my toddler is so mad at me b/c of new baby-suggestions? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-17-2008, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a baby boy 2.5 weeks ago (HBAC yay!) and now my 21 month old won't even let me pick him up without screaming for his Dudd-o. He kicks me and struggles to get away. If Dudd-o isn't in his sight he screams for him. Actually, he has taken up crying for everything. EVERYTHING. I really miss my little man. It breaks my heart when he looks me right in the eyes and screams and fights to get away from me. I keep saying "I'm sorry you're mad but I still love you very much". A few times he has come & sat next to me and asked me to read to him, but only about 3 times in 2 weeks. I don't know what to do, I try to pay as much attention to him as I can with a newborn who constantly nurses but Dudd-o is his main care taker right now. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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Oh, mama, no advice because I haven't been there. This is actually my biggest fear about having #2.

Just wanted to send some your way--it's got to be so tough for you.

Just remember that later your kiddos will be so glad to have each other.

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Old 03-17-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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Oh, I understand so completely. I'm going through this right now with my 27 month old ds. I wasn't worried at all about the new baby coming because ds1was such a placid, loving boy. After his brother was born in December, he has completely changed. He is a shrieking, screaming, angry little boy now. I am so sad because it seems like he doesn't enjoy life at all these days. I do everything I can to make him feel special and loved. I don't know what else to do. It has affected his sleep, so we are all terribly sleep-deprived. It's just been awful lately. I wish I knew what to do, and I hope someone else will have some advice, or at least tell me that this will pass, and I will have my loving ds back. Just know you are not alone.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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DH wasn't around in the daytime, so I was stuck with a toddler who hated me- one day she literally screamed and sobbed for 7 hours straight and couldn't be comforted. Touch wood, we're past that now and she's accepting that life with mummy who walks and baby is WAY better than pregnant mummy, but it's been hard The worst was the first month

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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You poor thing. I'm afraid I don't have any advice, I'm worried I will be facing a similar situation in June.
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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Can you get more help from anyone? Call in a favor, hire a mother's helper, anything to take off some pressure?
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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I'll be in your shoes soon, I'm afraid. One thing I've had recommended to me more than once is that (if possible, before baby arrives) get kid #1 hooked into some sort of regular social scene (daycare or preschool) that is all his own so that when baby invades what used to be his normal every day life, he will still have a place that is not baby-invaded. I suppose that, depending on how complicated his little psyche is at this point, that a move in that direction now, after little bro is already here, may just be more disruptive.

I've also had people tell me that it is important for kid #1 to have "responsibilities" for the new baby-- things that he/she does regularly and is praised for, like putting away diapers, washing baby's face with a washcloth, "reading" a bedtime story to baby every night. If kid #1 feels less like a baby who isn't in the limelight and more like someone who is important enough to help with the new change, it may help. It apparently really helped my good friend with her DD.

Not too much help, I'm afraid-- you can tell this is what I've been asking everyone with two kids about! We weren't anticiapting #2 quite so quickly, so I'm trying to get as much info as I can to make it through what I'm sure will be a hard couple of months.

Good luck to you, mama. It would break my heart to have my DS push me away. I hope it passes soon.

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Old 03-17-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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Congrats on the hbac mama!

I wish I had some great magical advice... mamas told me the first three months would be the hardest and things would get better slowly but surely and that's what I found. But those first few weeks/months weren't just hard... they were VERY hard.

DD2 arrived (vbac ) and dd1 turned from happy and generally conent toddler into screaming banshee of extreme floor pounding head banging air raid siren exorcist tantrum drama queen. She loved dd2, and never missed a chance to cuddle or play with dd2, but she certainly let me know she wasn't happy with "me".

It took time, and I can't think of anything specific we did, but she gradually found her groove in the new family structure. We did get a lot of new books, dvds, cds, and coloring stuff for her to use while I held the babe (I had a 4th degree tear so on top of the newborn I was also basically confined to a chair and couldn't walk easily). I didn't push her into anything but I gave her lots of chances to interact with me on her own terms. And we tried to limit using the babe as an "excuse" for not doing something (so we tried not to say "I can't because the baby..." or "wait until after the baby..."). But basically it just took time.

I know it's hard, but try to remember that your little one is going through a huge change and that the fact that they're willing to let you see how upset they are really shows that they love you, feel safe with you, and WANT to interact with you... but they're going through a lot and need time to find a new balance.

So congrats on your new babe, on your hbac, and on having raised such a secure and confident toddler. Give your family at least 3 months to find that balance and hang in there!

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Old 03-17-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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WOOHOO on the HBAC!!

I went through the same thing with my first dd when her baby sister came last June (she was 19 months at the time). She didn't want anything to do with me for weeks, until I started making quick trips out with her - alone. No baby, no Daddy, just Emma and Mommy time. We'd go to the grocery store quickly, sing her favorite songs in the car, and just have some alone time. It seemed to help her feel close to me again, and I think it let her know that Mommy was still here for her.
It's tough on kids when a new baby comes, isn't it? I think our little ones feel displaced for awhile.

We also tried very hard to limit saying "Don't do_____, the baby's sleeping!" or "Quiet! You'll wake the baby!". We tried really hard not to make her think that what she was doing/saying was less important than the baby.

Good luck, mama!

Kier: wife to Jared, mama to Emma ('05), Savannah ('07), and our newest little love Reid (June 30, '09) -intact because of all of YOU! I had an ecstatic birth, at home in the water!
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! He actually came to me yesterday when Andrew was not on me and we read 4 books together and laughed and snuggled! It was so awesome! I hope he keeps it up! I miss him so much.
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Old 03-19-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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I don't have experience with this, but I think as much as possible trying to honor the little one's feelings of loss and rage is important. "Raising Our Children, Raising Our Selves," is a great book that helps parents look at their own self-talk in dealing with issues. She specifically mentions conversations she had with her older child after the birth of her first that seemed great to me.
Good luck--
Maya
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