Helping a 3.5 year old adjust to a new baby

Cathryn - posted on 06/02/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 3.5 year old has been having a rough time lately with adjust to her new brother. I need some help.

Prior to him being born she was our only child. Her and I did almost everything together. Our favorite thing to do was bake. We would do that about once a week. Other than that we played, colored, went on walks, etc. She truly was the center of my attention. With my husband working opposite schedule from me it really enhanced our relationship, because we (my daughter and myself) became dependent on each other.

However, in the last month (since her brother has been born) I have seen a totally different child. She refuses to do almost anything with me. At times she will cuddle. However, the few times that I have started to bake she has gone away. If I try and play with her she is not interested unless someone else is here. She has let me color with her. She has these horrible tantrums (today she began throwing things) in regards to what I view as silly things to have a tantrum over (brushing her teeth, picking up her toys, brother not taking his bink, etc.). She no longer takes naps for me without major tantrums and even then she just many times sits on her bed and refuses to sleep for 2 hours.

She still does things with my husband no problem. She doesn't fight him on things. She loves to hold her brother, snuggle with him, help with everything (but the diaper changes). It doesn't seem like she is mad at him or my husband but just me.

What is the best way to handle this? I am at a loss. Any suggestions?

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Jessica - posted on 06/15/2012

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I'm going through the same thing. My 3.5 year old began throwing more tantrums the closer I came to delivering. She continues to break down much quicker than before her sister arrived 2.5 months ago over the same things...potty, teeth, naps... I try as much as I can to include her as much as possible when her sister is awake, am tirelessly reminding her she has to share me and then do things when it's just her and I. If she wants to do things with me, like cook, and then decides not to I let her figure it out. She usually comes around or breaks down when I'm done and she's too late to help. I've tried taking her on 'mommy and me' excursions (helps some) and remind her that her little sister can't do the things she does because she's a baby. Good luck!

Mallory - posted on 06/13/2012

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Maybe take her and do something new - just the two of you. This could start a post-baby "mom-and,- me thing" and maybe take the animosity of the pre-baby things away?

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