How do I help my older child adjust to our newborn?

User - posted on 04/04/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )




We have a 15month old daughter and a 1month old daughter. Since Maggie came home, Brooke has been excessively clingy, whiny, and especially cranky. Things that never made her cry before (changing her diaper and clothes, putting her down for a nap) now trigger screaming fits. I've tried consoling her, giving her a toy to play with to keep her busy while i feed the baby, asking her to help, but nothing seems to work, to the point where we just put her in her room in the crib and let her cry it out. What can I do to get the excessive crying to stop?


JuLeah - posted on 04/04/2011




Well, she is worried you love the new baby more. She is worried that she has been replaced. If you put her in her crib to 'cry it out' you are confirming her worst fears.
Keep letting her help with the baby, give her a lot of time and attention, praise all her efforts at 'big sister' .... this is hard on her and you will just have to deal with her feelings - unless you want to shut her down. The relationship she will develop with her new sib starts now - will she hate the kid who replaced her, or love her new little sister? A lot of that is up to you.


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[deleted account]

When my son was 15 months old he was clingy, fussy, I couldn't go to the BATHROOM alone. He had to be on my hip for EVERY trip to the laundry room...every trip to the fridge...every trip across the room to answer the PHONE.
He didn't have a little one there to compete with....just all on his about 15 months he became clingy. Everyone here on COM told me he will grow out of it. They talked about separation anxiety and they talked about the fact that ALL toddlers go through it.
My son did exactly what your 15 month old is doing...but it didn't have a THING to do with a little was a stage that toddlers go through.

[deleted account]

I agree with JuLeah she is just scared that the new baby is replacing her and putting her in her room to cry it out alone is just confirming that.

We are expecting our second baby in June, so our son will be 20 months old when baby is born, we are already anticipating he will react in a similar manner to your daughter as it is a huge thing for a child especially one so young to understand. We have started a Sunday daddy and Ethan activity (he takes him swimming) so once the baby is here they can continue this and it will give him some bonding time with daddy and me some bondign time with the baby - your partner could do something similar to this be it swimming or going to the park or whatever just something so your daughter knows she hasn't been forgotten about. Also make sure that when the baby is not taking up your attention - so when she is sleeping or when daddy has her you give your older daughter some attention - do something she loves, make sure to set aside some one on one time each day for your older daughter.

Try not to get angry with her, I know it is really hard when she appears to be crying for nothing and you are sleep deprived but she only wants to know you love her. Also continue getting her to help with her little sister so again she knows she isn't being pushed out.

User - posted on 04/04/2011




Try and spend plenty of one to one time with Brooke, maybe while Maggie is napping. Praise her for positive behaviour and don't make a big deal out of bad behaviour. Having a new sibling is a huge adjustment that will take time.

Please don't punish her by leaving her alone in her room. In her little mind that's showing that you'd rather spend time with the baby than her.

Lisa - posted on 04/04/2011




First off~~relax. It's like pushing on a rope. Nobody is to blame and what your older daughter is feeling is perfectly normal.

I'm concerned that you are using her bed as a time out spot. That is the place that she needs to get peaceful sleep. let it stay a calm,safe spot. Gentle discipline is called for here; she's overwhelmed with all the changes going on. Your baby has only been home a month, give it some time. Be sure you create quality time together when she is calm.

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