Toddler and a infant plus going insane

Leslie - posted on 09/13/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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So I have a two year old and a four month old and I'm starting to question if it's me or if it's just terrible twos. Either way.. I am starting to run out of ideas as to what to do about the toddler. She screams and whines nearly all day long and bed times are the worse. I'm pretty sure it is because I have to tend to the infant for the better half of the day (between the two I rarely even get a chance to think about pumping so I can't just ask grandma or the father to help). My husband says I'm not strict enough with the toddler. I've tried a number of methods to get her to settle down and not scream when she wants something or doesn't get her way.

Kneeling down to her and talking calmly, telling her no or give mommy a moment. I've even tried time outs and when the days are really bad and she wants to kick and more or less have a aim or set to hurt me or prevent me from changing her diaper or clothes I have tapped her bum.Not that ti stopped her.. half the time she laughs and continues the action.

I try to give her all the spare time I can when I am not nursing the little one. I don't get the same amount of time each day because the infant still is having some tummy issues from re-flux but I do try. On top of trying to keep up with the chores about the house. Any free time is more or less devoted to trying to spend time with the toddler and read to her but once you leave the room she screams bloody murder.

I'm just not sure what to do anymore. Maybe she's not getting enough attention, I can't take her for walks everyday because with two kids it tires me out beyond belief. Maybe she's just still grasping the concept of time and I'm just trying to rush things because of how bright she is. Generally she can tell me what she wants but has gotten into the bad habit of saying no recently. That I'm not really concerned about.. that's a phase I'm sure. I am concerned about her screaming and throwing fits and just not acting like the little girl I use to know that use to play and laugh all the time. Not to mention I think she chews on wood to spite us or because she knows it'll get her some type of attention.. Really I have gotten crib guards and had to get clear duck-tape for the window sill to try to prevent her form taking out hunks of wood from both.

She was doing well with potty training as well but that went in reverse. I'm just at such a loss as to what to do or if there is something I am doing wrong. I don't feel like a very good parent with how little she listens to me.

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Lori - posted on 09/14/2014

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It's all about figuring out what will work for you and your LO. What works for one may or may not work for you.

I found moving bedtime earlier for my toddler actually cut down on some of the "drama". If she became overtired it was soooo so so much harder to get her to settle down and sleep. I've also read that bath time right before bedtime can actually make it harder to settle down and sleep as it raises body temp a bit. But that doesn't seem to make much difference in my household.

I do wish you the best of luck!

Leslie - posted on 09/13/2014

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Lori A - I do have a sling, I got a moby wrap because of all of the ones that failed when my toddler was younger. This one has been fantastic.. bit of a learning curb to wrap it at first but worth it. I do tend to try to read to the 2 year old when I nurse the other but she doesn't always like to sit still.She is sort of the type to go from wanted to read one moment to trying to destroy the crib in another.

I will try to involve the toddler more, that seems like a good idea. Luckily she is normally pretty easy around the little one. As far as routines.. I have them. At times I think it makes it worse because when it gets around bed time she becomes an unholy terror.

Lori - posted on 09/13/2014

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Parenting 2 young children IS challenging. Anyone who tells you otherwise is foolish.

I'm not sure what all you've tried…. but here's my suggestions. My 2 are 2 1/2 yrs apart, and my older one is very bright, but needs constant stimulation.

Try to involve your 2 yr old with the care of the baby as much as possible. Put the diapers and wipes in a place she can reach them. Whenever you need to change the babies diaper, ask your 2 yr old to help get out the diapers and wipes. When you're nursing your baby, suggest that she nurses one of her baby dolls or stuffed toys. Or, use nursing time to read to your toddler. A 4 month old shouldn't be too distractible yet, so you may be able to latch on the baby, and have your toddler sit next to you and read to her.

As far as taking a walk, invest in a good comfortable carrier or sling for your LO. IT's much easier to take a toddler on a walk when the baby is in a sling or carrier. I couldn't get going with a stroller. As soon as she saw the stroller, my toddler would want to ride - which defeats half the purpose of the walk in my mind. And if I allowed her to ride in the stroller too, she'd be wanting in and out and in and out, and then the baby wouldn't be content in the stroller either. Once I started walking with the baby carrier, things went much smoother.

And routines helped me too. When your toddler knows what to expect, sometimes it can help ease the transitions. I'm not saying you need to have a strict schedule - but a general routine.

I wouldn't push the potty training issue again for a little while. Let her go back to diapers if that's what she wants. Trust me, she won't be going to kindergarten in diapers. A new baby in the family is a HUGE disruption in her life. It takes time to get used to the changes. Yes, your infant needs constant care… but your toddler still needs plenty of attention too.

Just keep trying - you'll figure out what works for you!

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