3 year old not eating and sleeping badly...reaction to... - NCT


55,142 members16,580 posts

3 year old not eating and sleeping badly...reaction to me being pregnant?

Eb20 profile image
4 Replies

I am 27 weeks pregnant and my 3 and a half year old is refusing to eat any main meals apart from breakfast, extremely clingy and cranky/whiney, and waking asking for me repeatedly in the night....

Anyone experience this as a reaction to a sibling on the way?

Very concerned as I am getting almost no sleep during my pregnancy....

Anyone been through this and recommended any resources - books, websites - with practical information?


4 Replies
Bigblueskies profile image


That sounds really hard! I haven’t experienced or heard anything similar but just wanted to offer a virtual hug.

It is quite an extreme reaction, you might want to check it’s not something else that is upsetting them? Children at that age don’t generally get the abstract future and it’s so early in your pregnancy for a 3 year old to be so preoccupied with a change that hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps they are affected by changes happening already because of the pregnancy or something completely different?

Quality time together and trying to listen as much as you can, so you can find out any big worries, might help you get to the bottom of it. If someone else like the dad or other family member can focus on them while you’re taking some time to rest and enjoy your pregnancy, will also help both of you especially at night.

I know I relied heavily on my husband to be with my daughter, particularly during the nights, when I was pregnant and after I had our second baby. It was upsetting for her and for me because we were very close before, but it helped us both to cope at the time.

Big hug to you both! Xx

Eb20 profile image
Eb20 in reply to Bigblueskies

Thanks so much! Xxx

Emdog87 profile image

That sounds so difficult for you. I haven’t been through the same situation but I’ve had friends who’ve had children that struggled when a sibling came along.

With the food, do you fight with him to eat? My little one went through a phase of not eating and I would stress about it until someone told me not to! I used to just be ‘okay you’re not hungry that’s fine let’s play now’ also tried dinner times to get her involved in making things with me. I was always told, don’t worry they won’t starve themselves. I know that’s easier said than done though.

With the sleep, could you try a reward chart? So for every good night he gets a sticker and then if he gets a full week of good nights then he gets a little treat? My little girl went through a bad behaviour period and the reward ‘daughter points’ works really well with her. Now she’s older she can chose a magazine or a pound for her piggy bank when she gets to 10 daughter points. When she’s naughty we take a point away.

When I was pregnant with my 2nd my eldest was really upset when we told her but she didn’t act out. When we brought baby home she didn’t acknowledge her at first and there was definitely a settling period but she adores her now. When I was pregnant I was so worried and upset about how she’d react to her little sister but they are now so sweet together. It may take a bit of time for him to adjust but you will get there.


Eb20 profile image
Eb20 in reply to Emdog87

Thanks - that's good to hear your experiences...xxx

You may also like...