so I'm tired and can't think of a better way to react.
I have a 3.5 yo and a 3 week old.
My 3yo is occasionally rough with me (he may kick me or jump on me or squeeze my breast etc)
a few times now he has squeezed babes arm.
It's still mellow, but makes me nervous. I know it's because he is excited and can't control his reaction.
So what can I say/do to get him to understand that he needs to be gentle?
I just held her hand firm and looked her in the eye and said "You must be gentle with your baby brother, he is very little and needs lots of love to grow big and strong. Let's give him a little kiss!" and then make an exaggerated kissy noise and lean in to kiss the spot that was previously squeezed. I also tried to play up the big sister idea and that she had a role to play in this baby's life and could help soothe him by singing when he cries, getting diapers when he's pooped, etc.
The biggest thing I had to do, and still struggle to make sure it is done, is making sure I spend focused one on one time with her only. She definitely had a jealous streak when he arrived and I needed (and still need) to make sure she is feeling confident about her place in the family. When we have had enough time, she is awesome and loving. When I haven't spent enough time, she starts being a bit more rough and mimicking his baby ways for attention.
Hope that helps! I remember feeling like you do now...It is distressing to see them act roughly towards a fragile newborn!
married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!
Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience