Author Topic: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming  (Read 1176 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Alli8098

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 247
DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« on: March 22, 2014, 02:07:34 PM »
DH and I have noticed that lately our 4 1/2 year old DD is regressing just a little as my pregnancy has become more real to her.  I am currently 23 weeks and starting to show, and she has felt her baby brother kicking this week.  She has a constant fascination with her old baby toys (including the rattles and teethers) and she is starting to insist on DH and I feeding her during mealtime.  We've tried to be gently firm with her on putting the toys back in the box they are in (I will be closing the box off and putting it away in a closet soon).  And tried to gently speak with her that she is capable and needs to feed herself.  This is the little girl who threw tantrums and used to scream at us before she was one (and could talk) because she wanted to feed herself.  She's always been fiercely independent but seems to be regressing somewhat. 

I know that regressing is not out of the ordinary for preschoolers who are about to become a big brother or sister.  What have other mothers done to help their children navigate through such times and give them the confidence they need when they are regressing?  For the record we don't talk constantly about the baby and we try to set aside special time with her every day just to focus on her.  What have your experiences been?

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17383
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2014, 02:21:12 PM »
not me, because i only had the one, but with friends' children - first of all, the regression *usually* appears a few months *after* the baby arrives, not before. at 4.5, your dd - as brilliant as I'm sure she is - can't really imagine how life is going to be after baby arrives.

ETA - what i meant to say is that it's possible that *something else* is going on in your DD's life, not just the baby - maybe something in school, or something else.


second - since what you're doing (putting the toys back in the box, speaking to her gently that she is capable and needs to feed herself) isn't working, try the opposite tactic - treat her as if she is a baby, let her drink from a bottle if she wants to, etc. most kids i know will go along with "being a baby" for a short while before they realize that it's more fun to be a *big girl*

« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 02:50:21 PM by cicero »

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

Millionaire Maria

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3346
  • Truth and Happiness create each other.
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2014, 02:38:27 PM »
I let my son get away with it. It's pretty much harmless. My daughter is 15 months now and my son is three. He still sometimes pretends to be a baby, but it's all in good fun. I won't feed him his dinner or anything, because that's just a pain in the butt. One thing we absolutely never did was act apologetic about him getting a sister. We always emphasized that he was lucky to be getting a sibling and so I wouldn't tolerate any jealousy after she arrived. And we did talk about her a lot before she got here. There is a big change coming up and I think kids need to be prepared for it.
People everywhere enjoy believing in things they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know. –Brooks Atkinson

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1306
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 03:04:55 PM »
Every family is different, but we had luck treating that kind of behavior like any other role play games.  Like 'Yes, that's how a baby talks.  How does a dog talk?'

Maybe some version of that will work for you.

Luci

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5978
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2014, 03:13:46 PM »
Ours were 2 1/2 years apart, so the oldest was just out of diapers (girl) and still having a bottle sometimes.

We gave her the big girl bed, put the crib away out of sight until the last minute, and then she helped put the crib back together and do other setting up. She always helped me get diapers, handed me the salve and in other ways helped all she could. She was the big sister from the very beginning.

The only time there was any regression was at night when she needed extra cuddling. I didn't breast feed, so that may have helped.

HGolightly

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 137
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2014, 03:35:06 PM »
When kids around 2-6 are having a hard time understanding a situation, their feelings or someone they pretend the situation and "become" that person. In this case, the baby. My daughter did similar things while I was pregnant. In our case we also needed to switch rooms and move her. We made a big deal about her Big Girl Room and let her have a lot of say and even a bit of painting. She was up and down throughout the pregnancy and even had some big cries due to insecurity over having to be a big girl. Now that the baby is here, it has all gone away and she is all about being a big girl and a helper.  She even told her brother she is sad that he is too small for kindergarten. Good luck and big hugs!

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5815
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2014, 05:14:50 PM »
We made a big deal about how it was "our" new baby so "we" would feed the baby, "we" would change diapers, "we" would give baby baths, etc. Then we let her help by bringing diapering supplies, helping wash the baby (just not around the face, since she was only 2), holding DS's bottle, choosing his outfits sometimes, etc. She LOVED taking card of our baby, it made her feel like a big girl.

We also let her play with the baby toys, lay in the crib or playpen, etc. if she asked. Nothing was really "his" except his bottle. Once she tried to demand one so we put formula in it and let her try. That was the end of that and then it was "Poor brudder, his milk is yucky!"  ;)

By the time our 3rd child came along DD was just weeks shy of 3yo and DS was 15mos so then she got to teach him how to help with "our" baby.  :D

KB

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 187
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2014, 11:41:44 PM »
My work colleague has a two-year-old who is going through exactly the same thing (insisting on a bottle at various times during the night, refusing to sleep in 'her' bed and insisting on remaining in bed with her parents, etc). Unfortunately I have no suggestions for you, but thought it would be good to know that you aren't the only one.

bonyk

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 758
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2014, 09:18:20 AM »
OP, I'm currently in the exact same situation.  I think it's my DD trying to process what's happening.  When she starts acting like a baby, I give her a quick cuddle and play along for a minute or 2.  Then we start a "big girl" activity - cooking, crafts, etc.  It's pretty clear now (it wasn't at first) that baby time is just another game.

BioformCassie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
    • My Etsy Store
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2014, 09:23:25 AM »
My cousin just had a new baby and before they left the hospital they had a big sister party complete with party hats and cake. I know thats a bit far off for you right now but I thought it was an awesome idea.

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2014, 10:19:04 PM »
 I don't think it's a cause to worry or an indication of anything else going on.  A 4.5 year old may not have a clear concept of what is means to have a baby in the house, but a child that age can already tell that Mom and Dad are preoccupied, and has probably seen enough babies to know that she is not going to be getting as much attention in the future. Also, having to be the "big kid" or the "big sister" can be intimidating if you don't know exactly what that entails.

My dd was 22 months when baby sister was born. She knew from about 18 months that "baby" was in Mom's tummy and liked to play "baby" and talk a lot about the baby. Since she wasn't potty trained yet, and had never used a paci or given one up, there really wasn't much in the way of regressing for her to do!  It was more her pretending, and having sleep problems.

Part of what we dealt with was that as my pregnancy progressed I just could not do as much for her as I used to. At one point my back went out so badly I spent the rest of the day lying on the floor/crawling around. So I taught her how to climb in and out of her stroller, high chair, etc because I could not pick her up.

My feeling is, if the regression is not harmful or disruptive to you, roll with it and just be patient. If it is a problem (like potty accidents), just be calm and consistent in reinforcing the training again. Since she is processing uncertainty and feelings, you need to set a zero-drama atmosphere for her to do that safely.

For the feeding, I personally would just tell her she is a big girl and she can feed herself. And that's it. If she refused to eat on her own, I would just go on with my meal and then say "oh, you must not be hungry" and put the food away. That's not the only way to handle the situation, but it's how we roll in our house.

You really can't stop her from regressing and she does need to process her feelings - just help her work through the stages again and don't make her feel like she's doing something bad or wrong.

I know staying calm when little ones are being exasperating is no joke. Especially with preggo hormones. Good luck, I'm sure everything will turn out fine!

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11618
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2014, 10:36:16 PM »
Mine are almost exactly four years apart.  Babybartfast was fascinated by the idea of a baby in my tummy and went around telling EVERYONE about her soon-to-be baby sister.  We really emphasized all the things a baby *can't* do - she's not going to be able to play right away, she won't be able to talk, she won't be able to drink big girl milk or eat big girl food, etc.  Babybartfast loved entertaining Bittybartfast right from the get-go, and Bittybartfast is finally (at 21 months) old enough to actually *want* to play with her sister.

We have definitely erred on the side of over-emphasizing "big girl" stuff - mostly because Bittybartfast is still too small to understand or care  :P  The house rule is that any toys in the living room must be shared, but you get to choose to not share toys in your own bedroom.  Mostly this has helped for things with small pieces (and helped stop arguments based around "she took my stuff!" \ "you left it downstairs, so she can play with it") but it's also a special treat now when both girls are allowed to play together in their rooms - they both love each other's stuff  :P

Bottlecaps

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 216
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2014, 08:48:49 AM »
Once she tried to demand one so we put formula in it and let her try. That was the end of that and then it was "Poor brudder, his milk is yucky!"  ;)

Slightly OT, but this reminds me of when my baby sister was born. I wanted to try her formula - not out of regression (I was one of those kids who wanted to really step up to the role of big sister - we lived in an extended household so everyone helped care for her, not just my mother, myself, and my older sister) but out of sheer curiosity. I figured if she ate it up, then it must be pretty good. Boy, was I in for a shock. :o My reaction was pretty much the same as your daughter's, LOL! I did really like her tutti fruity baby food though. My mom would even buy a few jars for me to eat because I loved it so much!  :P *Sigh* It's hard to believe that my "baby" sister is almost eighteen - two months from today, actually!

Now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming. :)
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos


JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5815
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2014, 09:09:52 AM »
Once she tried to demand one so we put formula in it and let her try. That was the end of that and then it was "Poor brudder, his milk is yucky!"  ;)

Slightly OT, but this reminds me of when my baby sister was born. I wanted to try her formula - not out of regression (I was one of those kids who wanted to really step up to the role of big sister - we lived in an extended household so everyone helped care for her, not just my mother, myself, and my older sister) but out of sheer curiosity. I figured if she ate it up, then it must be pretty good. Boy, was I in for a shock. :o My reaction was pretty much the same as your daughter's, LOL! I did really like her tutti fruity baby food though. My mom would even buy a few jars for me to eat because I loved it so much!  :P *Sigh* It's hard to believe that my "baby" sister is almost eighteen - two months from today, actually!

Now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming. :)

I love your playlist! Looks like me when I'm on the treadmill or alone in the car with the music cranked up.  ;D

Bottlecaps

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 216
Re: DD Regressing a Little with New Baby Coming
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2014, 01:43:52 PM »

I love your playlist! Looks like me when I'm on the treadmill or alone in the car with the music cranked up.  ;D

Thank you! :) Yay for having similar tastes in music! :)
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos