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New baby almost here, but my daughter is having a hard time....advise needed ASAP!!!!

Posted by on May. 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM
  • 8 Replies

I am about to be induced in just a couple of days. I also have a daughter who is almost 6 years old. Though she is excited about being a big sister she is also having a tough time with it.  Her bio father and I divorced when she was just 2 years old and then when she was 3 years old we found out that she was being sexually abused by him. As a result she has extreme anxiety, and PTSD. She is home with me full time, homeschooled, etc. she is on medication at nighttime to help her with her flashbacks etc. so she can sleep. She has been in therapy since we found out what was happening. She changed to a more intensive therapy in January because her level of PTSD,and anxiety required more care then the therapist she was seeing could provide. She now has duel therapist that come to our home 2 days a week for 1 1/2 hrs per session. Though my daughter has come very far in her therapy, there is still so much healing to be done. 

    Since my divorce I have been in a relationship with the same man, and my daughter really connects with him. She see's him as a dad type figure, and calls him 'papi'. He is the father of the baby I am about to deliver. He has two daughters from a previous relationship ages 13 and 10yrs old. My daughter considers them her sisters, though they don't live with us. My SO and I have had a rocky road the last year, with a lot happening. He moved out right around the time I found out I was pregnant, and it's just been my daughter and I during the pregnancy for the most part. It's been hard, but through couple therapy we've come a long way, and he began with overnights, and is moving home this week. He always continued his relationship with my daughter, calling nightly to say goodnight and see how her day went, etc. but he wasn't very reliable and did several times let her down by not coming when he said he would, or calling at the time he said he would, and even a few times where said he would move home and last minute didn't. This crushed me, but more so it crushed my already vulnerable daughter. 

   With this new baby only days away from coming my daughter is getting more and more emotional. Tonight she came in my room, and said mom I am depressed. I asked her what depressed meant. She replied it means your tired, and don't want to talk to anyone, and just feeling bad...and you don't want to eat, except I still want to eat. While I was proud she identified a feeling ( we have been working hard on tha tin therapy) I was crushed that my daughter had these feelings. I asked her why she thought she felt that way, and told her that I was proud she came to me with these feelings. Told her she can always come talk with me. (which she knows, as we are super close!)  she at first said I don't know why, but then quickly went into her fears of her new sister taking all my time, and that everyone would love her sister more. Basicly her fears seem very age appropriate, but I think they are heightened due to all she has been through. 

   I tried my best to tell her that nobody could ever replace her, we read books on what to expect with a new baby, and I have done my best to keep her very involved. So involved that she took up the position of 'breathing coach' in the delivery room, and we have watched countless birthing videos. She is excited about the actual birth, just not so excited about taking her sister home with us. 

     So I am wondering if any of you ladies have been through this with your children? If so, what helped ease this transistion, and helped your children bond together? 

She was very upset, and while reading the book, she would frequently turn the other way, and make a comment like no I won't be friends with her, or and nobody will love me anymore, etc. Her anger was apparent, and she even yelled into her pillow several times. I so badly want to help her, but don't know what else to do.  Any ideas???

by on May. 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM
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by on May. 4, 2013 at 9:23 PM

My girl was a little over 2 when I had our second child. I pointed out families to her with more than one child in magazines and on TV.

I took her to a sibling class at the hospital.

I gave her a baby doll so she could pretend to feed and diaper it.

The sitter gave her a toy each day I was away. I had gotten them at garage sales while she was on her visit with the toxic ex.

I called and talked to her each day.

When she came up to the hospital I told everyone to focus on her and not the baby. She just wanted to sit on the bed and hold her brother. She was thrilled.

Now she says she has PTSD from those visits. She also has depression, anxiety and ADHD.

by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2013 at 9:25 PM

I think what you are doing is just fine.  Given her past any changes like this could throw her into a meltdown loop.  Heck i am proud of her for being able to identify what she is feeling since most children her age just know the feeling as "bad".  I am presuming that the therapists are working with her as well for this large irrevocable life change that is about to happen.   Would she be able to join a dance class or art class at all to help distract her a bit?

by on May. 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM

She is in dance class, and has class the day after I am induced. Also I setup special things for her to do while I am in the hospital. She has a very hard time being away from me, which I think is adding to her fears, like she will go somewhere and now mom is going to be with just the baby. She wants to stay with me in the hospital, but it is against policy. Again, she is excited about the birth itself, but bringing her sister home to live with us is causing issue. What can I do when it comes time to bring the baby home to help with transistion?  I do have special gifts for her too....picked up two special Easter baskets when they went on clearance. Just worried about my daughters emotional needs. Hate seeing my baby hurt, especially after all she has been through.

by on May. 4, 2013 at 11:23 PM
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You will need to watch your six year old very carefully to see how she's doing. She knows cognitively that babies are completely dependent and have many needs, but her emotions may trigger needs in herself, demanding more of  your time and attention, especially when the baby needs you.  

A lot of what she's going through as a new big sister, sharing your time and attention, is probably perfectly normal and not just due to her past trauma. She's been an only child all these years. Even your short absence at the hospital could cause her to have separation anxiety. Her abuse could cause her reaction to your separation and the new baby to be more intense than what other children feel. But part of that - being jealous of your time, etc., is really normal behavior.

She needs buffering relationships in her life right now -  in other words, another adult or two who can be nurturing and supportive when you are busy or absent. I would suggest a female, not your SO. She need someone who can come in and spend time at home with her while you are taking care of the baby. Maybe go for a walk, play and read and make snacks, etc. Not someone who also consumes your time. If you have a grandmother figure in your life, now's the time to call on her. 

And if you can afford it,  get some household help to come in once a week to clean for you. It will free you up immensely so you have more time with your daughter and the baby. Take anyone up on offers to bring in or cook meals for you. Or to come in and do dishes.  A "freezer shower" is so helpful with a new baby.  

I would establish some "rules" immediately with future visitors who want to visit the baby. Anyone who comes should not make any demands of you for entertaining them. Speak up when you are tired or need to reclaim your time for yourself and your family. Older children need to know with a new baby that they are still important, and we can show them that they are in this way. Most people are very considerate, and bring a gift for the older child. Make sure you have things stashed away for her, too.

Your DD will be able to help you after the baby comes, and you should praise her willingness to assist in the care of the baby. Use your time resting after the birth to draw her in and let her bond with the baby, too. She'll want to hold the baby, so talk to her about the baby's special needs, that it can't hold its head up yet, etc. 

I would make a birthday cake to have when the baby comes home. Let her help make it and pick out the flavor. 

Children often regress when a new baby comes. It's normal. She may start to talk baby talk, or act helpless. I would take it easy and don't draw attention to it. 

I worried at first that  I was short changing my older child when the second one came along. But then I realized that we don't create love. God does - however you believe. And so there is no shortage of love in the universe. There is plenty for both children. She won't be hurt. Her life will be richer. 

by on May. 4, 2013 at 11:23 PM

my oldest was 18months old when my 2nd was born...she got very mean towards her new sister the day I brought her home...but after taking my oldest to the side and reading to her daily and at times "ignoring" the baby (baby was fed, had a clean diaper, and was in a safe spot...but would cry) and saying something like "sister can wait a minute we're doing something together..." it helped...when it came to introducing her new sister we had my oldest do the "introducing" of her sister...this made her grin from ear to ear...sure she didn't talk much yet but she said "sissy" when introducing her sister to others...

with an older child I'd do night time reading daily, throughout the day make the baby "wait" as long as you know that there's nothing it NEEDS right then, maybe have her help you with the baby ("can you grab me the diaper please") do things that only you and her can do together that the baby can't (make cookies as an idea)...basically show her that you still love her even if you have another child...that other child might take up more of your time but also trying to do things with your daughter would help loads...when you come home sit the baby in the carrier by the chair and "rush in" and hug your daughter...ask her how she's been...what did she due while you 2 were apart...etc...then show her her new sibling that'll also help some...

by Member on May. 5, 2013 at 12:51 AM

Some moms told me it would be good to give the older sibling a gift from the new baby in the hospital. And make sure you include her in everything you do with the baby. Even if its just feeding the baby with your daughter sitting next to you.

by on May. 5, 2013 at 1:19 AM

 Seeing an understanding of an age gap between your daughter and the baby, you really can't make her be the baby's friend.  However, does she have any friends from school that she could be friends with, she will then be able to have alittle more outlook and more self esteem if she had someone her own age she could play with from time to time - inviting her friend to your house and letting her go to her friend's home - there are many different families and she will be able to see that she is not the only one feeeling the way she feels sometimes. 

by Gold Member on May. 5, 2013 at 6:53 AM

how about a 'Big Sister' for her? 

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