Is it possible to have postpartum depression toward your oldest child?

I have 2 daughters, my eldest is turning 4 in August and my youngest is 6 weeks old. I have all the love and patience in the world towards my baby, even when it’s 2am and I’m exhausted and she’s poo’ing and whatnot. I’m calm. With my 3 year old, I’m very irritated. I don’t like raising my voice, but it seems to be all I do and way too frequent time outs. She looks at me like I’m being cruel. But she doesn’t listen, doesn’t want to eat her food, has an attitude towards me. Breaks things. I feel so terrible to discipline my eldest and then be loving to the baby (if she needs me) within a 5min span. Can’t be jealousy? My eldest loves her little sister way too much. But I’m tired and feeling like I’m brewing with anger when it comes to my eldest.

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Is it possible to have postpartum depression toward your oldest child?

I dont think it works that way? But you’d have to ask a dr

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A new baby is an adjustment. Your eldest has been the only child for almost 4 years. She’s probably just acting out looking for attention. It’s very common. Try to remember this the next time she acts out. Take a few moments to take some deep breaths and sit down with her and talk to her. Reassure her you love her.

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Question why & how do you think it’s postpartum depression my youngest will be 8 weeks tomorrow and my older 3 do things that irritate the heck out of me

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It definitely could be jealousy. She was the only child for so long and now new baby needs most of the attention. Try taking just her out to do something with her every so often to give her all your attention during that time. She could be acting out to try to get more attention. And 3 is just a hard age when my daughter was a toddler 2 was easy and 3 was terrible.

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Your eldest is 3 years old ! Do you really expect her to be a little angel ? It’s called the terrible 2 and 3 ‘s. Be patient. Love on her and don’t expect too much. She’s also
Your child.

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Shes not getting the attention she use to when it was just her try to make special time for her

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She is a toddler that’s what they do. However you may need professional help if you feel that way.

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It was quite often that I found myself getting frustrated by my 3 year old misbehaving, rather than becoming frustrated with my 2 month old. I think you’re comparing oranges to apples.

Please don’t discipline. She is trying to adjust to not being center of attention. Ask her to be part of everything with the baby. Take time for u and her as well.

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3 yr olds definitely work the nerves. 4 yr olds are even worse. It sounds like you need a break.

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Just try to remember your 3 year old is still learning right from wrong and still learning to deal with feelings…you should have that same love and patience for your 3 year old as you do your 6 week old.

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Keep her busy. Get a sandbox, start a garden, let her show some independence. Help you gather laundry, sweep just some simple stuff that won’t be messy inside the house but lots of outdoor fun.

I don’t think being depressed ‘towards’ someone is how it works. I think you’re tired and irritable. You should bring this up to your doctor.

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This sounds aweful but o don’t think you allowed yourself time to heal between babies. My postpartum didn’t hit till6-12 months after birth and that’s when it was worst. I would recommend a therapist and a few dates to yourself to feel like you again

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Your 3year old is acting like a 3year old. She’s looking for the attention she’s always had

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Three year olds are supposed to be like that. Maybe you’re just overwhelmed, but the behavior your child is having is normal 3 year old stuff.
Maybe you’re just overwhelmed…
See a therapist.

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No…she is pushing her limits because there is a new baby…it will work out!!

She’s 3…that’s how toddlers are
I’m thinking having a second wasn’t the best option :woman_facepalming:t2:
She will also be a toddler, then what?
You’ll resent both of the children you CHOSE to have because they aren’t fresh brand new babies?

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Pls spend one on one time with your 3 yr old.It could absolutely be jealousy even if she does love her very much.She’s used to having you all to herself.Don’t think she doesn’t see you favouring the baby.She’s 3 not stupid

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Three is a super tough age I think for every kid …they are in-between baby and preschooler plus still can’t really communicate how they feel really well (neither can most adults lol let’s face it) so they act out. I call 2-3 “terrible toddler years”. Definitely try to make time to do one on one activities as often as you can even if it’s just a walk around the backyard, special movie, or just a story time. Also sticking to a daily routine always helped our family big time.

Postpartum rage is an actual thing. And it sounds as if you’re experiencing it. And it’s completely NORMAL. Talk to your doctor about it and possibly getting on a medication to help while this phase passes because ima tell you up front, it isnt just going to “get better” if you wait it out. It’s a real chemical hormonal imbalance and too few women talk about it due to being ashamed. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve experienced this with my last 2 postpartums including right now at this moment. I know it all too well. And I’m also always here to talk and vent to if you ever need :heart:

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Definitely remember at that age they are just now learning between right and wrong fully. And she’s adjusting to being a new big sister and not having all your attention. Make sure she gets alone time too or included in things taking care of baby 

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She very well may love her baby sister but this is a phase she is going through because of the new baby. She’s seeking the attention she once got. No fault of your own, but you obviously are focusing more of your attention on the baby because it’s needed, but your oldest doesn’t understand that. Try including her in as much as you can with helping with the baby and also try to make time for just her. An hour at the park, an ice cream or movie date etc. Make her feel special too.

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It takes 3 months at least for children to comprehend change. She’s going to act out and be more difficult for at least the next 90 days. She’s not doing it to be mean or to be frustrating, she’s just going through a hard time and needs patience and understanding.

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You definitely have postpartum depression. Not really towards your kid. Having a new baby and a toddler that you’re trying to give equal loving to can be a lot at times. Plus your oldest is at that age where she will press any and every button you have to see how much she can get away with. Hang in there mama!! Please also talk to your doctor about some meds. I know a lot of people don’t want to take pills to feel better. But there is absolutely no shame in taking care of yourself also.

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Shes jealous of the baby…of your attention towards the baby. Involve her in things. Help feed. Help w changing. Playing. Etc
Make time w her alone even if for only 10 minutes. She doesn’t fully understand all tye chaos

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Toddlers are challenging. Try to include her in helping w baby. She may feel left out. Try getting 1 on 1 time w her for at least a few minutes a day or maybe an outing just u two for an hour one day a week. Maybe it’ll help her acting out.

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Please get some help and ask GOD to restore your love for your other baby.:pray::blue_heart::pray::blue_heart::pray::blue_heart::pray:

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Your 3 year old can simultaneously adore her sibling and be fiercely jealous of the attention they’re getting all at once. She has to share you for the first time and she’s having big feelings she doesn’t understand. She just know it makes her feel bad and frustrated. You don’t have as much time and patience for her as you did before baby and she doesn’t know how to process that.

I truly understand that phase! My daughter turned 3 a couple months before my son was born and she went from being the most easygoing and well behaved child to this little demon girl! It was so hard!

Just try your best to include her in caring for the baby so she doesn’t feel so left out. Make a huge effort to spend one on one time with her and give her your undivided attention anytime you can-when baby is napping or if someone else can take care of baby for a short time.

It’s 100% normal behavior for a toddler with a new sibling. It’s just something you all have to get through. Bringing a new baby into the family is a big adjustment for everyone. Imagine it from her perspective. Any kind of attention to a toddler is better than no attention, even if it’s bad attention.

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I’m commenting to tell you it’s okay to feel the way you do , I felt so grumpy all the time when I first had my youngest and my 4yr old wouldn’t listen etc , I got that he might have been jealous but I always felt like he was purposely not listening because he seen that I was doing the baby , it gets better tho :heartpulse:

It sounds like jealousy. You adore and love someone (like a sister) and still be jealous.

But 2 other things to look at here.

  1. You have a daughter. My daughter is 3 and a half and she’s the same. She’s an only child. It’s definitely the age.
  2. You both probably have the same if not similar personality, which means you will clash a lot. My daughter and I do.

And this may not be the case but it’s definitely a possibility. Make sure you communicate with her. If you snap, if your disciplining her, if she sees you being calm with bubs etc, communicate with her, explain that mummy snapped and that wasn’t okay but… Ive been trialing this with my daughter and I’m seeing some big changes.

A good tip: our daycare has been teaching the kids about red and green choices. We’ve started implementing this at home also and that has made a world of difference. As for eating get her to help you, you’ll be surprised.

You may have postpartum depression and she is triggering it. Things like lack of sleep and overstimulation make an impact on PPD. & You have to keep in mind that your child is learning how to handle their own emotions at that age along with becoming a new sibling when before it was just them and you. Set aside time everyday, even if it’s just a few minutes. Imagine how hurtful it is to have things change so drastically so fast for your oldest and have mommy upset with them all the time as well. That in itself will give off bad energy for your child to react on. In my opinion, I would talk to your doctor.

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I was just messaging my husband these exact same things… :persevere:

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You. This is all you

Take a break. Take some time for yourself. Get therapy if needed

You shouldn’t resent your children

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I have a 3 year old and a 4 month old. It’s overwhelming. Your trying to have that same relationship that you had with your first baby - but you have to remember that you have 2 babies. She doesn’t get that your gonna focus on the baby more. Somethings that may help are including her with hey do you want to help make a bottle, let her hold the bottle. Or give her the lid to hang on to. Or hold the wipes while you change the baby. I’ve noticed when my 4 month old sneezes my 3 year old with start to fake sneeze, she wants attention and will act out.

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She was the only one wanting your attention before the new baby has arrived. Now baby gets all your attention and she only gets yelled at. She is 3. Try not yelling at her. Some attention is better than no attention. Find someone to talk to .

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Having a new baby is a big adjustment for everyone, especially for a toddler who’s been the only baby for so long. They have big feelings and don’t always know how to express them. When kids are seeking attention, they will try to get any kind they can, even if it’s negative attention - ex. Acting out.

As for you, I think this is pretty common and doesn’t necessarily mean it’s PP. I’m also not a doctor, but my son was 3 when my daughter was born, and I remember having similar feelings. Having a newborn makes our toddlers seem SOOOO much older and sometimes we expect to much from them. Hang in there. It gets easier. Make sure you’re taking some time out to just spend one on one time with your toddler. It can be something small like going to get ice cream or something.

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Have you talked to your doctor about getting medicated?

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I think it could be jealousy. I had to find other ways to bond with my oldest. My new born cat napped during the day and was supper hard getting to sleep at night so there wasn’t a lot of time I could spend with my oldest.

I found reading books on the couch while I fed my youngest or playing board games where I can easily still hold my youngest and play. It was a little easier once my youngest was old enough to go in the bouncer or on the floor.

This was me !! Same age gap too. He is 6 now and I have another baby also and I’m trying so hard ti be patient but it’s hard.

Postpartum depression wouldn’t be towards a child rather than a deep sense of sadness from the hormone imbalance you have from having a baby. The baby is new and fragile so you’re taking it out in older one. Ask for help! And hang in there! And remember it’s all new for your oldest too

Ok, first off, sounds like typical toddler things. they like to see what they can and can’t do and push their limits with you (currently dealing with a toddler of my own). They also don’t know how to regulate their emotions so they throw tantrums and cry a lot. Also sounds like she was used to all of mommy’s attention and now she has to share. Its tough sharing when you don’t know how to yet. It’s perfectly fine to send her to her room to play for a little bit while you calm down. She doesn’t need to feel like she’s a bad girl when she’s just being a typical toddler so just make her room time fun for her…You just need to remember. She’s little, she’s just learning and learning takes time. Especially for tiny people still figuring out how to navigate the world.

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It can be ppa and ppd both. When my anxiety is bad, I get really impatient with my 10 year old. Especially if you’re getting all touched out by the baby.

Ugh I’m going through the same…. I think my daughter is just having such a hard time maybe adjusting. It’s hard I know… I was just talking to my mom about this yesterday.

You have a new baby.you are tierd. Give yourself a break.things will get better.

Sounds like your 3 year old is jealous and testing your patience. The older child will do this and possibly revert to younger behaviors. My best advice is to carve out time to spend with your oldest, do something just the 2 of you(read a story book, watch a show that she likes, just play on the floor together) She wants your undivided attention, that she had until less than 2 months ago. All this is very hard for her to understand, yes, she loves her sister, but she misses being the center of your attention, give her some grace, love and undivided attention.

Of course she loves her little sister. It’s not sibling rivalry, it’s competing for moms attention. Before baby sister, she was an only child and got all of your attention. Now, she’s looked at to be the “big” sister because the baby needs more attention. She’s 3, so she doesn’t fully understand how to express her emotions, and her acting out gets her attention. It may be negative attention, but it’s still attention.

Some unsolicited advice from a mother of 4 (18 year old twins, a 13 year old and an 8 year old - all 5 years apart) include her more. When it’s time to change the baby, ask her to help you by getting a diaper and wipes. When it’s time to bath the baby, let her sit with you and hand you the soap or towel. When it’s time to dress the baby, let her help you pick out the outfit. Bottle time, let her pick what bottle baby sister is going to use and let her shake the formula up. Let her “babysit” while you fold laundry (she can sit beside the swing/playpen/bouncer). Have her “read” to baby sister. It may get a little cramped with her basically on top of you every time that you have the baby, but she will be helping and it may help with her acting out. Also, try setting aside some time for just her each day. Even if it’s dad putting little sister to bed while you read her a story and put her to bed.

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Yes she is jealous despite living her sibling.

Yes you could very well have post pardum depression since giving birth.

Talk to your ob.

They can love them and be jealous. It’s the sharing attention. When feedings, holdings, etc happen where she can’t have your attention but someone else can. Even when you’re just trying to keep baby alive. In their tiny eyes it’s affection, attention, play, etc that they’re not getting.

Try to have some days where your partner or someone takes baby and you spend all day loving up on her.

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Maybe ur 3yr old craves the attention the baby is getting….I have a 2yr old & a 5 month old….my toddler likes all the attention on him…as long as my baby is fed clean he can chill in his bouncer while my toddler wants to play…watch a movie…take a walk….

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My kids personally rarely had outbursts or acted out, but when I was a “new-ish mother” everyone would tell me to watch out for the “terrible two’s” and the “trying three’s” a 3 year old will try to test your patience, but just remember, a new baby in the family is a BIG adjustment to older siblings just as much as it is for parents… be patient. Make sure she is not feeling left out. I have 3 children all within 2 years apart from each other. It may take some work, but you’ll be able to juggle your time between them both… good luck to you mama :two_hearts:

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Maybe ur 3yr old craves the attention the baby is getting….I have a 2yr old & a 5 month old….my toddler likes all the attention on him…as long as my baby is fed clean he can chill in his bouncer while my toddler wants to play…watch a movie…we take walks sometime with the baby sometimes just me & him around the block.

Her loving her sister so much doesn’t mean she isn’t jealous of the attention u give to her that ur oldest doesn’t get… try to make it a point everyday to do something with just ur oldest. Even just a picnic in the living room goes a long way… I went through this with one of my kids. It changed so much when I made ina big point to spend alone time

What happens when the baby turns 4 then what and she acts the same way

I think it’s a big change for her. And that’s how she is coping. You and her need to take mommy and me days without the baby (if possible) I think that might help a bit. Remind her she is still your baby and there will still be times it will just be you and her

Could be post-partum. I had it with my second. I was sad all the time though. I felt like i was neglecting my eldest with all the time i had to spend on her new sister and i couldnt stop crying or feel happy at all. You need to see a dr…as well as make sure spend some quality time with your eldest when the baby is napping, etc.

I currently have a 3yr old and an 8 month old and I feel you… the baby is so sweet but 3yr olds in general can be a handful… they test boundaries at this age and start becoming “worldly”. But momma this one is definitely on you (and me). We gotta show love and patience through. The three yr old needs more than we think. The baby will stay sweet for awhile. You got this. Take a break when needed. Chill on the time outs and just talk to the 3yr old more. Explain why we can’t do things and give a choice for everything. For example, would you like to stop throwing rocks and swing or stop throwing rocks and slide

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Just because she loves her doesn’t mean she’s not jealous of the attention you give the baby and that is probably her problem. She may feel like the only way she gets attention from you is if she is bad.

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sounds like you might be expecting too much from your 3 years old, remember she is having to adjust to this new addition, help her to deal with it in a positive way

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You could very well have post-partum depression

omg im going through this also i have a 4 year old and a almost 2 month old… I felt so bad i thought i was the only one

Get your partner involved to take care of the baby so that you can spend some one-on-one time with a three-year-old

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If you don’t have a partner get family involved to spend some time with the baby so you can spend some one on one time with a three year old.

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Kinda sounds like resentment. My daughter started acting out when I had my youngest. The baby is so sweet and calm and new and the toddler is like a hurricane! I felt that way too cuz I was always fussing at her. I started letting her help more with the baby and making her feel needed. She calmed down a lot after that. It’s only natural that the oldest doesn’t get as much attention when the baby is born because u have to split time. Good luck :heart: so many of us have gone thru this

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try putting her in day care several days a week

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Maybe your 3 yr old needs more outside play time. Usually when you are mad instead of time out just hug on her for a few seconds bc she’s only 3 it will definitely change her mood and yours :hugs::revolving_hearts:

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Sounds like the 3 year old is jealous of the baby. I think you’re going to have to get used to getting the baby settled at tummy time or in the baby swing or bouncer seat, then spend time playing with your 3 year old. Read a book, play with blocks, Leggos, build things with dominos, watch a children’s educational TV show, or a movie. The baby will be ok. But if you spend this time with your 3 year old throughout the day, you may not get quite as much attitude when you take care of the baby. And you can ask your 3 year old to help with the baby unless she’d rather not. You can always have an educational TV show running while you take care of the baby.

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I think you are showing more love for your baby & not enough for your older child " try to include her in what you are doing children do get jealous ’

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In most cases this is why you don’t have them so close together. In my case with my last two who are 8yrs apart it was crazy because she thought. She was his mom it was so bad he became very bossy and controlling of her. Till the point her granny came and took her because it was causing my daughter anxiety. Like she loved her little brother but it was just becoming a bit much. Meanwhile I never suffered postpartum or at least I wasn’t aware. When I had my first two but like you I was very patient with my baby. I also tried to love on my daughter more because I knew. It was a major transition for her being the baby for 8yrs.

Girl in vice versa. I have 3 kids. My baby is 15 months, middle is 3and oldest is 17. My baby is a screeches, screams soooo much. Sometimes I feel how you feel but towards my youngest. God she’s so bad. Idk why!! She’s mean

Yesss, meds have helped me tremendously and it makes a world of dirrerence

She is needing needing reassurance from you that she matters just as much as the baby. Try and get a baby sitter and spend just the day with her and do something special. Keep her included and love on her. Talk to her about why Yyou have to spend so much time with baby…because she can’t survive without constant help but that doesn’t mean you love her any less

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It’s jealousy 100% my first was 2&1/2 when my second was born, and once she was close to 3 she started acting the same way. It’s also just the age! It’s all normal behavior for the age and having a brand new sibling and having to share your attention.

You need to go to counseling. Your three year old still needs babying and it has been stolen by your new baby. Give your 3 year old some quality time.

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Yes she love s her babysister but she still needs n wants love n attention from her mama

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You don’t have depression toward someone . Either you have it or you don’t . What it sounds like is you have unrealistic expectations from your 3 year and that’s not fair to her .

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Sounds like she’s starving for your attention. See if you can get some one on one time with her

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She’s just being 3 tbt. It’s normal. Make a time that’s just for her no matter what. She needs it. Also, get her to help with the baby,she won’t feel so left out. Make a big deal about her helping and being such a good big sister. Sometimes you just need to change tactics and your way of looking at something. She’s still just a baby herself really…rn she wants attention even if it’s negative. She needs a little extra time from you that’s not split. Even if it’s a walk after dad gets home every evening or watching a show together

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dating back to the caveman era… we are biologically set up to dote on our infants and push our older kids into a state of independence. At the same time, the oldest knows they still depend on you for survival, so will fight with whatever power they have to gain your attention and make sure you give them equal attention because its crucial for their “survival” in quotes because obviously these days we dont have the threats of our ancestors, (animals, weather, lack of food etc) BUT its still programmed into us to fight for survival as long as were in a state of dependancy. You feel incredibly overwhelmed with having to give them equal attention- i pushed my oldest away when I had my youngest. I was hard on him and I regret it. I’ve since worked hard to rebuild his trust and our relationship and we’re a lot better now. Be easy on yourself but be easy on your 3 yr old too, shes going through a rough time trust me and needs your love and positive reinforcement more than anything

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Yup. You need to give the older child lots of love and reassurance. She isn’t sure how to navigate this new adventure. She needs some special one on one time without the baby every single day. Do something she loves to do. Hand the baby off to dad after dinner and then bake some cookies with her, or snuggle and read some books.
Then have dad do the same. It’s amazing the difference I will make…trust me on this one

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The eldest isn’t jealous of the new baby as a person. She jealous of the attention the new baby get so shes gonna act out bc even negative attention is better than feeling like your getting no attention

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Tryn involve her more in helping with the baby. She is seeing that bad attention is better than no attention so she’s doing that. Try ignoring the bad behavior as much as you can and get her excited about helping and doing good things then hopefully she will do that stuff when she seems attention.

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It’s normal jealousy my middle kid was just a little younger than 3 when I brought my youngest home n she would tell me to put the baby down n would be extra naughty to get my attention even though she absolutely adored the baby she wasn’t getting the attention she was getting before the baby came

I’m going to venture out on a limb. I was diagnosed with progressive PPD when my youngest was 4 years and 4 months, my oldest was almost 7 y/o. I had no idea I was going through PPD, I felt like something was wrong, I wrote in my journal about it, and your post takes me back to how I was feeling all that time before diagnosis. Not saying that is what you’re going through, but might be worth talking to your OB/GYN about. Once I got started on a low dose of Paxil, within about 3 weeks I finally felt like me again, and I was enjoying both of the kids. We were playing, going to the park, doing what we’d missed out on for 4 years. It’s worth talking to someone about. Please do, I realized after being diagnosed that I had been hiding it, my doctor told me I was quite an actress if no one had noticed. I was worried about everyone around me thinking negatively, worried about this “character flaw” and much more. All of which are not true with any kind of depression.

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Try mommy and me time with just her. Sometimes if a child can’t get attention in a positive way they will accept it in a negative way. Involve her in your duties with your baby and praise her, put your baby down or when she’s napping do something with your older one.

Your 3 year old is experiencing regression due to the baby. Give her more positive and better attention. She’s THREE. She still needs LOTS of love and cuddles from Mom, even IF a new kid showed up.

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Some attention is better than no attention. My kids are 4, 3, and 1. I am also a single mom and work 40+ hours a week. I have to ensure I give all 3 of them one on one time with me or they get super hateful.

I have only a 4yo atm and it is constantly love and fights… it is what it is. She is so much smarter than getting into the trouble she does but she is a 4yo… being a 4yo trying for independence and doesn’t quite understand jokes or limits… she can just have had her face painted or be at the park and lose her cool with me… we work through it and talk it out. Idk what I’d do with a baby atm too. Hope this helps. You got this mama.

Sounds like u need to give her attention instead of getting on to her so much. She needs to know she still matters and I’m sure you always raising your voice to her but being so “patient” with your baby isn’t helping her feel important any

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Sometimes it’s hard but just remember even though she is your oldest, she is still only 3 years old. :heart:

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I honestly thought I was the only one e feeling this way…I love my kids I really do but my oldest just idk why I am different towards him I try my hardest not to be and I show him love but idk what’s wrong with me

Shes viving for your attention hun before yelling time out or a reaction take a breath n remind yourself ages 3 not 13 I did the samething at first n my first two kids are 5.5yrs apart n that’s what my gram use to tell me also try setting some time aside for mommy n me time with her I know it’s hard with a newborn but even 10-15 mins while the baby is napping makes a difference

It doesn’t sound like it’s postpartum depression towards your oldest. It is just postpartum depression. If you haven’t yet, I would speak to your doctor

You need therapy. U r taking out ur anger. Stress n all on the oldest

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Anger and depression are two VERY different things!!! I don’t believe you just turn it (depression) on or off that quickly. Sounds like you RESENT your oldest child. Perhaps seek therapy for help with what your experiencing- that child doesn’t need to be treated poorly or any differently than you ‘new’ child.

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She is being bad because she wants more attention. Include her in baby carecas much as possible. Make comnents about how you did the same things for her that you do for the baby adding in how nice it is to have a big girl that can be a big help. Talk about how much she has grown from when she was this little. Remind her that the new baby does not take love away from her your heart grew to make more room to love. Also seek help for depression.

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She’s been your baby for a while then u have a new one . She needs reassurance and more attention from u .

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