Expert weighs in after mum says 'my toddler stopped talking when the baby arrived'
A mum voiced her concern on Irish radio over the weekend as her toddler has regressed a bit since the arrival of her baby sister.
The worried parent asked was it normal that she had stopped talking and started babbling like her three-month-old sister.
And the long-and-short of it is that it can be considered normal, but bringing your child to see a public health nurse is a good idea to ensure everything is ok.
“We are parents to a 2-and-a-half-year-old girl and a 3-month-old girl,” she told Newstalk's Moncrieff.
“Since our youngest arrival our eldest daughter has not shown any interest whatsoever in her sister, until this week when she began pinching her face.
“She also has lashed out as if to grab the face of both my husband and I.”
The mother said she used to have an “extensive vocabulary” and has less interest in people and talking altogether.
“She has started only pooing when in her cot, putting her hands into it and crying when we take her up to change her,” she said.
“We have endeavoured to be responsive, caring, loving parents to our two and a half year old.”
Reassuring the mum, and any other parent experiencing something similar, Child psychotherapist Joanna Fortune said each problem by itself could be considered normal.
However, she did point out that it’s more concerning when all the problems are combined.
“It’s like a breadcrumb trail,” she began to explain.
“There is some development regression, you’re seeing an increase in certain behaviours, you're seeing a decrease in some verbal language.
“You’re slap-bang in between your development check windows of the two-year-old one and the three-year-old one.”
Joanna went on to advise the mum to book in with a public health nurse so they can get a development check for the toddler.
“You could also ask for a referral to the early-years team who will just take a more multidisciplinary holistic approach at her development,” she said.
“And it’s not like you can call today and get it tomorrow, so get that going.”
While waiting for a developmental check, Joanna told the parents that they should keep being responsive to their daughter’s sensory issues.
“The pinching is particularly interesting,” she said.
“I would get her fidget toys, I would get her things she can squish – not her cheeks, not other babies.
“She might be looking for something that might be quite regulating for her to squeeze.”
Music, dancing and singing are other things that Joanna recommends in this case.
“They're going to help trigger the parts of her brain associated with emotional regulation to quite literally to get back into sync,” Joanna concluded.
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