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This has been on my mind a lot lately. In just a few months we will have a new addition. DS is 21 months. I am really starting to worry that he is going to have a very hard time with all of this. Right now, he absolutely loses it if another child touches me or if I am holding another toddler/baby. I've tried to invite him to come sit with me & the newborn I am holding and he will have nothing to do with it and will continue to lose it until I hand of the baby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
This makes me SO nervous. We have talked to him a lot about the baby in my belly--could he be connecting the dots and reacting early? He is obsessed with 'tummy' and wants my shirt up and his shirt up so he can cuddle with my tummy--which is fine. I let him. He has a baby doll and he is really sweet to it. But he gets angry when I hold it. He weaned last month, so unless he decides to nurse again when the baby comes, we won't have tandem nursing to potentially ease things.<br><br>
Anyone BTDT? How did things work out? What helped, if anything, pre-baby and post-arrival?
 

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My daughter was 19 months when my son was born, and I was very worried too. It really turned out to not be a terribly big problem. Part of it was that we were lucky that DS was a very easy baby and slept a lot. So I really didn't have to devote all that much time to him, and I'm not sure she felt terribly neglected.<br><br>
I would emphasize that your relationship with him won't change. You can't really get that across to him until after the baby is born, but I would really work on that. Will you have any help? A DH with paternity leave or family nearby? You will probably be surprised at how that help is usually tasked with things for the newborn, while you take care of the toddler. At least, that was the case for me. My parents came and stayed for a month, and I really expected them to take care of DD while I took care of DS. But it turned out that DS's needs were so simple (all he really wanted was a warm chest to sleep on and a boob stuck in his mouth every few hours), and my DD's needs were the ones that required my full attention. My father read A LOT of books that month while DS snoozed away on him and I played with DD!<br><br>
This book gets a lot of hate on here because it shows bottle feeding, but I swear we went through every "new baby" book we could find and this was the only one that resonated with a toddler so young. "I'm a Big /Sister Now" (there's a Brother one too) quickly became DD's absolute favorite book. Literally every other book I found was for much older children. The one I'm recommending is very simple and empowering for a young toddler. It also helps lay out some simple ground rules (I have to ask mommy if I want to hold the baby, I have to be gentle with the baby) and some expectations (sometimes babies cry, babies like to be warm and snuggled).<br><br>
Honestly, and what follows is the least helpful advice ever: there's no real way to tell until the baby gets here. I have friends with the sweetest, gentlest little toddlers who started hitting the baby as soon as she was born... and friends with totally wild and crazy toddlers who they never had a single issue with. It also depends on how much time the newborn takes: I can definitely see much more jealousy if you have a high needs baby who needs to be held and bounced and sung to 24 hours a day, versus if you have one that's happy to snooze away quietly.<br><br>
But no matter how your dice fall, I absolutely 100% promise that it will work out <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It has to, right? And trust me... the REAL sibling problems don't start until #2 is starts to crawl, and it's suddenly open season on all of #1's belongings. Which, according to #1, includes every single toy, book, and object in the house! My DD, who was the sweetest, gentlest. most protective big sister ever and always made sure he had a toy and always asked before touching him has turned into a little "NO! MINE!" screaming, slapping machine.
 

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Wow, thank you for such a well thought out response.<br><br>
I will look into that book. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I do have DH home for paternity leave, thank goodness! I am thinking of having our out of town help (mom and MIL) stagger and come after DH goes back to work--or at least having that as a backup plan if things are still rocky.<br><br>
I realized after reading what you wrote that I am pretty much expecting this one to be as difficult as my first and going off that. The idea of putting a baby down just seems so foreign. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> I had a tough recovery from birth, huge issues with nursing, and a high needs baby...I could go on and on. Hopefully we get to relax a bit more this time.<br><br>
I keep telling myself that the odds are good that if DS is as far off the bell curve as we feel he is/was for 'normal' (in terms of easiness) our odds of getting easier is pretty good--then again, it's the same gene pool, so who knows!
 

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I have a larger gap between kids (little less than three years), and the first two months were the hardest of my life. But, if I could give any mom pregnant with her second advice, it would be to remember that things will settle and the overwhelming difficulty will pass in a couple months.<br><br>
Lower your standards. House standards. Food standards. Parenting standards.<br><br>
If you have help, have them help keep your toddler on as close to hs routine as possible.<br><br>
Try to carve out some time alone with the toddler every day.
 
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