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How to manage two babies???

My son is 18 months old. He always has to be the center of attention (which is normal I think for an only child) and always gets extremely frustrated when he doesn't have my undivided attention. The problem? I had my second baby a little over a week ago & my son is NOT happy about it. I can never seem to do anything... he gets mad when I feed her (BFing) or when I touch her or anything that isn't directed towards him. I thought things would be a little better (gradually) but it just seems to get worse.... what can I do to make my son feel important & still be able to take care of my daughter?!?! I've just been letting my son throw his temper tantrums while I take care of my daughter, but he's getting so frustrated he's starting to purposely hurt himself to get my attention. I'm torn. Help please?


Asked by nrich at 6:46 PM on Oct. 14, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (10)
  • My 2 DD's are just shy of 2 years apart and we didn't really have major problems, but we started preparing her so early. I had to make a conscious effort to not just say "no", "not now" or "wait a minute" to the dd#1 all the time. DH and I made sure that he and dd#2 had quality time after I nursed her, so that I could have 1-on-1 time with dd#1 to help curb jealousy. A friend gave me some good advice too - if the toddler needs you, and the baby is safe (not in physical danger) but is also crying for you, tend to the toddler first because they will remember and act out if they feel left out, but the baby will forget pretty much as soon as she is fed, changed and cuddled. Obviously don't neglect either child, just don't make it seem that you are always putting the baby first or it might make it harder to deal with the toddler. Try not to stress yourself out about it, and I'm sure he will get used to his sister.

    Answer by raybird1031 at 7:28 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • We started before my daughter was born getting my son ready by getting a doll for him to play with to show him how to be nice to his baby and how to do things for her. After she was born we always called my daughter "your" baby to my son, so he didn't feel like he was being replaced with her. We also made sure to let him help out with her as often as possible like getting me a diaper or putting a blanket on her, things like that. Made TONS of comments about how much she loved him and encouraged him to give her kisses and give her "nice touches" on her cheek etc. Did whatever we could to involve him and make him feel important. They are 17 months apart and we didn't have too many issues at all. While you are nursing your daughter you can try letting him sit next to you and look at a book with him, or something like that if you feel like you have enough hands for that anyway :-) Something to include him or have him help out.

    Answer by whittear at 6:53 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • I know he's young, but there may be tasks with the baby he can help with. like throwing the diapers away (yes you go with and show him where obviously) or since she's still being sponge bathed he might be able to help wipe her down. try to include him in as many activities with the baby as possible. then if they're napping at different times, which i'm sure will happen since baby sleeps a ton, try doing something with him. read a book, play a lil game or something thats just you two. its going to take more than a week for him to get used to a new baby, but he'll come around. GL mamma

    Answer by AmandaN1 at 6:54 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • I had my second a week ago and have a 14 month old. One thing we do, when the baby gets a bottle while he is around (or if i am breast feeding that baby), give him his sippy cup to drink at same time.

    Answer by MissHeidi0304 at 7:08 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • Stop considering him the baby and treat him like the toddler that he is. That's the first thing.

    Let him help with the baby....let him get things for the baby.

    You're probably telling him that he has to wait a minute because the baby needs something. Do the opposite....tell the baby she has to wait a minute because toddler needs something. It doesn't matter if she's sleeping or just laying there awake...he needs to hear it.

    Stick to HIS normal routine. Work the baby into HIS routine, not changing his entire world around making him work into the baby's routine.

    Do NOT let him get away with these behaviors! That is the worst thing you can do. It's not appropriate behavior in ANY case. He can go sit/stand in the corner while he throws his fit and leave when he's done and decides to behave correctly.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:08 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • I ran out of room for the rest of my answer :)

    Get some books about little siblings to read with him, and maybe a special toy or book that he is only allowed to have during times when you are nursing or changing the baby. For normal daily activities and housework, wear the baby as much as possible in a sling or carrier so you will have hands free to play & work with the toddler.
    When you are doing things around the house or running errands and talking to him, talk to the baby the same way, and make sure you tell each of them often how lucky they are to have a little sister/big brother who loves them so much. Let each of them know that they are special and you have enough love for them both, etc. We used to tell Becca that she & Julia were like puzzle pieces and we needed both of them to make a whole family :)

    Answer by raybird1031 at 7:35 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • i didnt have that problem and my son is 25 months and i have an 8 week old....he took to his brother very well....just try to keep him involved with the new baby....letting him throw diapers away help him hold the nerves were fried before i had my about 4 weeks ago i started to smoke(cigarettes) and i go outside and the cool air and the fresh air calm me down and it gives my son a chance to get outside....i keep my baby monitor with me so if the baby starts to fuss or stops making a noise i go in and check on him an i bring my 2 year old with me and i tell him lets go see brother...he loves his of luck

    Answer by Mamaof2boys0709 at 8:35 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • I went through the same thing last year. If you look at my profile you can see a short article i wrote about having kids close together in age....maybe it will make you feel better. It will be pretty challenging for him for a while. I would say the transition really took about 6 months. My son started behaving better once I was able to put his little sister down to play more often.

    My advice would be to give him as much cuddle time as possible, If you can get alone time together with him than do that. My son seemed to really appreciate just going to the store with me alone. Whenever I breastfed i would sit him next to me and read him a book or let him watch a cartoon so that he didn't feel as alienated, and stick to his routine as closely as possible. Nothing makes a kid throw more tantrums than being overly tired.

    Answer by Swingkid511 at 11:24 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • wow usually at this age after the initial adjustment they adapt very well and don't even remeber being the only child. My first two are 16mos apart. When my daughter would sleep thats when I would do one on one time with my son as much as I could, When I BF he actually loved to sit next to me on the other side. I was like man as she gets bigger this may be hard but I think it was just an adjustment period because he stopped after a few weeks. Its hard when they are technically a baby themself...My son adjusted well and when they are so young there is not much you can do to really prepare them. We did read books about bbabies and show him babies. He was a little distant toward me for a little bit.

    Answer by hill2 at 12:47 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • Get him a new doll or stuffed animal; you can take care of your babies together.

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:32 PM on Oct. 15, 2009