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Thread: Older sibling in distress

  1. #1
    Kellee Guest

    Default Older sibling in distress

    Hi there,



    We have two beautiful sons - Charlie (22 months) and Toby (2 weeks). Charlie seems to be adjusting remarkably well to Toby's arrival. Most of the time he's quite happy, but he really hates it when Toby cries. He's always been a sensitive little thing. For example, he lets out a scream when he hears another child crying at the supermarket... that kind of thing. So every time Toby cries he lets out these incredible screams. Sometimes he throws things too. We think he's just stressed out by hearing Toby sad, but sometimes it seems like he's doing it for attention. I'm just wondering if this is normal, and if anyone has any ideas about what to do. I figure he's just gotta get used to it, because I'm sure Toby isn't going to stop crying anytime soon, but I don't want to a) ignore Charlie's feelings or b) allow him to think that it's ok to scream like that every time. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place at the moment... help!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Forestville NSW
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    8,944

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    We haven't had our second yet, but we have spent a lot of time recently with friends with newborns to get Matilda adjusted & she does exactly the same thing, she will scream & panic when the baby screams or when I'm holding the baby & she screams. Then Matilda starts as well. I always sit on the ground with the newborn & let Matilda sit next to me or on my lap as well to let her know its okay... but I don't know what else to do.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
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    11,171

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    Zander gets very upset when other kids at mums group start crying as well. Sounds like it's normal for them to be worried when someone else is upset. No idea how to combat it though.

  4. #4
    Melinda Guest

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    When Jacob first met his niece, he got upset when she cried. I took him aside and explained to him that little babies cry a lot and that's how they tell us things, and that he too cries at times and we cuddle him etc and do things to make him feel better etc. I found explaining that to him helped and he settled down? Our second hasn't arrived yet, so it will be interesting to see what happens when she does, but we've only had two occasions where Jacob has been upset when his niece has cried - the rest of the time he has been fine. He's also been around little babies at the playgroup and hasn't become upset by it at all. I guess because we do talk about babies and how they cry and how did too (and still does )

    Mind you, he also has a book called "Babies" (a Baby Einstein book - just a little board book thingo) and it says in there "babies cry a lot" and we read the book a lot too......

    Maybe you could explain to Charlie that he used to cry a lot when he was a baby too, and that you did X, Y, or Z to make him feel better, so that's what you're doing for Toby and that there's nothing to be scared of. Perhaps explain to him how nice it is to be comforted when you are upset etc and ask him if he'd like you to cuddle and comfort his little brother just like that too and that he can help by giving an extra special big brother cuddle and kiss??? (Just thinking of ways to involve him in what's happening?)

    Of course this could all be total hogwash so feel free to ignore! ROFL

  5. #5
    mooshie Guest

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    my dd did exactly the same thing when ds was born - she was 21mths old at the time. i can tell you it was lovely (NOT) when driving and ds started crying then dd would start up - arhhh music to a tired mummy's ears lol.

    anyway she did grow out of it quite quickly, i always reassured her that her brother wasn't crying because he was sore or hurt it was because he was "talking" to us. i also read to her lots of books about baby's and also talked to her and reassured her that everything was fine.

    hopefully you can find something to calm charlie down and help him settle when toby is crying.

    good luck

  6. #6
    Kellee Guest

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    Thanks guys. At least I know that this is normal behaviour! Yes, Mooshie, it's SO much fun when they both do it in the car... not! We do say to Charlie, "Toby's just saying 'I'm tired, Mum' " or something like that when he's crying, and that sometimes works - sometimes we even get a giggle out of him. It's good to know that he'll probably just grow out of it, but I might try to find that book in the meantime, thanks Melinda.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Forestville NSW
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    Off to find the book today!!

  8. #8
    Melinda Guest

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    It's only a very small book - we got it in Target. It's only a few pages long with very simple words and pictures, e.g. "Sometimes babies cry", "Babies need lots of love", "babies sleep a lot", "Babies are messy eaters" LOL etc etc. It was pretty cheap since it's a very small book! Very easy for little ones to hold and turn the pages etc.

    Jacob absolutely loves the book and kisses the pictures of the babies!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Adelaide
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    Great Thread! I always wondered about this subject, if a second baby came along. Good info, Thanks!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Brisbane
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    Kellee, I am going through exactly the same thing atm...especially around Freya's bath time (she screams when she's undressed) Kaleb gets really distressed, and I'm not sure how to handle it either. I just smile and try and explain calmly to Kaleb that she doesn't like her bath etc. but I'm not sure that it's working. I'd love to hear some other experiences/solutions!

  11. #11

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    Yasin used to get quite upset too but he's not so bad these days. I sometimes ask him to give Imran a kiss and if he does it I tell him what a good boy he is for comforting his brother.

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