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My dd is going through a major jealousy phase. It first surfaced when I was babysitting another child, but now has extended to other things as well. She competes with dh for my attention. And then last night I was reading her bedtime stories and absentmindedly put one of her dolls on my lap and oh boy she did not like that! She said, "No it's MY lap!" and threw her doll on the floor! I am just slightly panicked now as we are having a new baby in a few months.

I have some good books for toddlers about the new baby, we talk about it, I involve her in buying things for the baby, and she comes to the appts. with me. I'm talking to her about how the baby is her friend and little sister, and how much baby loves her. I'm just wondering if there's more I can do to help with this jealousy thing. Would it make it better or worse to at some point adopt a doll and carry it in the sling and pretend to care for it?

Any suggestions?

Darshani
 

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The doll is a GREAT idea. This has beeen my experience- and my friend's who just had her second. Let Abi pick out the doll, name it and when you get things for the baby, get things for her doll. Let her try baby clothes on the doll- even the pants are on the doll's head.

Good luck!
 

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Baby doll worked great with us too. I carried baby doll, nursed him, held him on my lap while reading, taught big brother how to touch the baby... It gave us ahead start on handling a real baby by practicing on one that didn't get hurt. We also played, baby's sleeping you get special time! games. When Andrew was born Josef seemed so amazed he was much more interesting than the baby doll, although he still cares for it from time to time. I learned quickly that two can fit in your lap at the same time, one leg for each.
 

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I think it's also really important to acknowlege the feelings of jealousy (maybe you've already done this?). I find that this works with ds when he has his moments of jealousy/competitiveness for attention with his sister. Something like (this is me talking to my ds after he boppedd the baby on the head), "It's hard sometimes when mama has to hold Leela a lot and I can't play with you right away, isn't it?" Ds looks right into my eyes and says, "Yeah, it's hard sometimes." And then I went on to explain that he can tell me that instead of hitting her, etc. Doesn't work perfectly 100% of the time, but I find that talking about what's really going on with his feelings of jealousy is often more effective than constantly telling him what NOT to do to the baby, etc.

Kinda off topic, but related, I think. That said, I think the doll idea is great, especially one that's somewhat realistic in size that could wear baby clothes and tiny cloth dipes.
 

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I got them a 22" doll at our doctor's suggestion when I found out about #3. They pretty much ignored it until after Olivia was born, then they played with it constantly. They really seemed to enjoy having their own "baby" to take care of. They were (still are) pretty small and had a lot of trouble handling the 22" doll, so we ended up getting two smaller dolls. As they've gotten older (2 1/2 now) they play with their dolls every day. They feed them, change diapers, nurse them, change their clothes, put them to bed, and now they are starting to teach them about the potty.

Even though they were only 19 months when Olivia was born they immediately made the connection we were hoping for. When I would sit down to nurse, they would run into their bedroom and come out with the doll, and start mimicking me.
 

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That's cute about them nursing their dolls! My dd nursed her bears and bunnies but we had to put a newborn coth diaper on the doll- which was actually given to us by a neighbor. It was a girl doll but she named "him" Vincent and dressed him in baby clothes from the bags people gave us for ds.

By the time ds was born she was pretty much into taking care of the doll and trying to hold her baby brother. It was pretty idyllic until he started crawling and touched her stuff- then the jealousy and fights kicked in.
 
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