ETA: he slaps her on the head while she's eating. We've been trying various things to help with his aggression (deflecting, reading the Franklin book) but he still acts out. He has also slapped my breasts a few times in the past week
Can you distract DS while you nurse? Read a book to him? Maybe put on a short video? Would you feel safe/comfortable leaving him at an activity while you step away to nurse? Or what about distracing DD? Maybe now that she's "waking up" and becoming more aware, she's having a hard time focusing on nursing. Maybe one of those nursing necklaces, or a rattle or something, to keep her attention on you?
Oh boy, I'm currently experiencing this as well. I have an almost 3-year-old and a two-month old. My little one eats much more and more peacefully when my eldest is in daycare (a few days a week). My toddler, like all one that age, really wants attention! She tries to "help" me with the feeding, but it sort of ends up with me and her getting frustrated (I can't keep telling her "don't touch" 100 times in a row! ahh!). I have found that reading my eldest a book while feeding works. Though it is stressful to multi-task and I feel pretty drained with the two of them. An adjustment for all I suppose!
My three-year-old likes to play with my baby while I nurse. He'll rub her head or play with her feet. I like the idea of the distractions, and I wonder if you're using a cover up of some sort? I wonder if he doesn't see her nursing if maybe he'll be less likely to bother her. Kind of an out of sight, out of mind thing.
Thanks for the suggestions. I've heard some women keep a stack of books near them. I never thought about covering up, might work. He's overall been getting much better the past week or so. I think maybe he's actually starting to like his little sis!
Here are a few ideas, and some have mentioned some above
-have a feeding box, special toys that only come out when you sit down to feed so they are exciting each time and should keep her attention (problem is getting them off the toddler when you are finished)
-a felt activity board (Aldi have them sometimes) with farm animals etc
-ipod, yes there are games she could play and you could play them with one hand with her, starfall is a favourite and will teacher her letters) easier than holding a book
-food and drawing in high chair
-does she have a dolly to breastfeed and look after and copy you?
-megasketcher with you on the lounge
-water table on a verandah or outside (cheap from big W)
-TV is a life saver and this stage will pass so don't feel too bad about using it, try some baby Einstein of other educational dvd's (check your local library)
Mine did exactly the same, ran along the lounge, climbed on tv uunits as they knew I wasn't going to do much about it. Sometimes ignoring it is better as it doesn't get your attention. This time will pass, the baby will get faster at feeding. Just make sure that when baby is asleep, you spend quality time with the toddler, she may be resenting the time the baby takes up. I know you just want to crash when baby goes down, but maybe at least read a book, flash cards or something.
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I found it helpful to offer food to DS1. I would tell him that DS2 was hungry, then ask if he was also hungry, and sometimes state that I too was hungry. Then we could talk about what kind of delicious snack we should eat while I nursed, or he could "prepare" snacks for he and I while I nursed, or (if I was really on top of things I would have some stuff prepared) I would set out a special something -maybe a living room picnic, or a tea party with muffins, or even just a snack that was visually appealing. We did a lot of snacking in those early days! But sometimes it was just him "making" us an orange. He would go get an orange, then go get a bowl for the peel, then go get a different bowl for the fruit, then throw away the peel, then finally get around to eating. It was all very methodical, but it gave him something important and grown up to do while I got situated and started nursing. Plus there was the added benefit of sharing a snack, which just meant he got to be part of the snack time sharing that was already happening with DS2 and me.
Has it been any better this week? I hope things are improving!
It has improved a lot as I now frequently take her to bed to nurse and give ds a Popsicle and put on a cartoon. I just can't entertain him while nursing because I get too concerned with the feeding. It's working and ds' behaviour toward dd has improved a lot