Acting out after newborn

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from capecod1818. Show capecod1818's posts

    Acting out after newborn

    Ok I need some advice here.  My DS will be 3 in July.  He has been an absolute nightmare the past few weeks and I am perplexed as to why he is acting out now.  His little brother was born in December and all seemed good for awhile but the last few weeks he has been throwing toys, hitting, yelling, biting.  I can't figure out if he is acting for the attention because he is no longer the center of attetion with new brother around or if this is just typical 2 year old behavior.  We have done plenty of time outs the past few weeks but he just continues with the behavior.  Ugh.....any advice would help at this point.  Has anyone gone through the same situation?  I can't even fathom how terrible the 3s will be.....plenty of people have said that was even worse than the 2s but I just can't see how that is possible.  DS is giving us a run for our money.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    Do you expect him to occupy himself without you, at times when you are NOT dealing with the baby?  If the only time he does not have hot and cold running Mommy is when Baby needs something, then Baby is taking Mommy away.  In that case, it could be just wanting attention.

    But even if he understands it's not his turn for attention, he may just not know what to do with himself.

    If entertaining himself is not something he is good at (yet) have him practice doing things more on his own without you even when it's not time to tend to Baby.  At nearly three, he should be able to play without you for a bit. He can start trying to do things for himself that you do for him, perhaps?  That will give him more independence so he's not calling for you when you have your hands full, plus it is one more thing for him to do.

    Has he outgrown his toys?  If he is bored, he is going to act up. That's a good age to start phasing out the toddler toys and go to little-kid toys anyhow.  Duplo blocks, toy cars, real books (not board books), simple puzzles, something with pieces to put together, things that are more challenging.  We had this problem when our first was nearly two and the baby was a couple of months old--she was bored and at loose ends.  We ended up giving her some of the birthday toys early and she settled down a lot.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Micromom. Show Micromom's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    I found that there was a sort of honeyymoon phase with our toddler when the new baby came home.  After a few months, the novelty wore off, the baby became more active and required more attention, the toddler was less amused.  
    At about 4 months, you're probably starting to emerge from the initial newborn haze (though I know the fatigue is still intense!), so now is a good time to revitalize your efforts at balancing the needs of both kids.  

    We found it helped to involve the toddler as much as possible, and give him little jobs, so he feels involved with the baby.  Can he go get a diaper for changing?  Can he carry the bottle to the couch for feeding?  Can he pick out an outfit for the baby?  etc.  Dole out lots of praise for being such a good helper, and be careful to keep it  fun.

    Is the toddler home with you all day?  If so, it might be a good time to find him a playgroup/daycare/preschool.  He could probably use a new level of stimulation, and it helped ours to have his own place to go without the baby.  If that's not an option, even just an activity, like a trip to the library etc. is good.

    We found it helped a lot make a concerted effort to spend time with the toddler alone every day (even a few minutes helps).  Make a big show of the "special time," pick books or activities so it feels like a big deal.  We also signed our toddler up for little classes on the weekends, so he gets a special field trip with mom or dad (and each parent got some alone time with each child). 

    Since the new baby is still pretty young and portable, it's actually a good time to cater to the toddler a bit.  Pop the baby in the carrier and head to the park etc.  That will help the toddler feel like his life hasn't been "ruined" by the new baby, that you can all still have some fun together.  Spring time outdoor activity level may also help the toddler redirect his energy.

    We recently switched around their bedtimes, letting the toddler stay up a little later so the baby could go to bed early.  That gives the toddler some extra alone time with us, and we have him help with dinner, eat together, etc.

    We also talk with the toddler about having a sibling, and let him know that we understand that it's hard sometime.  It helps him to feel understood and supported.

    Also, consider the possibility that the tantrums aren't entirely new baby related.  Have the toddlers needs changed?  Look at things like his nap schedule, diet, mental or physical stimulation etc.  It may be that he's trying to tell you he needs something different.

    I know from experience, it's tough to juggle a new baby and a toddler.  We're asking a lot of the toddler because they're suddenly the "big" brother.  We expect them to have the capacity to wait, be patient, play with and love the new baby when there's not much pay off.  And when we do have a minute of quiet from the baby, it can hard to muster up the energy to entertain the toddler, but it goes a long way in the long run.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    Wow, these are great ideas.  I've been thinking about what to give my friends' DD when her 3 (surprise!!!) premature siblings arrive this summer; she'll be 2 1/2.  Big kid toys that will challenge her, hopefully for hours...NOT a stuffed animal like I was thinking.  YAY!  I know this wasn't meant for me, but THANKS!
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    Kar - we have a million stuffed animals and my kids hate them all. I just boxed up about 40 at Christmas and gave them to a charity. They were all new and never used.
    My DD will be three in July and she would LOVE any of these duplo sets:

    http://duplo.lego.com/en-us/Products/6154.aspx
    Washable crayons and a coloring book and/or stickers are good too for a less expensive choice. Dishes and fake food are fun. Maybe a baby doll that she can change and feed just like mommy.

    Capecod: You've gotten such great advice above. I'll just add that I find timeouts totally useless. Maybe I don't do them right or something, but they just cause more fighting around here. In your copious free time I'd suggest Harvey Karps Happiest Toddler on the Block. It's an easy read and has more positive ways to redirect bad behavior. Good luck!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    Also, to add to everything great already said, I've found that 3 has been a more challenging age than 2, even though DD's new sibling won't arrive for a few more months.  The 2 tantrums are about frustration communicating, usually.  The 3 stuff has been more about experimenting with boundries and establishing independence (ie, pushing my buttons haha).
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    Sorry to hijack the thread, but misslily, what charity did you donate them to? I have four giant Hefty bags filled with stuffed animals, but most place I've looked into won't take them (for fear of germs, maybe?). Most are like new, and I'm dying to get them out of the house. 

    Everyone -- awesome ideas!


     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    It might be the bed bug epidemic, too, that keeps them from accepting stuffed animals.  Our dump has a swap shed; they'd go in a second from there.  And, what about a yard sale?  If you don't put prices on them and when people ask, "How much," you say, "How much do you think would be a fair price?" you'll be stunned at what they suggest.  So stunned you have to keep yourself from saying "REALLY?!"  I learned that on a morning "news" show (GMA, maybe?) from a yard sale expert and it really works.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    I took them to a church that was having a rummage sale.  They were thrilled to have them. I guess everyone knows that EVERYTHING is used at a rummage sale so it's not such a big deal.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    Thank you, ladies! Great suggestions....
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Micromom. Show Micromom's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    I fiind that stuffed animals are actually well intentioned, but awful gifts for kids.  They often aren't used, plus they're hard to donate.  After a lot of looking, I found Project Smile, a local group that distributes stuffed animals and other items to police, fire fighters, and paramedics so they can provide them to children in traumatic situations (http://www.projectsmile.org/).

    Regarding gifts, I'd like to suggest giving the gift of an activity instead of a thing.  Take the child to the park, out for ice cream, to the circus, or group together with a few friends and purchase a class, like Gymboree etc.  It gives the parent a little break, and the child a fun activity and memory.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Acting out after newborn

    In Response to Re: Acting out after newborn:
    [QUOTE]Wow, these are great ideas.  I've been thinking about what to give my friends' DD when her 3 (surprise!!!) premature siblings arrive this summer; she'll be 2 1/2.  Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    The 21/2 yr old will enjoy the duplos, but you are GONNA have to give your friend (the adult) a doula for a few hours a day.... with triplets (who will be preemies) and a 21/2 yr old she's going to need help.  Serious help.  Ye gods. 

    I'm hyperventilating over here - twins AND a 21/2 yr old?  I hope they have lots of friends who will come over to their house to help hold babies or play outside with the big girl.  And help at night.  And make their dinner for about 6 months so they can just pop stuff in an oven for 30 minutes.  And and and... Surprised
     

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