibling. She is still so young to understand, but in the meantime, I really need her sleep habits to improve so I won't get sick from exhaustion when Baby arrives!
Some articles out there say to set clear limits, and put toddlers in a 1 minute time-out immediately after doing something bad. Mine does things all the time! Am I supposed to put her in time out every time? Or is she pushing my limits b/c I haven't been more "on top of it"? For instance, she dumps a plate of food, spits out mouthfuls on the floor, and doesn't sit still during meals (can't blame her too much for that one, she is a child!). How firmly should I be disciplining her at this age?
Any insight/ shared experience about this issue would be really appreciated! Thanks!