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How do I help 2 1/2 yr old DD adjust to new baby sister?

The whole pregnancy she's been a DREAM - she has been totally in love with this baby since we told her she was going to be a big sister. She talked to my belly, kissed my belly, and tried to share whatever she had with her little growing sister by shoving it in my bellybutton. Pennies... Cheeto's.... :D It was hilarious and so, so sweet. I'll never forget the look on her face when she saw her new baby sister for the first time in the recovery room. Utter HAPPINESS. The ONLY disapproval I've seen is she has issues with having her carseat moved over behind the passenger seat. She liked to stay in the middle, and now she sees lil' sis's seat in the middle and she cries & says "I don't want a baby sister, I want to sit right THERE!" I've explained to her that Mr. Policeman says now that we have baby sis, this is the safest way for them to ride in the car. She still pouts. :\
Anyway, other than that, now that we're home, adjustment to new baby has been wonderful... she loves to kiss her on the forehead & hold her little hands, and talk to her. Absolutely no negative behavior towards baby sis at all. However, she's been acting a little "funny" lately towards Dad & I. Not really acting out, but just kind of giving us the "silent treatment". Or she'll just look sad sometimes & I'll talk to her & ask "Do you feel sad? Do you feel mad?" until she says yes. (I don't want to flat out ask her "Are you upset about bayb sister" b/c I don't want to put any ideas in her head.) She said she was mad the other day. I asked who she was mad at and she pointed to me. :( I asked why she was mad at me and she said "I can't tell you". (She does that often if she's upset, and I understand she may not have the words to express herself this way yet). She said that to Dad a couple of times too.
I think her behavior is a manifestation of anxieties about little baby being here, even though every other aspect she shows nothing but love and affection towards her little sis & the situation. I do try to include big sis in EVERYTHING I DO and I make a point to make the reason NOT about the baby if we do have to say "no". I think some special "mom & me" time is in order but I don't know what I can do really, because little one is nursing sometimes every hour on the hour!! I have to have little one nearby at all times right now. She's only 12 days old and never has had a bottle, she only occasionally takes her paci. I don't want to cause any nipple confusion, nursing is going pretty well.
Any suggestions as to how I can make this easier on my almost 3 yr old DD??

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Asked by MamaLisa1976 at 10:02 AM on Feb. 22, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 16 (3,073 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • when baby is napping maybe take some time to spend with her like painting her nails or playing a game or you could see if there is anything she really wants and amybe when you guys are out and about get her a special treat like a new movie she has wanted to see, mine love the old classic disney movies, or even that toy that she has been wanting or even just a simple icecream cone. something that baby cant have to make her feel like you still love her very much and just because baby is here that doesnt change. also you can get her involved in helping you with getting a clean diaper or trowing away a diaper getting a blanket.

    Answer by laura970 at 10:14 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • It sounds like you're doing the right things. It *is* an adjustment for any kid, but especially for one still learning the words to express herself. We also used nap time for one on one time with my oldest. I'd get the baby settled in for a nap, then DS and I would do something fun together : bake, go in the yard (with baby monitor), cuddle with books. That's also when my parents started their once a month sleepovers that STILL go on to this day 6 years later. :) They'd pick up DS around dinner time on a Friday and bring him home the next afternoon. The whole thing was about lavishing attention and spoiling him rotten. Now kids get their sleepover weekends and the kid that's left home gets oodles of 'just me' attention from DH and I. DH used to take DS out for special time too. Today we still take the time to pair off and do something just one parent to one kid at a time. They LOVE it!

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:57 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • Ran out of room, ugh! I did want to assure you that this is temporary and she will come to terms with the adjustment in her own way. Right now she's finding her place in this bigger family. She adores her sister but she's still a little jealous and confused by that perhaps. She'll get it.

    My kids are 8 and 6 now. They have their moments of utter hell in the sibling rivalry department, quite frankly, BUT they really are very good friends the vast majority of the time. In fact, my 8 year old, who is still holding tight to the "girls stink" mentality, will readily tell anyone that asks that his little sister is his #1 best friend in the world even if she is a girl. ;) And my DD idolizes her big brother. She'd rush up in the school hall way still to give him a hug and a kiss if she didn't think he'd die of embarrassment from it. LOL! Even if they do need to be reminded they are both #1 in our eyes. :)

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:01 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • All of the suggestions above are really good but I'd like to add another one...

    Maybe you could bring her her own "special baby" (newborn baby doll) to care for. Make sure to get her a toy car seat for her baby to sit in and put her baby in the "middle" (as much as possible) stressing that that is where "her baby" & her baby sister needs to be sit for their safety.
    When she is feeling "mad " at Mommy or Daddy, assure her that all children get "mad" at their Mommy and Daddy from time to time. Allow her to express what she's feeling without reproach or she'll learn to "bottle up" her feelings. After she expresses herself in some way, reassure her of your "unconditional love".
    Don't worry...she'll come around in no time when she has her own baby to mother.

    Answer by wifedoll at 5:40 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

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