new big sis seems out of control, help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
new big sis seems out of control, help!
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 5:16pm
I was a single mom from the time my daughter was 18 mths till she was 3 1/2. She is now 5 and my fiance and I just recently had a baby a month ago. My daughter was so excited to become a big sister. Now that the baby is here I am pulling my hair out. She is off the wall! I feel like I am always yelling at her. Before baby she was a very well mannered child, now she doesn't listen, she has forgotten all her manners and she asks questions all the time about stuff she already know the answers to, and before we can even answer her she repeats her question 2 or 3 times. I don't know what to do. We have even discussed having her tested for ADD/ADHD. It's even harder b/c new baby doesn't sleep well at night so of course neither do I. I hate feeling like this, we have tried talking to her and it just doesn't seem to help at all. What should we do??
Avatar for limute
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 9:23am
First, congrats on the new baby! Second, your DD's behavior is perfectly normal. Chances are, she isn't ADHD, she just wants your attention. Just think of all the alone-with-you time she used to have, and now she has to share you with two others! Even if just the baby was new for her, she'd still be acting like this. She wants attention.

My oldest son drove me absolutely crazy when my second son was born. He threw tons of tantrums, regressed in potty training, was generally unbearable and irritating. It took nearly four months before he calmed down at all.

What to do: try to spend alone time with her. Maybe your fiance can watch the baby, or a relative, friend, sitter, while you take DD out for an hour or two. Try to do this on a regular basis. Can you make a book time or play time just with her every day, maybe when the baby naps? Try to engage her in helping you, can she fetch a burp cloth or a toy to help you? Does she have a baby doll with accessories so she can play baby along with you?

Even if you do all these things, she will still act up some until she gets used to the new situation. It'll be hard, b/c you probably feel a little cranky yourself from not sleeping. Eventually everyone will start to adjust to the new situation, and things will be better.

Good luck!

~ Limute

Three by the Sea

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 12:30pm
I am no expert but to me it just sounds like your daughter is having a little bit of trouble during this time of adjustment. It sounds like in her short lifetime there have been a few major changes (the new stepdad, and now the new baby most likely being the biggest changes) and of course it will probably take a little time for her to adjust. She sounds pretty normal to me. Maybe she is excited about the new baby, and sort of "testing her limits" to see how much she can get away with since your attention is not FULLY focused on her, as you're all adjusting to 2 children in the household. I am the mother of a 4 yr old dd who will be 5 around the same time that dd #2 is born (this November) so I am anxious to see if something similar happens around our house. Yikes! I think even just the variation from normal routine can cause kids to act up beyond your wildest expectations...a new brother or sister, and mommy being in the hospital for even a few days...SUCH big changes in the life of a 4 or 5 yr old child! Anyway, take it's only been ONE month, maybe in time your daughter will calm down and adjust to the changes around her. Good luck! Hugs, Gretchen
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 6:04pm
It sounds to me like she really wants more attention. Kids seem to want any attention they can get even negative if that is what it takes. Also take it from a mom of 3, if you are tired and worn out all those things she does to drive you nuts will seem 100 times worse. Try and find some individual time with her, I know thats tough with a newborn. Also don't always make her wait for instance if she ask for a drink and the baby starts crying at the same time. Sometimes it might do her heart good to hear you tell the baby, hold a minute I need to get your sister a drink. Instead of hearing you tell her that she will have to wait for the drink while you see whats wrong with the baby. Even if sometimes put her needs first, she will notice it more if you mention it to the baby.

I wish you luck, it takes awhile to readjust to having a new child in the home for everyone, It will get easier, certainly not easy, but easier.




I'll hold my head high
I'll never let this define
The light in my eyes
Love myself, give it Hell
I'll take on t

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 12:53pm
Congrats on the new baby....we just had a new DD on May 2nd...although I have to brag that she has been sleeping through the night since 4 weeks...YIPEE...first baby that has done this for me so I am tickled!

Anyway, your DD's behavior is very normal...just think...for 5 years she has gotten your undivided attention...she was the star, the spotlight was always on her, no competition~~Life was great! And then the baby comes...and now she has to share the time...and since you are also adjusting I am sure you have even less time to spend with her till you get the baby on a schedule, etc...I would say to just try to find some one on one time with her daily...even if it is reading her a book, just you and her running to the grocery store, etc...this will help, also let her be involved iwth the baby...changing diapers etc... This all has worked with my 4.6 year old and also helps that daddy takes him with him all the time so he does get the one on one attention from at least one of us!

Good Luck and hang in there!

Laura SAHM to Emily 9.4, Jordan 4.6 and Carys 6 weeks

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 8:36am
I assure you all of this is common behavior. The family needs to adjust to the new baby, but she has the hhardest time of it. Give her some time, and remember to give her some input with the baby. That way she'll feel like a helper, not and intruder. Do some special things with just her, too, because she is wondering where "her" time went. KWIM?? How is it going now, BTW??

Congrats on your expanding family!!!

Janet =)

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