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Old 10-13-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
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Toddler and Newborn, how long for the "adjustment phase"...

Hey everyone. I have a 19month old and a 2 week old. My toddler has turned into a demon ever since her sister was born. She whines non stop, hits and has even started biting. I'm tandem nursing and every time the baby wants to nurse, my toddler does as well. OK, fine, I get that. But she will hit her sister, push her, grab the boob out of her mouth etc etc. And whine. She just doesn't stop whining. Today I was nursing the baby, put her in the swing and grabbed the toddler to take a quick shower. I let the toddler entertain herself with pulling the bathroom cabinets apart. When I came out the baby had thrown up all over, i mean her and the swing was covered. So I grabbed her to give her a quick bath. When I was getting her dried and changed my toddler was pulling all of the clothes out of her dresser. I said "No, Mara, please leave the clothes in there" and she charged me and bit me, just happen to land right on my already sore nipple. I instinctually reached down and smacked her right in the face. I have NEVER hit her, and NEVER plan on hitting her. I couldn't believe it, neither could she. We both burst into tears. A combination of the whining all morning, the hitting and then that just got to me. How long does this "phase" last? Im going crazy, my sweet toddler is gone. I know she's wanting more attention from me but I literally give her all the attention thats possible. Even when Im nursing the newbie she is getting books read to her, a special show we sit and watch together, just playing or talking to eachother... I dont know what to do.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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Do you get out of the house at all (storytime, open gym, playgroups, etc)? My DD got really squirrelly when DS was about 2 weeks old too. Getting her back into her regular schedule helped a lot. She's certainly not perfect, but if she starts getting aggressive with me or DS, I know it's time to get out and get moving. Sometimes she just needs a little 1 on 1 time, so I try to plan some sort of special activity or snack for while DS is napping.

Hope that helps a little; I'm sure there are other, more experienced mama's with great tips too (excited to hear them!)!

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Old 10-13-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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Re: Toddler and Newborn, how long for the "adjustment phase"...

One thing that helped us (ours are a little closer than yours) was me being verbal about the baby waiting sometimes- I'd put the little one down to play on the floor and tell her aloud, "You're going to have to wait, it's big sister's turn to cuddle." If she went down for a nap, even if she was sleeping, I'd make a big deal out of it being big sister's turn for such-and-such.

I bundled them up and got out of the house- just a walk down the street. Fresh air always helps my older daughter feel better. It helped my mood too.

I'd try to verbalize her feelings- I'd pull her in my lap and hug on her and tell her, "Wow, I can see you're feeling really upset. I bet you want to be first. Right now it is Bean's turn to be first doing xyz."

It's so hard!

I did address the behaviors because being kind to your siblings is important, but they were there for a few months. I also had to give myself time because my hormones were SO about protecting the baby- which is understandable.

ETA: I totally forgot about snacks! I'd put older dd in a high chair and give her a snack during one morning nursing and one afternoon nursing. I pulled her in the living room where I could see her, but it gave her a special time (because the baby was just "too little to have snacks like big sister") and I had at least two nursings a day with just my little one!

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Old 10-13-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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Re: Toddler and Newborn, how long for the "adjustment phase"...

I don't have an answer to your problem, but I've always enjoyed this article:

http://alphamom.com/your-life/postpa...big-challenge/

especially this part:
(Oh! And we also talked to the baby about Noah and his needs, i.e. “Hang on, Ezra, Mommy has to get Noah a drink of milk right now, I’ll be with you in a minute.” Noah probably heard the flipside of that sort of thing a dozen times a day, as I unconsciously prioritized the baby over him, so I tried to make sure I announced the times HE got first dibs on Mommy’s time.)
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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Those are helpful tips, thank you. She does get out of the house, dh hasn't gone back to work yet (he will on Friday) so he's been taking her to her regular activities (we usually do story time, gymnastics and park as often as possible). I've tried to keep her regular nap and bedtime schedule/routine within reason.
I have been praising her for her good actions but I don't know what I should do about the bad ones. Ignore? Address? Then isn't she getting the attention she wanted, although negative?
I am scared about when DH goes back to work because right now he's there to help with everything, and he works two night shifts a week so ill have to do nap and dinner/bath/bedtime by myself those two nights.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mara'sMommy
I have been praising her for her good actions but I don't know what I should do about the bad ones. Ignore? Address? Then isn't she getting the attention she wanted, although negative?
The article talks about how you should ignore it as best as you can.

They are trying to make sure you love them. So they act out to test the love.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #7
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Re: Toddler and Newborn, how long for the "adjustment phase"...

my son was a week shy of 2 when the baby was born. he was awesome the 1st mo and now (3 1/2 mo later) he's a holy terror. no matter what we do. he bit the baby's eye last night :/. they do get over it tho. really helpful, right?
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #9
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Just to answer the headline question, the adjustment period is like 4-6 months. It's so hard. Call in favors, gather your resources, hang on tight and let the little stuff go.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:53 PM   #10
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My ped said that for the first 3/4 months, try to just let stuff go. That worked for us.
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