jealous baby

To all of those who asked "is Lily jealous of Oli?", my answer has since changed.

To a big fat YES.

Lord, help us all.

It hits the worst when they have a shared feeding time. With Lily's one nap lined up at 11am-1pm, she and Oli both have the same wake time, as one of his many naps also ends at 1pm. So while he's getting his bottle or breastfeeding, she's furious. Even though her sippy cup is beside her. Even though she's surrounded by Goldfish crackers or other things I can give her outside of the high chair. Even though I'm chatting with her or putting on a cartoon show for her. Furious. 

She's also furious when she's tired and I'm with Oli. Which hits around 4pm. Her bedtime isn't til 6pm, but once she's eating at 5pm (and Oli is napping) she perks up. But 4pm. Oh brother. Not my favourite time of day. 

And how does she act jealous you might ask? Scratching and biting. Which is really hard to avoid or stop when I'm nursing or bottle feeding Oli on the couch and she comes at me with those teeth or nails. She's stronger than you might think! And very determined. She'll bite my feet or legs and only tries harder with a firm "NO!" or slap on the hand. And today she actually scratched Oli quite hard on the head. 
Anyone who has been here before, PLEASE feel free to suggest any tips or ideas as to how I can stop this. She's only 15 months old so I'm not sure how much my disciplining is working, but it's got to stop and smothering her with love when Oli is napping and my hands are free isn't enough to suggest that jealous isn't needed and that I'm still here for her.


  1. I wish I had advice!! Jack is a hitter - though very rarely out of anger (yet) just more for... well no apparent reason besides trying to test us I guess, and sometimes just out of habit or something. Lately he's been doing it and then immediately "apologizing" by laying his head on me. The hardest part with hitting is we can't slap his hand to correct him like we do with other things since isn't that sending mixed signals? I'm preparing myself for the jealousy thing. Ugh. When friends of ours brought their new baby back from the hospital their older son took one look at him and punched him in the face - no joke. Everyone keeps telling me its a phase and it will pass - that most kids go through that hitting/biting/scratching period and you just have to be consistent with correction. The hard part is he does it A HUNDRED times a day... so I feel like my no's mean nothing. Anyways, sorry I can't help with a solution - but I'm with you in solidarity!! I know its frustrating!

  2. awww lil. i feel for her. i wanted my brother gone days into him being home and i was 3 with a better ability to understand. i'm going to ask my mom what she did.

    i'll see you SUPER soon & play with her.

  3. Sorry to hear you are having to deal with this, Em. I know it is totally normal but I was still hoping maybe you guys would be the exception. :) If it makes you feel any better (maybe alleviate any guilt about bringing a baby home to young Lil) the twins have started doing similar things to each other when they want my undivided attention and they've sort of known about the other one all along! It shouldn't really surprise them that there is another kid in my arms or on my lap and yet it seems to have started to bother them now. So I think it is not only a new baby thing but an age/phase thing. I think it must especially show up for more physical or emotional kids like Lily and my Marlow. Soren has his own way of reacting to sharing me but Marlow definitely shows her displeasure by trying to bite or hit Soren and sometimes in her fit she gets me as well, though I have yet to be her intended target. The only thing that has worked (and by worked I mean spared Soren from teeth marks) is to grab her arm and pull her back to a safe distance and sit her on the floor. She will let me know she is upset but I have tried to treat it as a bit of a mini, age-appropriate timeout. She cools down and usually comes right back for love. I have to say it has been a real challenge to discipline a one year old, I will be looking to you for how to handle my stubborn, aggressive girl! I know another part of it I find tough is wondering what I am communicating to both kids in the moment of trying to deal with it. If I put Soren down to deal with Marlow, does he feel abandoned and wondering what he did wrong? If I discipline Marlow for wanting to be with me will the competition between them just grow instead of be defused?

    I don't have much wisdom in this area and I am hesitant to give tips but I guess I'd say I have heard that children at this age understand more than we think they do so explaining things verbally and changing your tone of voice is good. Even if you think it is over her head she will start to pick things up. Maybe try holding them both at the same time, like inviting Lily in on time with Oli before she even shows that she wants to? Maybe that would start to show her that there are times when she can be with you and so can Oli and it will have positive associations for her. I know that might be a terrible idea if she can't be near him without hurting him but if she's still happy and not upset yet maybe she'd be open to it.

    Keep us posted, I'd like to hear what works and what doesn't. I've seen some real improvement lately in how rough Marlow is with Soren - she now strokes or pats both of us gently with a big grin on her face because she is proud that she is being gentle (thank the Lord because I thought she wasn't pick up anything the millions of times I corrected her) so I have hope that Lily can get over this too.

    You are doing an amazing job with both kids, make sure you give yourself lots of grace, this is challenging season full of brand new puzzles to solve.

  4. Was your sister jealous when you were born? Do you know what your mom's experience was?

  5. Karen- she said Lisa was only for like a day, and since Lisa was 2 she understood much more than Lily so they did more reasoning with her...

  6. Anonymous16.11.11

    It's so hard - I went through this with my two kids, they are 26 months apart. I hate to say that my oldest still likes to push and step on and steal from his little sister. It's awful and I hate it. The nursing was the hardest for sure - once I figured out to manage it, reading a book to my oldest while I was nursing the baby helped. Sounds hard, but it wasn't too bad. I wish I could give you more advice....heck, I need some myself. I wish my son was gentle and loving all the time to his sister and not just when he feels like it.