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How to handle DS backtracking in milestones?

We just brought the new baby home from the NICU. He was there for only a week but our other son, who is 20 months, had to stay with grandmother while we were with the baby. We have been home for two days and now our oldest won't eat unless it's snacks,he wants a paci and never did before. All he does is scream in a shrill voice all day. He is going hoarse. I don't know what to do. The constant temper tantrums are driving me crazy. Should I put him in time out? Let it go? Is this normal?

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Asked by MoM.i.aM at 8:52 PM on Feb. 23, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • He is jealous, and most likely got away with a lot at grandma's, so you need to re-establish rules and consequences for breaking them. Time out will work fine, just be patient and don't give in to things that he doesn't need like a pacifier. Good luck.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 8:54 PM on Feb. 23, 2010

  • Yep it's normal.
    Keep it as typical as it was. If he didn't have a paci before don't give him one. If he throws a tantrum put him in time out or whatever your discipline method is. Be consistent. You get to experience the begginings of the troublesome toddler phase and at the same time caring for a newborn. It wont be an easy task. ...Pick and choose your battles but ALWAYS stick with whatever you FIRST said.

    Example, day child wants cookie before dinner. You're exhausted and don't want a fight. Give the child ONE cookie. it's not a big deal if it will save your sanity.
    a week later child wants cookie before dinner. Dinner will be ready in 5 minutes and you tell child he can have cookie after dinner. STICK WITH IT! do NOT give in. Let him know you mean what you say.

    good luck.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 8:56 PM on Feb. 23, 2010

  • it must be a 20 month phase! my son is doing the same things and he hasnt been away from me and nothing has changed... I'm about to go nuts! He's even refusing to walk!!!! he wont eat just wants a sippy and snacks. I've been trying to ignore it as much as possible its been going on about 3 weeks or so! and It seems to be wearing off a little but not enough!! So, if you find something that works let me know!

    Answer by HannahLee87 at 8:56 PM on Feb. 23, 2010

  • Typical new baby in the house stuff. He needs some special attention from both you and Dad. Don't give in to the tantrums, ignore them. When you sit to feed the baby have him next to you. Read a book or tell a story. Make him 'a big helper" Let him hand you things. He is really young and didn't understand why you weren't there..and now who is this other kid. Patience, love consistancy and be firm.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 9:03 PM on Feb. 23, 2010

  • It depends on the snacks - are they fresh fruit, yogurt, steamed veggies or are they chips and cookies? As long as they are healthy, it's okay. Find some time to spend with him, just you and him, or Dad and him - he needs attention. Be consistent with whatever discipline you choose to use. My 5th will be here when my 4th is 20 months old (in July) and I've decided to let him keep the paci at bedtimes until a few months after he is used to his new baby sister, just to avoid having to fight that battle.
    But yes - it's normal. His life just changed drastically and most kids don't do well with change. As you get back to a more normal routine his tantrums should lessen.

    Answer by missanc at 9:15 PM on Feb. 23, 2010

  • its completely normal and NO do not punish him. He doesn't understand what just happened. My DD was 16 months when I brought home my DS and she did the same exact thing right down to the paci and never had one herself. She is much better now and its been 3 months. Give him plenty of attention (the good kind not negative attention) and let him be apart of caring for the baby. He needs to know he's still loved and needed. Be gentle with him it will pass.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:13 PM on Feb. 23, 2010

  • I would say typical behavior for a 20 month old that is upset about the new baby along with probably being pretty spoiled by Grandma....
    I would take some extra time to spend just with him... and praise like crazy for positive behaviors.
    If he wants to snack make sure they are all very healthy snacks... my son is really into dried fruits right now. Other things you can offers... cheese, diced lunch meat, yogurt... so at least if he's snacking he's still getting foods that are food for him.
    With the paci... if he never took one before I would just take it away and tell him is missing or something... if he's only had it for a little while he's forget all about it.
    And then just give it time....

    Answer by AmiJanell at 9:28 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

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