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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So many forums I could post this under. *long drawn out sigh*

We have a nearly 2.5 y.o. DD and a new baby DD. We are having jealousy issues, partly having to do with nursing. DD1 weaned very gradually by two, though she would occasionally (less often than once a week) ask for milk after that. I would let her try to nurse so that she would realize I didn't have any more milk. Also, like an idiot, I would tell her that the baby would bring more milk and that she might share with her. Now, every time the baby nurses (which, of course, is often), she wants to nurse. I wouldn't mind nursing DD1 EXCEPT that I don't want to do it at the same time as DD2 (logistically, it just doesn't work very well) AND that she bites, as in leaves teeth marks. She will also want to sit on my lap and stick her hand in my shirt and play with my breast. It's extremely annoying and irritating. It's like being 16 again. I have asked DD1 a few times if she wants to nurse while DD2 was sleeping and about half the time she said no. ?????? She only wants to nurse when DD2 is in her territory--in HER lap nursing on HER boobies.

Then, I try to put down DD2 so I can play with DD1 and DD1 starts crying and wakes up DD2. So, then I have to pick up DD2 and I can't play with DD1, which makes her upset. I tell DD1 that if she is quiet then DD2 will stay asleep and I can play with her. That makes her cry more. Today, we went through this about 4-5 times in about 45 minutes. Finally, they both fell asleep.

DD1 is in preschool 3 mornings a week, which helps me give more attention to the baby, but it doesn't help me give more attention to the toddler. Maybe a babysitter one day a week for DD2 would help somewhat.

I really feel for DD1 as I am the older sister, too. At the same time, she is so damn annoying. If I didn't know it would make things worse, I'd spank her or lock her in the closet or something. This is why my mom is such a bitch! She had two kids. She would have been fine if she stopped at one. (she's the older sister, too!) I really want to be better than that! I NEED HELP figuring out some strategies on dealing with the two girls. I would really love it if they were friends someday. They would, too, only they don't know it yet. However, that's not going to happen if the jealousy and my frustration keep going strong.

Yes, I've tried slinging the baby. Don't like it. Hurts my back and baby sinks way down into it so I'm not sure she's getting enough air.
Watching videos with DD1 helps somewhat, but I'm not going to let her watch videos all day and I'm usually nursing DD2 at the same time.
It would be great to do stuff (including nurse, even with the teeth marks) with DD1 while DD2 is sleeping, but DD1 keeps getting upset and making noise when I set down DD2.


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First. .

DEEP CLEANSING BREATH! Ahhh, okay. Now have a few ideas to offer, but mind you this is coming from a mom of only one, so I haven't been in your shoes..

I assure you that these girls *will* be friends at some point (I have an older sister). Right now, you are just trying to get through the day, it seems.

Give the sling another shot. I literally got mine out of the Goodill donation box one day on a whim, and lo and behold, I am now the biggest advocate of the sling there ever was. You may need to try a different style sling (do you have a Maya wrap? you mentioned the baby sinking down. I didn't like the Maya wrap for infants very much. It helped though to support his head and body with a baby blanket). What about a special toy or book that ONLY comes out when you are nursing DD2? Have you considered having a Mother's Helper come over a few times a week? Put an ad in you local college paper. I was amazed at the number of responses we recieved (I share my mother's helper with a friend so that we have enough hours to offer someone). If you can get someone to come in , I'd have her focus on the baby, and you spend special time with your toddler.

Please let me know how things are going! Really, I want an update, because I know this will get better with time!

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I could never get those darn slings to feel right for me either during the newborn stage, although I loved the front pack...I know I know, not supposed to, but it felt like that or screaming at the time, and it seemed the lesser of the two evils...

let me also say this. The first year of the second child stinks! And
My ds also had lots of jealousy issues. He was 21 months when dd was born, and there were also lots of abandonment issues because dd was hospitalized twice after the initial birth during the first six weeks. So we all had LOTS of adjusting to do. I also allowed more video time for awhile, sitting on the couch, snuggling with ds while dd nursed. I tried coloring while dd nursed, or reading while dd nursed (there was lots of nursing). I also introduced the bottle to dd at around 3 months in anticipation of going back to work at 5 months. ds wanted a bottle and I allowed him to have water bottles while he sat next to me (that got boring and stopped quickly). During that very early infancy I took ds to Gymboree three or four times weekly. It kept him busy and happy, dd was fine in the frontpack, and it allowed him to make new friends, and quite frankly, me too since there were three other women with similar sibling configurations, and yet another woman who is now one of my closest friends (now they go to My Gym). If you can afford it, or you can find a YMCA or other low cost program, I'd highly recommend something along those lines. Or a playgroup...can you find one of those?

I really think a BIG part of it is mamma time--carving it out while caring for the two kids. I was able to find it while towing the kids along with me. ds loved his new friends (still does), I loved my new friends, and dd was just happy as a ladybug all snuggly next to the milk supply.

I also acknowledged ds' jealousy of dd. It must suck losing your parent to this little beastie who just eats, poops and sleeps. I told him I thought it was okay to be angry with her and angry with Mommy and feel like he might not even like her, but that he still had to be gentle with her. I doubt that he really understood it all, but yours might, and might feel better knowing that these feelings are okay. We also spent a lot of time reading, When Sophie Gets Angry at that time.

He's still jealous. And now, so is she. They're 4 years and 2.5 years. But you know what I think matters? When they're out and about in the real world, they comfort each other and take care of one another. When they're home, they fight and scream and act like siblings. But out there, they make sure each one is okay. And that's how I know they'll be all right. Because it's the big wide world that matters. Home is where we can all tantrum. Another
I hope it gets better soon and that some kernel in here helps.


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Oh I hear you girl! I was SO there, still am some days. It is just SO FRUSTRATING, isn't it, when you are just begging the older one (the other day I was down on my knees in front of her, literally begging) to just be quiet for 5 minutes to let the baby go to sleep. But no, they can't do it, they just have to scream, so instead you have them both screaming at you and no forseeable way out... cos neither of them can go to sleep! aaaggghhhh

luckily now dd is older (2 3/4) she is a little more reasonable than previously, so days like this are not the norm. But still.

With the nursing - that so happens here - dd is still nursing so I definitely have that issue. Sometimes the only answer is to nurse them both at once... maybe you could experiment with positions? I put ds in a classic baby cradle hold, and have dd sit right next to me and latch on... you have to make sure the toddler is close enough to you otherwise there's too much pulling. Also, get your arm behind her head so you can stop her from pulling your nipple out to HERE... I have also had success just telling DD - you're sucking too hard, it's starting to hurt mummy, can you do gentle? also... if it really hurts (sometimes I can't get her into the right position) I just tell her no, mummy's breast hurts, can you open... and then she does, and gives my nipple a kiss... usually very interested in inspecting the teeth marks! (one day I'll get my breasts back to myself...)

I would agree with Ary99, definitely give the sling another shot... maybe you could put a pillow in there... also, depending on the sling you have, turn the baby around so her head is looking out kind of under your arm. Also, you do know the baby won't suffocate - try it yourself - you can breathe through most sling fabrics. (Won't stop old ladies coming up to you at the mall to tell you you're squashing/suffocating your baby...) If the sling doesn't work, keep trying for some kind of carrier that leaves your hands free - that will really help your frustration levels too, it's very wearing on the soul to be so disabled like you are when you constantly are carrying/nursing a baby using at least one arm. If one kind of sling/carrier hurts your back, try another... for example, the Ergo and the Sutemi put most of the weight on your hips... there are ones that don't have any shoulder straps at all, they are just wrapped around your middle, which gets the weight down lower... and the wraparound slings (Ellaroo, Didymos etc) allow you to create a fabric sling that uses both shoulders, unlike the Maya for example which makes you feel a bit lopsided. I would totally recommend investing effort in finding a solution for this, it's so essential in my opinion. sells tons of slings and has heaps of great information and pictures and links etc, check it out.

Another idea - when ds was really little, I used to just cover him up completely when he was nursing or sleeping in the sling, with a light gauze blanket. And even though we both knew he was there, it really helped that dd and I couldn't see him - then we could draw together, or read together, or walk around the park together.

You could try bribing - set up the situation in advance... say, now I'm going to try to get the baby to go to sleep... if you are really really quiet, and the baby goes to sleep, you can have a chocolate muffin for a snack... gotta stick to it though. No muffin if she makes any noise. I've had a lot of success with chocolate muffins! And don't worry that you're being a bad mother if your older girl watches too many videos or has way more chocolate muffins than are healthy during this newborn stage. It will get easier - every day the baby is maturing, and it seriously gets easier fast - so just do what you have to do to get through the first few months. Then you can be the perfect mother later!

Boy I really have dished out the advice here. Take it or leave it - but just know, you are not crazy! This is the hardest thing EVER, having 2 small kids... most days I would feel this close to being completely overwhelmed, and I don't know any other job that would do that to you every day! Just hang in there.

best of luck,

dd 12-24-00
ds 7-2-02

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12,212 Posts
The book "Siblings without Rivalry" might be helpful. I've leafed through it recently, and while much of it talks about older kids, there are some toddler-appropriate ideas.

I have to say I winced a little when you said your mom would have been better off had she stopped at one kid. My own mother was very upfront about telling me this. Routinely. (I am the second of two.) And on one level, she's totally right - we were a lot for her to handle. On the other hand, adults have the ability to handle and change their situations that kids don't have, you know?

I guess what I want to say is: you will be better than that! You have skills and resources and you can recognize that you need some different coping strategies. It is very, very worth your time to think about this issue and not let it determine your kids' childhood. Good luck - it sounds like you've gotten lots of great suggestions here.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After that awful day, things have gotten better. No more awful days (yet), but some awful moments, mostly having to do with nursing. I just don't want to nurse both of them all day. Once, maybe twice, a day is it for DD1.
Anyway, I got Siblings Without Rivalry from the library, and it's really good. I think I'm going to buy it and How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen... by the same authors. They don't have any suggestions about the nursing, though. I really wish that I had not let DD1 attempt to nurse past 2. Oh well. Chalk it up to experience.
They are both sleeping on our bed, far enough apart so DD1 can't roll over on DD2. They are so cute when they are sleeping.

I did give the sling another shot, and I went to to check out others. I think the reason it doesn't work well for me is that my boobs get in the way. Think Dolly Parton if she were nursing. It works well for DH, though.
I keep hearing noises over the baby monitor and then going over and they're still sleeping.
I posted an earlier reply, but it didn't post for some reason.
I think I'd best be getting off the computer. Thanks for replying, all.
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