Take Another Little Piece of My Crib Now, Baby

Dear Mr. Dad: We just moved our two- and- a-half-year-old daughter from a crib to a bed. She seemed excited about her new “big girl” bed at the store, but now that it’s set up in her room, she refuses to sleep in it. What’s going on, and what can we do?

A: To a toddler, making the move from crib to bed is a big, big step. Try looking at it from her perspective: she’s spent her whole young life sleeping in that cozy little crib. She liked it and felt comfortable in it. And think of all the memories—learning to pull herself up, climbing out, surveying her realm from her elevated perch. Now, all of a sudden, you’ve replaced a beloved piece of history with that thing. No wonder she’s not happy. (Yes, she may have been thrilled at the store, but she was probably taken in by your excitement. Plus, things often sound a lot better than they actually turn out to be.)
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Sibling Jealousy

Dear Mr. Dad: Our three-year-old son is jealous of his new baby brother. My wife and I did our best to prepare him for the baby’s arrival, and initially, he seemed happy about having a sibling to play with. But now, he seems to be angry with us and aggressive toward the baby, throwing tantrums and shouting that he hates his brother. How do we handle this?

A: First, it’s important to understand that your older son’s outbursts are completely normal. Think about it from his perspective: For three years he was the center of the Universe and had you and Mom all to himself. Then, without even consulting him, you bring in someone who steals all your attention. Worse yet, the instant playmate he was hoping for turns out to be a blobby baby who does nothing but sleep, eat, cry, and poop. And to top it off, with everyone ooohing and aaahing over the new baby, your older boy is feeling unwanted and unloved.
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