How are your toddlers adjusting? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-21-2006, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering how everyone's toddler is doing with the new baby.

Mine is surprisingly unfazed. We have kept her on her normal routine so she goes to school in the morning and comes home in the afternoon just a wee bit earlier than normal. She is gentle with her little sister - thrilled to hold her, grossed out by spit up and unusually nurturing with her stuffed animals lately. I am spending the majority of our time together holding R since she seems to want to be latched onto me from 3-7 each day, but DD1 seems ok with it. She is happy to sit next to me and pet the baby's head or play on her own.

That said, she's a challenging kid in general and every tantrum or minor upset has me feeling guilty for not spending enough quality time with her. These incidents are nothing out of the ordinary at all - DD1 is a very strong personality and going through a very independent phase right now. She is master negotiator and staller when it comes to things like diaper changes, eating meals, and bath/ bedtime.

Having my mother here has been ridiculously stressful. She was supposed to be helping me for the week, but on Wednesday after DD1 had a meltdown at the dinner table she accused me of playing favorites and loving the baby more because she's easy. I spent a full day crying over that remark (thanks for hitting me on a hormonal low mom ). I don't think she could have chosen a more toxic or hurtful thing to say. Now things are just crappy and tense since we're home alone all day together. She's been apologizing and backpedaling saying it all came out wrong - what on earth could she have been trying to say in that vein that wouldn't have come out wrong? : It just makes me furious. My mom was a first child and she constantly tells stories about being neglected and passed over when her little sister arrived so she's totally bringing her baggage over here...

Anyway, sorry for the OT vent. Back on topic - how are your toddlers managing and how are you mamas managing?
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:45 PM
 
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ds is nursing, i'll be back to post on this later! :
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:39 PM
 
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DD1 is unfazed too. She does want to hold the baby right when the baby wants to eat. She will come and see her when she awake and talk to her.

DD2 is totally in love with her sister. She sneaks in dd3's room, goes and give kisses. Then comes right out. She also is like a monitor as she will tell me if dd3 is crying. Then she runs in the bedroom and tell her that i'm coming. She also take the covers off. She loves to give kisses and also wants to hold her when dd3 only wants to eat. lol

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Old 07-21-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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DS wants to hold baby sometimes, other times he just does his usual stuff. He loves to mimik what we say/do to baby, its kindof cute. He has been getting on my nerve though, I feel bad He wants me to help him do stuff, and listen to what he has to say, then baby will start crying, or I will be feeding and then I feel like I am neglecting him. I want to go up to the mountains and go for a stroll with the two of them, but it has been over 100 for the last two weeks, and now thunderstorms.

I think it will be easier when he goes back to school since I can spend the day focusing on baby, and then can focus on him when he gets home since DH gets home around the same time. One more month...
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:17 PM
 
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dd is having kind of a tough time. She seems to have completely lost the ability to play by herself, which is so weird to me (she never used to have any trouble finding things to do if I was busy, or helping me or whatever). She's very clingy and cries at the drop of a hat. It's been really hard. When I nurse the baby, it's even worse. I can't get them positioned to nurse together on my own yet (maybe when baby is older?). I offer to nurse when the baby isn't, but it doesn't seem to be enough for her. I'm hoping it gets better soon. Sigh.
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:55 PM
 
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I don't have a toddler, just a 6 year old. It's been tough for him. He had us alone for so long. He is behaving and not acting up but he seems mopey and depressed. He has told us a few times that we are spending too much time with the baby and not him. I'm proud of him for talking about it and not acting out though. We keep reassuring him and he seems to be SLOWLY coming around...but I really didn't expect this as he was soooo thrilled to be getting a sibling. Guess he just didn't really understand the reality of it...
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:24 PM
 
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Sol, at 2 yrs 2 mos, has been very loving to her sister BUT:

--she started having tantrums, and has not had them before

--I feel guilty for not spending enough time with her, and try to make up for it in other ways ie, going to the park, making granola together, being very very demonstrative of affection more than before, and kissing her whenever she kisses the baby as well.

--She pulled her little hair (the baby) when she hadnt eaten or slept and was very frustrated by mama spending all her time with babe


more to say but gotta run, babe calls!
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Doing very well considering the massive life change that occurred for DS. That said, sleep has become a horrible time in our life! DS has been saying, since baby arrived, that he 'doesn't want to sleep anymore' and he means EVER. So he essentially doesn't! The child that needs about 13 hours of sleep a day is getting around 8 if we are lucky. So we are having issues relating to not sleeping, but he is taking ot out on me and not dd, thankfully.

Nap and bedtime have become battles. He will scream and plead and negotiate, but nothing we do seems to help him. We have just 'stayed the course' and continually explain to him why he needs to sleep. That he grows when he sleeps and he will be getting bigger, etc etc etc.

.....

While I was reading and writing my response, dh was putting ds to bed, dh came to the family room after about 45 min, with news that DS went to sleep with no troubles, after about a 15 min discussion about sleep and growth and DS actually told him that he 'wants to sleep more!' Oh, how nice if he actually sleeps through the night. He hasn't done that in 2 weeks. It would be so nice, even one night.....

Good luck everyone. Toddlers have such a unpredictable way to deal with change and new siblings!

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Old 07-22-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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It's interesting reading about each toddler's individual responses. My DS (always been a 'high needs' sort of child) has responded really well to the baby (DS #2). He is helpful, interested, loving and has shown only positive interest towards the baby.

However .... when I left for the hospital last week, DS was mommy's boy and definitely needed "huggies" as he says from me and only me. I am always the one he looks to first for comfort or attention. What a surprise when 5 days later, I returned home from the hospital and realized I'd completely been displaced by my husband. My son has either been completely ignoring me or simply choosing "Daddy" for every interest, activity or bit of comfort. It's kind of heart-breaking to me, truth be told. : Occasionally, he suddenly reverts back to the "old DS" who loves his mommy (he has told DH he doesn't love Mommy, BTW). My husband is very playful with DS and has taken some paternity leave to help me (I had a c-section and we have no family to help). I'm actually looking forward to when DH returns to work - hopefully my sweet little boy will reappear.
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Old 07-23-2006, 01:02 AM
 
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at first it was AWFUL. ds#1 would cry at the drop of a hat and throw fits all the time and this awful screeching *shudders*

now its not *quite* as bad but he still hates that I have to tend to ds#2. the worst is when ds#2 is nursing and ds#1 starts crying for real...do I unlatch ds#2 to go tend ds#1 or make him wait? who do I tend to first? ds#1 is only 16mos...still a baby. I feel so guilty.

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Old 07-23-2006, 11:23 AM
 
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Jami some other moms on this board told me about that...the worst part being having to let one cry to tend the other. It for sure is necessary some times and is horrible!! I agree.

I've had trouble with the crying...when dd1 cries, almost always dd2 will cry out of sympathy or whatever. Then I feel like it's a lose-lose situation.

It is hard for me to come up with things to do with dd1 so she can feel still loved and special to me..occasionally we go to the park, or we made granola the other day, but I find myself seeking playdates and time with DH for her to make up for my lack. I feel guilty a lot, about putting on dvds for her, and seeking time apart from her. The only good part is the last month or so of preg was kind of the same for her in terms of time away from mama as I requested dh pick up the slack since I was just exhausted and so she's still on that routine.
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Old 07-23-2006, 04:31 PM
 
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dd3.5years has been very excited by her new sister and at the same time finding it hard to adjust to me spending time nursing and putting her down to sleep when I used to spend alllllllllllll the time with her !
all to be expected and we are not rushing the adjustment or expecting too much at once - though of course that would be nice !
I am helped a lot and so is dd1 because dh has taken about five weeks off work - so he can spend lots of time playing with her and also take turns with the baby - so I am very lucky on that one
we will see how things pan out over the next few weeks ..........
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Old 07-23-2006, 09:23 PM
 
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DS (22 months) has some good days and some bad days. He's still rather interested in seeing "baby! baby!" and likes to point out her hands, toes, ears, mouth, etc. He also wants to "share" his cares with her, but that can be a little too enthusiastic sometimes. The hardest part for him is when she needs my full attention (we're still working through latch issues with blistered nipples) and then he can get jealous and tantrum or hit.

Other than that, he says "Mmmmmmmm!" because my milk is in.

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Old 07-24-2006, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, sounds like everyone is doing so well.

I think this is a very tough phase for DD1 in general (aside from baby issues). Last night DH was taking care of her bath and she was giving him hell up there, telling him she wanted to do x or y herself, then refusing to do it at all or stalling endlessly. Finally I heard him yell F***!!!!! at the top of his lungs so I went running up there and handed off DD2, who had also started bawling. So DH was furious and both girls were screeching. I finished up bath/ bed routine for DD1 and by the time I got downstairs DD2 was still squalling

This balancing 2 kids thing, even with help, can be very tough!
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:07 AM
 
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Hooo yes. It is VERY hard...dd1 is getting more needy and clingy, and EVERYtime her wants are not met she cries, which always sets dd2 to crying somehow sympathetically, then I have a mess on my hands. It's crazy.
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:37 AM
 
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eeew, quagmire, buh-bye to your mama.... soon? That was a nasty remark. Bad news, I'm so sorry you had to hear that.

Our toddler wanted to give the baby some of his milk this morning - really sweet. He seems very attached and is much, much more gentle than I predicted. So far so good. It's only been a week.

Hugs to you, too, Tuesday. My toddler is incredibly into daddy right now, too. It's a little sad but my perspective is different than it would have been in the past. I'm not sure if this is helpful but I'll share it - my first two boys were *way* more dependent on me specifically. Just different personalities. Those first two NEEEEDED it to be me and me only. So, when I couldn't be there for them for some reason, it was really sad. Much more sad than seeing them go to daddy for parenting. Maybe you can just remind yourself how lucky it is that your son can be comforted so well by his other parent, because the alternative is that someone's needs go unmet sometimes...
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by PancakeGoddess
eeew, quagmire, buh-bye to your mama.... soon? That was a nasty remark. Bad news, I'm so sorry you had to hear that.
Thanks PG. She left Sat morn and while she really did help out this week I was glad to see her go. Still can't bring myself to answer the phone when it's her... and she's already called twice
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:16 PM
 
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As for my toddler, she's having a bit of a rough time adjusting to two little bodies taking up all her mommy and daddy's spare time (and arms!). She's really good with them, and loves talking about them and touching them, but when one of us goes to pick one of them up or feed them, she immediately whines, "Mommy/Daddy hold Meeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!" So, we try to share our laps and arms with her even when we're holding the babies, but I know she'd prefer us exclusively! She's been a little tantrum-y and quite whiney and has had many episodes of night waking and crying, but calms down as soon as she can snuggle in between us again. I think it seems to be gradually getting better, though, especially since all our helpers/guests have now gone. I feel so bad for her though, since the arrival of these little guys has pretty much rocked her world.... =(

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Old 07-25-2006, 10:06 PM
 
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i'm having a tough time with dd1 and i know it's tough on her
she is used to having mama ALL to herself and i know she's finding it hard to share me
she has been throwing toys, crying for mama, throwing tantrums, hitting, crying over nothing... stuff she NEVER EVER did.
i'm trying to be patient and give her time. can anyone tell me it gets better soon?
i cry every night that i did this to her world. i love dd2 but i feel so incredibly guilty over dd1
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:17 PM
 
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Oh mama it is SO hard right now, I am right there with ya. It WILL get better, from what everyone tells me. What I have been doing to deal with it is this:

--LOTS of help with dd1, as much as possible, someone takes her 5-6 hrs per day (her dad in my case) several days a week.

--Friends w/toddlers to come over, or I go to their house.

--recently I discovered how if I can get out for a quick 25 min jog, I come back with a renewed attitude & commitment to her, and playfully get her to come back to "normal".

--I have also started including her more in things I do, like cooking. I sling dd2 a LOT to keep hands free.

--Tips on kellymom.com on what to do with toddler while you nurse are very helpful: books, I Spy or Simon Says, play-nursing and caring for her baby doll, counting cheerios/raisins. So far we have done books and the baby doll, so next I'll try some of the others.

These don't always work, and it is a continuous finding-your-own-way process. Some days are hell, others are totally do-able. We're all in this together, mama! Come vent when you need to!
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagmire
Thanks PG. She left Sat morn and while she really did help out this week I was glad to see her go. Still can't bring myself to answer the phone when it's her... and she's already called twice
Take your time. I feel sad that there is distance between my mother and me, but I simply have to do what's best for my kids and immediate family first, and that means some distance.
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