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Well, you are totally not alone. We have the same issues here. I dont have one with special needs, but Anna just turned three on Saturday and Catherine is 18 months. I feel like in many ways I have done things more "by the AP book" with Catherine, and she is my more demanding child. My husband has commented on how I am so much more lenient with Catherine; I havent ever done cry it out with her (although with Anna, she didn't cosleep well and she never really cried, just fussed a bit sometimes, not usually) so she still sleeps with us/ goes to bed when we do or she literally falls down in exhaustion bc I cant get her to sleep otherwise. She screams these ear piercing screams and gets picked up, even sometimes having to move Anna from my lap. (Im sorry, Anna, Catherine wants milk.) Sheesh, I am in many ways a terrible mom; Anna watches too much television too. It is just hard to meet the needs of two sometimes, although they do play well together too. I want to know how the moms of many do it! I am definitely going to check out the Raising a Secure Child book.

Id definitely do the family music class. We love, love, love Music Together. It is so much fun! Maybe Dad or Grandma could take Thareen OUT somewhere? I have noticed that while Catherine has a fit if I leave her at the house, if she is the one leaving with someone (park/ walk/ etc), she will just wave and say "bye bye." Wonder if that would make him feel more in control, if he were the one leaving?

It does sound like maybe he is physically uncomfortable or something, or even that he WAS physically uncomfortable and formed a habit then. I would definitely talk to the doc about it. Sleep deprivation is awful, for you and him. I would love to know how to get mine to sleep more too! I think you probably do need to not always make his needs come first though. It sounds like sometimes he may have to wait while big brother gets cuddled or taken potty or read to, etc - either with Dad or Grandma/ Grandpa, or even on his own. Catherine does sometimes have to wait, which sucks and probably isnt AP, but its not right for big sister (who isn't as patient as yours is) to always get the shaft either. I like the taking turns focusing on each child approach, as well as the leaving baby with caregiver and going out approach ideas. I hate to mention it, but is it possible with your older child having autism that your baby could be on the spectrum too? Or have sensory issues that make him unhappy? Has he been evaluated by an EI OT person?

And this is an absolutely evil suggestion and I expect to be flamed, but have you tried putting on a Baby Signing Time or Baby Babble dvd for Thareen to spend time with your older son?

Sigh. Im trying to figure out how to balance the needs of people and not let my baby walk all over the rest of us too. She is so good at that scream, and I give in to her because she is a baby (well, 18 months), but I'm starting to think that everyone would be happier with some more (gentle) limits and that they might be appropriate now. But Catherine is verbal too, which helps. Have you done baby sign language?
 
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