HELP- my toddler is insanely jealous! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-15-2010, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I just started swapping childcare with a friend one day per week, and we plan to increase to two days per week once we get comfortable. Her daughter C is 10 months old, and DD is 16 months old. They get along pretty well together in general and seem to like each other- they laugh at each other and play little games. DD does really well at C's house with C's mom. And C seems fine with me, though maybe a little bit a fish out of water (she's never been with anyone but mom/dad for a whole day). The problem is that when C is over at our house DD gets insanely jealous... she does not want C to play with any of her toys, but worse than that she cries terribly whenever I pick up C to comfort her or even change her diaper. THis is the second week of our swap, and this morning was worse than last week. I really need it to get better or I need to figure out some strategies.

Does anyone have ideas of how to deal with this? I try to pay lots of attention to both babies, and I nurse DD whenever she asks as long as I'm not in the middle of something important with C. One thing that worked for C's diaper change today was to give DD a really great snack, and then she didn't seem to mind at all.

Napping is also a challenge, but for now I've got that worked out. Today I got C down while holding DD on my back in the ergo carrier. They both weigh over 23 lbs, so that was physically challenging! Plus DD wanted to play and kept trying to engage C, but she was so tired that she just went down in my arms. THen when I transferred her to the crib I had to rub her back for a while, and I quickly took DD out of the ergo and had her nursing standing up while I crouched down and rubbed C's back. It was interesting! Then I got DD to nap by nursing her down- so now I have two sleeping babies and I can play on MDC, yay!
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#2 of 4 Old 06-15-2010, 08:39 PM
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Wow, you are a trooper. Sorry I'm not of much help. Maybe you could try talking to your DD about how C is smaller, a baby, and needs certain things, etc.? I know she's only 16 months, but i think they understand more than we think. That and having some special, "only while C is here" toys or distractions? best of luck to you!

Mama to a daughter (3/2008) and a son (7/2011)
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#3 of 4 Old 06-16-2010, 02:16 AM
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It will get better. Whenever I add a new child to my home daycare everything goes crazy and I wonder why I ever agreed to do it in the first place. But then everyone adapts, we get into a routine, and things settle down.

I know you said that you are planning on increasing the number of times you do this once everyone is comfortable, but I am going to suggest you do the opposite, and increase the frequency right away. Even over and above what you plan on settling on eventually. A week between visits is a long time for a 16mo, so each week it will be like starting all over. So if you have the baby over more often, even if it is only for a couple of hours at a time, your DD will probably adjust faster.

It is fairly common in my daycare agency that if a part-time child is having problems adjusting we suggest to the parents to bring them full time for a couple of weeks until they get used to the routine and then drop back to their regular schedule. This works more often than not.

Other than that, just keep doing what you are doing. Try to give both kids equal attention while the baby is there, and try to carve out some time after he goes home to give your DD some extra love and cuddles because she will probably need it.

And just keep reminding yourself that kids get older. In a few more months they will be able to play together more, and may be more excited to spend time together.

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#4 of 4 Old 06-17-2010, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice- I'm relieved to hear that transitions like this are normal and eventually it will get better. Also, it makes sense that increasing the days would help. Since we're doing a swap 2 days per week would actually mean the babies are together 4 days- 2 days with me and 2 days with the other mom. Maybe I'll offer to take a third day for a couple of weeks, just to get the routine down. DD does fine at the other mom's house, so that's not an issue (and her daughter doesn't have a lot of the same toddler issues that mine has).

I've also been doing some explaining to DD- not sure if it's sinking in, but it can't hurt .
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