Help! 3 year old having tough time adjusting to infant twin life - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-01-2005, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone got some tips for me? I am trying to help my 3 yo son adjust to his new life. We have 2 month old twins and my time alone with him is so limited. We have play dates and have been getting out, but I can't do that everyday and the hardest times are when we spend a day at home, even though there's lot's for him to do inside and out. He just sucks his thumb a lot (more) and kind of mopes a lot. Only when his dad gets home at dinner does he seem to perk up. I feel so at a loss and feel he is so unhappy. Anyone been there?

Would love to hear similar experiences or suggestions.

Thanks, Mary
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#2 of 4 Old 06-01-2005, 07:24 PM
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Yes, Mary I have been there. My dd was 27-months-old when her sisters were born. I knew that she would probably have a tough time adjusting to "twin shock" but still wasn't fully prepared with how it would make ME feel to see what she was going through. I did some preparing before the babies were born and got together a basket of goodies for her (with the help of my wonderful LLL Leaders!). I filled the basket with trinkets...puzzles, books, dolls, crayons, play-doh, stickers, etc. that I bought various places. The Dollar Store was great for this! On days that were particularly hard I would pull a goodie for her out of the basket and it was like a little piece of gold for her. It's not too late to get a basket together for your son.

Other things I did were to spend as much time as humanly possible with her without the babies. If they were napping together - even if only for 5 minutes - I would make sure to do something with just her. Swing on the swing set, read a book, color, let her help me cook something, etc. Also, I know it's tempting when DH gets home to let him take over with your son but maybe you'd want to let him take over with the babies instead. Do some one-on-one things with your son wheh Daddy gets home. That way DH gets some time with the twins and you get some time with your son. You could nurse the babies and hand them off to your DH and then take a walk with your son.

The worst part of it all is for you to have to see what he is going through. That is what absolutely broke my heart for my dd. Here she was barely over 2-years-old and already having to do so much for herself. I look at my twins who are now older then she was when they were born and think of what babies they still are. It makes my heart ache for how quickly she had to grow up. Do all you can to make sure that your son is able to stay "little" as long as he can.

Karen - Mama to Haven (9/00) , Lillie & Faith (MZ - 12/02) and my first homebirthed baby, Willa (3/08)
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#3 of 4 Old 06-02-2005, 03:56 PM
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Yes, I've been there.

When I had NB twins and 18 mo son and a 4 yo girl at home my 18 mo son walked around the house looking sad and lost. I'd get up with him in the middle of the night and play with him and him alone for an hour or two and he'd be content. I'd be exhausted but I was already sleep deprived.

I am amazed that you do playdates. That is awesome. I never could. Still can't and the twins are 2 now.

BUt I did try to just give my kids my heart and be playful with them.

Hang in there and KNOW that your heart is enough for him. You do not have to entertain him every day. Maybe you could get some coloring books and color with him while the twins sleep. Or some new blocks for him and ask him to build things while you are nursing and then ask him to show you how he knocks them over.

I know these sound obvious but I needed ideas from other moms when I was in my twinfog/panic.
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#4 of 4 Old 06-05-2005, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks ladies, I feel so much better having heard from you and knowing that I'm already doing what you've suggested. It is absolutely heartbreaking, but it is getting better. I am determined to get out with 3 yo twice a week, once to library for story/craft adn a play date or whatever else I can think of. But it always means double slinging which is already getting tiresome and shoulder challenging, but still worth it to me to see him happy.

I'm so glad you guys are here and alive to tell!!! THANKS!!
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