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When Toddler and Baby Collide

The weeks immediately following Paul’s birth, my 2 year old son was on his best behavior. Looking back, he was an absolute gem of a toddler. I was so impressed with how easy the transition was going, as I thought it would be much (much) harder.

But this past month, things have changed in the brotherly love department. Baby Paul is five months old, and out of the blue, Gage is now purposefully hurting Paul to get my attention.

For instance, when Paul is sitting in his bumbo seat, or playing in the exersaucer, Gage will go up to him and either pinch or hit him. Not super hard by any means (he’s never left a mark), but hard enough to scare an assuming baby to tears.

And like any new mama, I get immediately furious with Gage, but have found myself struggling with how to punish him in ways he will understand.

My initial instinct is to spank him. But teaching him to not hit, by essentially hitting him, feels wrong and hypocritical. So spanking is not an option for me.

Instead, I’ve been sending him to the corner for two loooooong minutes. I tell him what he did to Paul is completely unacceptable, and ask him to apologize (which he always willingly does). But honestly, this “go in the corner” method is lost on him. He doesn’t care, he’ll do it all over again in a few hours later.

The thing is, he LOVES Paul. Most the time, he is so sweet to the baby. On any given day, he will ask numerous times to “I kiss him”, having me dip Paul’s head down low enough so he can peck him on the forehead.

His hurting Paul is completely directed at getting my attention, and I guess it’s working.

I’m very frustrated. I’m finding I can’t protect Paul every single second of the day from his bruiser of a brother. And I can’t conceivably keep Gage away from Paul, as we’re home all day (every day) together.

So what’s a momma to do? I’m at the end of my rope, and just want us all to get along!

Read more from Emily on her blog, DesignHER Momma. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter , and Pinterest.

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