My daughter is 2 yrs and 6 mnths - very cranky

Donna - posted on 03/16/2015 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 2 yrs and 6 mnths old. I have a new baby 6 mnths old who needs attention.I understand the girl feels neglected. but she over does it. I try to pay more attention to her.Spend more time with her but she get too cranky and it irritates me.
She wakes up crying and goes to sleep at night crying.Pls advice

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Chana - posted on 03/17/2015

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Donna,

It seems like you are getting defensive and that is very easy to do especially with the written word because it can come across harsh and no one is trying to upset you or say that you don't hug, cuddle, etc. as much as you can. We just want to help your daughter feel better about being a big sister. You have to understand that you are the adult here and you know what is going on. She does not understand because she is too young. You keep saying things like "I expected this", "insufficient to her", "more attention than she needs" these sound almost like you are blaming her. That's not fair she is a toddler and did not ask to have a baby. She was perfectly happy when it was you and her and she just wants that back. She can't have it, we all understand that but it is up to you to do everything you can to make her still feel special and loved. If that means putting baby down on a blanket for 5 or 10 minutes while you do something together beside the baby so be it. Let her be the big sister and help even if takes a little longer, let her get the diaper out, let her carry the bottle what ever it takes. Like I said before I have been there my oldest was 19 months when my youngest was born it takes work but you have to do it for both of them.

Ev - posted on 03/17/2015

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Donna-

You do not seem to get it. She is still very young and does not understand what is going on really. She sees you holding a baby and tending a baby to her looks like maybe a doll. She does not have the vocabulary to tell you what she thinks or feels about this. You have to understand coming from her point of view something else is taking away all she used to get. Little ones this age can go through bouts of jealousy too. She needs to be reassured about everything that you are doing is for her too.

Sarah - posted on 03/16/2015

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With the stress of a new sibling, she may need more daytime sleep. Even if she dropped a nap or does not nap everyday you may want to try to introduce an occasional extra nap back into her day. An overtired child is no fun.
Another thing, is the older child is probably hearing,"the baby needs to eat, that is for the baby, I need to pickup the baby, please wait while I change the baby." I found that if I could find times to say to the baby, "sorry baby, you are too little for popsicles, sorry baby only big boys get to play this game, sorry that you wear diapers baby, your brother is so big he wears underpants." Anything that would help puff up his ego a bit. I would say it pleasantly, so it wasn't a harsh tone for the baby. It helped remind my older child that he was important, and while baby got a lot of attention, he got big boy things.

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Sarah - posted on 03/18/2015

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The Five Love Languages of Children is a book by Gary Chapman that may help. You could also try getting your daughter a new baby doll and she can follow you around looking after her baby as you look after the new baby - changing nappies, singing lullabies, feeding rocking etc. Help her with a new name for her 'baby'. Is it also possible that she has developed some separation anxiety from when you were away having the baby? Playing with her with a family of dolls in which the mummy doll goes to have a baby may help her play out what is happening for her and help you know where she's coming from. :)

Sarah - posted on 03/17/2015

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Nothing can prepare you or a toddler for the task of a new baby. it really is baptism by fire. I really found that telling the baby the she was too little (of course I knew the baby did not understand) to do certain things helped make my toddle feel more important. Even little things like "sorry baby, mac n cheese is only for big kids" You'd might be surprised that it helps.

Donna - posted on 03/17/2015

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I do hug her. I cuddle her too. I spend time with her as much as I can. All insufficient for her.

Donna - posted on 03/17/2015

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I already expected this from her , her pining for extra attention. But I do give her a lot more attention than she needs. It make no difference, everyday she gets up crying , throughout the day she is cranky and my mom gets irritated too. I try to be nice to her but in the end I just end up loosing my cool.

Chana - posted on 03/16/2015

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My question first is this, is she cranky or is just looking for attention? I understand the it can be irritating, I've been there. I had my youngest when my oldest was almost 19 month old and it's not easy. Try to include her when carrying for the baby let her help you. Yes it will take you a little longer but it will make her just as important and special as the baby. When the baby is napping give her a little extra attention. I will get some flack for this but she is still a baby too and needs Mommy and doesn't like to share your attention. If you are getting irritated with her you are just adding to her being upset. You need to stay calm and relaxed because if this is a difficult time for you try to imagine how difficult it is for her. All she really knows is that mommy brought home this thing that looks like a baby doll but it cries and takes all her attention and I miss mommy.

Ev - posted on 03/16/2015

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You have to understand she is still little and does not fully understand why you are not spending your whole time with her. A new baby is an adjustment for anyone. She does not have the words either to tell you how it feels. Why can you not spend one on one time when baby is sleeping? Why can you not find a few minutes to just hug and cuddle with her when the bay is not in need of your full attention and can maybe lay in the floor on blanket with some toys. Did you ever include her in any withe the coming baby? It is normal for a child this age to feel like this and act like this. And if you think she is cranky and irritating now, wait until she is older...in fact wait until they are both older.

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