Being rough with the new baby

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Being rough with the new baby

Postby NeedSomeHelp » Sun 23 Jan, 2011 9:47 pm

Hi there

We have a 6 week old and my 3 year old is getting really rough with her. He was ok for the first few weeks but in the last few days he has sat on her, pinched her and smacked her. Yesterday he threw a whole lot of stuff in her bassinet at her. I put him in time out but he came straight out and hurt her again. I also have a 2 year old but he is not being such a problem. What can I do?
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Re: Being rough with the new baby

Postby NgalaOnline » Mon 07 Feb, 2011 2:24 pm

Hi there,
Thanks for your post. Having 3 children under 3 yrs is a lot of work, especially when there is fighting. Your 3 yr old has to share you with 2 others, and with a new born sibling can be a big change in his life. He has to fight harder for your time and attention. It is a very common reaction for older children to react to a new baby in this way.
Here are some things to explore:
1. Encourage your 3 yr old to help with the baby where possible; i.e. handing you nappies, help pushing the pram/ rocking the bouncer/singing to the baby. This keeps him involved in the new baby's life.
2. If family/friends come around to help, ensure they make a fuss of the older children, so they don`t feel left out.
3. Try to have a quiet time every day with each of your older children, such a reading together, colouring in, or playing with blocks on the floor. Make sure they know this is your special time with them. Often, with all the pressures of running the house and caring for 3 small children, individual time with a child can be hard. Use help from other members of the family to help with the new baby where possible, to give you some space to spend with your older children.
4. Use photos of your older children when they were that age, to show them that they were a baby too, and what sort of things they liked at that age. This can help promote empathy.
5. Consider rewarding your 3 yr old for time slots that he is playing co-operativly with his siblings. A hug, kiss, praise or a sticker can be helpful.
6. Sometimes childrens behavour can be a reflection on how we are feeling. Consider talking to your GP or Child Health Nurse if you are feeling very low, anxious or depressed.
7. Ensure that your 3 yr old is not unwell, or suffering from any ear infections. This can make children very short tempered.

This should be a short stage, and soon the new baby will be able to interact more with the older children, and have a better relationship.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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