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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
..... to put it mildly!  ;D

OK I'm struggling to describe what's going on without making it sound bigger than it is.
I know this is very common with older siblings and he's not being deliberately mean to her, but M is really upsetting me with his behaviour towards S, plus I thought it was a phase he'd got over but he's started again.

Basically he ignores her most of the time which is some relief, and he also tells me he likes her, loves her, wants to give her cuddles and kisses and stroke her, but then he smacks her - in the face - either with his hand or a toy, which often leaves a mark (lucky they disappear so quickly on baby skin!) and definitely makes her cry every time.  I know she's little and not that aware but I feel so sorry for her  :(

We've tried positive stuff, eg praising when he's nice to her and encouraging him to stroke her head, give her a kiss, watch and help with nappy changing etc - all of which he appears to respond well to, but it doesn't stop the hitting.

I had a chat with him about why he hits her and he said he wanted to play with her, so I got a good book for him about how babies don't do much at first, and i keep talking about this with him.  He also poked her in the eyes alot and he told me that he wanted to make her go to sleep, so it appeared he was trying to make her eyes shut  :eek:  so we had a little chat about that one too  ;)

Also did a sticker chart which worked quite well, he got a toy hoover (don't ask) for not shouting in her face and although it took him 2 weeks to get 6 stickers, and some days we completely wrote off and just didn't even look at the chart, they were so bad, it did seem to have a more lasting effect and he stopped being so violent.

Yesterday he was stroking her head and out of the corner of my eye I was sure I saw him then swat her again, he went back to stroking her and then suddenly smacked her again - it was like he was being nice to hoodwink me into letting him get close to her and then doing it!

Basically I'm running out of ideas, I know babies are pretty unbreakable, but I do worry about her eyes and fontanelle!  The other day he rammed keys into her face, only millimetres from her eye  :eek: :eek:
Oh, and he really couldn't get any more attention than he does already - she definitely gets the short straw  ::)  I am practically dancing a jig for him every day to keep him busy and occupied, it only seems to take a few seconds' lapse in attention from me before he's off to smack her again........ :(

Any thoughts ladies? 

Claire x
 

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Hi Claire,

^Cuddle^

I could have written your post myself after Lucas was born  :-\

Henry was a little horror to Lucas. He started bang on 4 weeks old and it lasted only a few months (not what you want to hear i'm sure). One day I suddenly realised that he wasn't hitting him anymore and things were good again  :)

I can't really give you any advice as it sounds as though you are trying everything. I tried everything with Henry to no avail but in the end I think they just get bored and grow out of it. Poor Lucas spent most of his first few months in his carry cot on the dining room table out of harms way (I wonder now if that's why he's always been such a great sleeper  ;D)

Thankfully I can reassure you that Henry did no serious injury or damage to Lucas - it really was the slapping, poking and toys in the face (oh and toast in the mouth  ;D) He really was a little sh!t to Lucas and I became scared of my own child as I just couldn't turn my back for a second in fear of what he'd do next  :-[ The great thing is, there is serious pay back going on now and Lucas is not much smaller than him anymore  ;D

It's not a nice time is it. Your insticts are to protect your baby but your older child is still your baby too and that's what makes it so upsetting.

This probably hasn't helped at all but I just wanted to say that yes it's normal and I think you are doing all you can - you're a great mummy  :) and it will all of a sudden get better  ;)

Thinking of you (i've been there big time  ^hugme^)

S xxx
 

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Claire

I agree with Shelley - its normal and it will get better. They just need time to get over the presence of an interloper! It was slightly different for me as a) L was quite a bit older - there was a 3 year gap so she was better able to articulate her feelings verbally rather than physically b) girls are different to boys - they tend to go for the sneakier acting up stuff rather than the direct approach - just one of those genetic things I reckon. I think what the older sibling resents most is losing the one on one time with mummy.  It doesn't matter if the baby is sleeping they know that as soon as it wakes up bam mummy is off and even if the baby is a dream and is happy just to sit in a rocker chair and watch the sibling still knows they aren't getting undivided attention. I know that was what L found the most difficult even if we were trying our best to fill her day with fun stuff. Any chance of getting a few hours for just you and him while someone else looks after S? Its hard I know what with feeding but definitely worthwhile.  I know I still miss that one on one time with L 1 1/2 years on from Z's arrival and have made a mental note to get more of it.

You are doing great and it will get better honest.
Love
Bettyx
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:'( :'( :'(

thanks girls you made me cry reading all your words - you're also describing more of what is going on here and so I know I'm not alone!
I kind of knew that having seen it happen to other friends but it is kind of cathartic to read!  ;D

Betty thanks for reminding me about me and Matty time - I have always admired my brother and SIL for doing that, they have 3 boys but have always recognised that each of them want their own time, it's very good for parents and child.  But I'd forgotten about that.  I suppose yes I'm so preoccupied with feeding at the moment and only really started expressing a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't thought about doing that. 
I also thought that so long as I played with M and talked to him all the time that it doesn't so much matter if S is 'just there' but your'e right, it does.
Also my mum and dad who have been a great help have been mostly spending time with M, which he loves, but my mum has been very concerned not to let M think that her affections are transferring so she barely touches S unless M's away at the minders or out for a walk with my dad.  I had forgotten to suggest that she has S so I can have some M time - I must do that.

I've been feeling alot like S gets a raw deal too...... but M has been coming first understandably, that's why I guess it's so frustrating that he's still reacting to her in this way, not unexpected, just demoralising ! :(  and tiring - can't leave him for one second in a room with her and also I'm still not up to running that fast so all his current challenging behaviour is, well, very challenging!  ;D

thanks it means alot

Claire xxx

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
PS thanks chux for all the advice in your PM too  :-*
 

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^hugme^
 

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Hiya, we went through the same thing with Jamie when Daniel was born. Jamie was playing with his Bob the Builder drill one day and told me he wanted to drill Daniel's head! It got to the stage where I couldn't leave them alone for fear of what would happen to Daniel.

All I can say is that is does get better and now they play together really well. The one thing I made sure I did was have Mummy and Jamie days where I would get someone to watch Daniel while I would take Jamie out to soft play or swimming and lunch. He got to choose what we did so he felt like it was a real treat. It's defintitely worth doing that as it will make him feel special and that he's got you all to himself. You're doing a great job, it's not easy but honestly it will get easier as S gets older and they can interact more with each other.

Viv xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Viv,

My parents are back from holiday this weekend - I can't wait! ;D I will definitely arrange some me and matty time as soon as they are back.
I think it's getting a bit better already :) He did take a toy hammer to her today, but that was the only episode today and it was definitely to wind me up, I'd not given him my full attention for all of 2 minutes :eek:. Other than that he's been nothing but sweet to her for the last few days. He's been nice to her throughout but it's been peppered with whacking incidents ::)

This evening he asked me if I would put her down and let her sit on the sofa with him, normally he says to put her down and leave her so I can be with him! I was quite surprised. so he had a supervised cuddle with her and was stroking her and giving her kisses - he said "I love my little sister" aaahhhhhhhhh. that boy soooooooo knows how to press my buttons - good and bad! ;D

Claire x
 

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Hi Claire, glad things seem to be getting better. I think I must be on my own here but when baby Ivoh arrived the boys knew from day one that he was to be , not sure how to word this, we didn't say he was the most important or anything like that but we had to tell them that as he was so small he's needs had to come first. Probably sounds harsh but as I was b/fing on demand about every 2hrs as well as all the other things like nappy changes etc , there was no way to disguise the fact that he was with me all the time apart from when he was sleeping.

They were just over 3 when he arrived so they had a much better understanding and knew about all about baby being in my tummy and seemed to understand that he's come out of my tummy (we named him before he arrived and when he was in my tummy they would talk to him and calling Ivoh and things like that)  So when he came home they would tell me if Ivoh was crying "he needs booby or he's done poo" etc every time which was sweet they got to understand quickly that he had the same needs as them ie he needs food and cuddles and bedtimes.

Fin has always been great at playing too and was already at the stage where he didn't want mummy to help him as much but Charlie has always been the baby of the family, even though he's the oldest, and my own mother when on and on about how I was going to have to guard Ivoh with my life as Charlie would hate his arrive and I'd have to watch him like a hawk but this has never been the case. They have both been brill and I think it's because from day one I haven't tread softly with either of them, I know they say in the books that you should try to leave the baby and attend them as much a poss so they don't get jealous but I haven't and luckily it's worked for us.
The funny thing is the Charlie tells everyone that Ivoh is our baby (as in mine and his  ??? ;D) so I think that's his way of dealing with the change and accepting Ivoh and it works well as he loves him to bits and I can say hand on heart neither of them have never hurt Ivoh intentionally in anyway which has amazed me as I really thought it would part and parcel as you can't have eyes in the back of your head. Even now if they sit next to him on my lap for instants and accidentally knock him when they are getting comfy they immediately say sorry Ivoh about 3 times they are very protective of him. I think it's an age thing though definitely as well mine are older and understand so if I say Ivoh is feeling sad, tried, hungry or hurt etc they know I'm not leaving them to give Ivoh more attention but because he needs something.

Also of course the big difference is they are twins so have always known about sharing my time so Ivoh's arrive is not the big huge difference to their day to day life that it will have been to your son. Hope things continue to get better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for asking Sades,
things are alot better, he still pokes her, occasionally smacks her and shouts to make her wake up, but it's fewer and further between now than it was.  He pays her much more attention now and it's mostly pleasant, a little stroke, he asks to have her sat next to him so he can cuddle her, etc.
I think the fact that she's a bit more interactive helps, so I can say to him "look Matty she's smiling at you"
When she cries he copies me and says "why are you crying Sadie, ohhh don't cry poppet"!!!

To be fair on my little chap he's not had an easy few months around the time of her arrival.  I was out of action with my broken ankle for a month before she was born so all my best laid plans to ease them in together gently went out the window - he didn't see that much of me for 6 weeks or so as I couldn't leave the house, being heavily pg and in a cast I couldn't change his nappy or cook his dinner for alot of the time, lots of people volunteered to look after him for me and he was being taken off to mum and toddler group by friends or whisked off to the park by his dad or granny and grandad.  To say it was disrupting for him is an understatement. 

Then this little baby turns up. I just think his little life went through alot of change in a short space of time.  He was very up for becoming a big brother, we'd always called her 'our baby', we made sure he got a present from her when she was born, gave him lots of chances to touch her and be involved but he just couldn't resist smacking her one as well.  I had to keep DP from panicking too much as well, because he was so scared he'd hurt her that the minute M went near S he'd be saying no Matthew! whereas I do think you have to sort of trust him but supervise closely otherwise he never would have got used to being around her.  I still can't really get her on her baby gym when he's there but I'm much happier about them being in a room together - though I dont' leave them.

Most of what he does to her is still about wanting to play and being interested in what she might do if he smacked/stroked/hit/poked her  ;D  it's all experimentation and I have to say I've never interpreted it as jealousy - he's never said anything to make me think he's jealous, I think he just wants her to be able to do more and she's like a living dolly - fascinating!

He keeps trying to feed her now!  How do you explain to a two year old about sterilising?!!

Anyway, that was a not very brief way of saying - things are much better in the W household thanks.

Claire x
 
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