Home » The *almost love/*almost hate relationship of a toddler and new twins

The *almost love/*almost hate relationship of a toddler and new twins

WE’VE all seen it, those cute pics of a toddler ‘cradling’ their newborn sibling propped on the settee with a million cushions behind them.

Yep, definitely one for the family album, or even a giant frame on the wall?

We’ve all got friends whose toddlers are obsessed with their new baby brother or sister, constantly wanting to hold/kiss/cuddle/squeeze them. It’s cute, right?

Then you’ve got those children who literally COULD. NOT. GIVE. A. SHIT.

You’ll be surprised to hear that Toddler was in that camp when the Twins made their appearance last year.

We bribed him into having a photo with his new brothers when he came to meet them at the hospital. You can see he was thrilled about it. If he knew how to swear he’d surely be saying WTF?

First time toddler meets his twin brothers

Everyone wants that perfect picture of toddler and new babies

Then there was the newborn photoshoot. I so wanted an adorable shot of my three gorgeous boys, snuggled into each other, beaming away. (Okay, just Toddler smiling, the others were 11 days old and had barely opened their eyes at that point, but you get my drift)

Instead we had to get our photographer to photoshop out the bloody Peppa Pig he was holding in a vice-like grip, as we couldn’t prize the f*cking thing off him beforehand without the tantrum escalating to nuclear. Fine! Hold the sodding pig, JUST SMILE!

A petrified grimace was the best we could get before we decided to knock it on the head.

A toddler and newborn baby twins in a photoshoot
Picture by Little Star Images

Toddler never once held one of the twins

So I probably should have guessed back then that the relationship between Toddler and Twins wasn’t going to be a close one from the word go. Can you believe he has NEVER ONCE held either of the babies. Not even with a million cushions behind him for support. NEVER! What kind of kid doesn’t want to hold the new baby? He literally wouldn’t go near them and still won’t have them on his lap.

Back in the early days he obviously got a lot of ‘new big brother’ attention. From family, friends, old ladies in Sainsbury’s, everywhere we went in fact. I was glad of that, seeing as these two screaming newborns had caused a fair bit of disruption (no, shit).

But if anyone (generally the old ladies) asked if he liked the babies, he’d say no! And not just on the odd occasion when he was in a bad mood –  it was his stock answer for a good six weeks. Talk about embarrassing. There I was doing the nervous giggle telling the old bids he was only joking but he totally wasn’t.

Maybe he’d heard the Other Half and I swearing about (at) them in the middle of the night and decided they were things not to be liked?!

Making an effort so toddler wasn’t pushed out

And it wasn’t as if Toddler even had a reason not to like them. Like all mums, I didn’t want him to feel pushed out and jealous, so made a massive effort to give him all the attention he was used to – by basically ignoring the Twins a lot.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t quite a neglect case for Social Services, but they certainly didn’t get the attention a first (or even second) child might have done. Tough love in this house, lads!

I like to tell myself they were more than happy just chilling out in their bouncers. A lot. And I defy anyone with a toddler to be able to just sit around cuddling babies all day. Think it might have happened once when they were three days old… See, I still had my hospital tag on.

A mum holding newborn twins asleep on her chest

Luckily this hasn’t backfired on me (yet) and they are seriously chilled out, happy babas. Did I mention I wasn’t really into gentle parenting?

Finally he got the memo. Kind of…

So it seems Toddler finally got the memo about having brothers when they were about 5 weeks old, but obviously didn’t want to let his cooler than cool pretence go. We’d catch him kneeling down next to the bouncers (where else?) stroking their heads but the second you asked him if he liked his baby brothers he’d still say no and run off.

For the next few months there were more failed attempts at a ‘nice’ pic of them together (my particular favourite being on Halloween) but still no joy. FFS how hard can it be? Thank God for digital pics. Can you imagine getting this lot back in the post from Truprint? Absolutely gutted.

My one saving grace of him ignoring them though, is that he’s never been jealous, resentful or just plain shitty towards them. I’ve never had that ‘adjustment’ problem others I know have gone through.

Basically because he’s only just realised they’re alive.

A momentary breakthrough from toddler

On November 23, 2017 there was a momentary breakthrough. Yes, I know the date, it was so momentous I made a note of it. I am that sad. These words came out of Toddler’s mouth: “I love Toby and Isaac, Mummy. They are the best babies in the world.”

Like, WTF? The babies you’ve not gone near/held/cuddled/kissed/given an actual shit about since they were born? They’re the best babies in the world? Is that because they just sit in bouncers quite happily whilst you get all the attention? I think so.

Then back to ignoring them again for a couple more months.

Warming up to the big brother role

Just recently he’s letting his guard down a bit, and is warming up to the big brother role. He openly tries to cuddle them when they’re in the buggy (false public display of affection?) and SOMETIMES gives them a kiss goodnight. When he can be arsed to look away from f*cking ‘Dinosaur Finger’ on Kids You Tube that is.

Hurrah, a breakthrough! My Toddler does have some kind of sibling attachment after all! He is normal. He is a loving little boy. Maybe I could get a nice picture of the three of them smiling now.

Er, let me think. That’ll be a no…

A toddler not looking happy having his photo taken with his twin brothers


The #ItsOK Linky

PIN image for the relationship between and a toddler and new twins

How did I do?

If you enjoyed this post, hang around for a while and read some more of my stuff. You might like this one on surviving a year with three boys under three (it wasn’t pretty, believe me), or my ‘advice’ on how to get a flat stomach after twins – basically not to bother and eat ALL the cake.

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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A. Shepherdson 29/03/2018 - 9:39 pm

🙂 A very entertaining read, I’m sure he’ll be a great big brother (big sigh 🙂 wish I had a big brother.)

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 29/03/2018 - 9:43 pm

Here’s hoping! 😂

Lori 04/04/2018 - 4:00 pm

So cute! They will become best buds eventually! Sometimes the adjustment period is longer. But they are so cute. 😊

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 04/04/2018 - 4:03 pm

Fingers crossed!

teamcartwrightblog 04/04/2018 - 10:21 pm

Lol, my son was the same way with my twins! We don’t have any sweet pictures of the three of them when my girls were newborns. He didn’t dislike them, he just didn’t want to be too close to them. Honestly, it was nice in the newborn phase, he didn’t mess with them! Now that he is 4 and his sisters are 2 they get along and like each other.

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 04/04/2018 - 10:24 pm

That’s good to hear, thank you. I’m hoping mine might be the same, but the fact one twin is now crawling and grabbing his toys isn’t going down too well with the toddler!

Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops 05/04/2018 - 8:27 pm

Awww this is so funny, kids are just the best aren’t they. They never do what you expect. I love that first photo of the three of them, it’s so adorable!

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 05/04/2018 - 8:30 pm

Thank you. Wondering how old they’ll be before I get a nice pic 🙄

Siobhan McLoughlin 06/04/2018 - 6:45 am

Haha! oh bless him! My daughter seemed uninterested to begin when her brother was born but within a few days she was asking to hold him and now she is constantly giving him hugs, kisses, high fives and fist bumps haha! xx

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 06/04/2018 - 6:54 am

There’s hope for mine yet, then!

Laura (@dearbearandbean) 06/04/2018 - 8:01 am

You never quite know how they are going to be until they arrive! I’m glad he got there in the end.

ourlittleescapades 06/04/2018 - 8:52 am

This made me laugh and I did think we would have this problem when our little lady was born but my son wouldn’t leave her alone. The problem being his cuddles are a bit of a head butt! She too was left to her own devices and I can’t really remember her being a baby now. Having more than one child really is a bit of a shock!

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 06/04/2018 - 9:10 am

It totally is!

EssexKate | Counting To Ten 07/04/2018 - 4:41 pm

Ha, it must be hard when your world is invaded by two “things”. My eldest loved her little sister right from the beginning, but I think she saw her as a living doll. It’ll be interesting to see how things development. They got harder here once Little was able to move around and steal big sister’s toys.

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 08/04/2018 - 7:32 am

That’s what is now starting to happen here so Toddler likes them even less!

The Willow Tree (@_Thewillow_tree) 08/04/2018 - 7:51 am

A great post and one that I am sure loads of parents can relate too! I just love your style of writing by the way!!! Your boys are adorable!

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 08/04/2018 - 8:27 am

Ah thank you, I don’t think I can write in a non-sarcastic, sweary way 🙂

teentweentoddler1 10/04/2018 - 2:03 pm

Oh this made me giggle so much! If it helps, my teenagers bloody adored each other and now? Scream at each other for breathing! Fingers crossed you have chilled teenagers lol x

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 10/04/2018 - 3:42 pm

Ha! Maybe it’ll go the other way. Not sure which is worse!

The Ego 20/04/2018 - 3:59 am

They’re fuckers really aren’t they?

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 20/04/2018 - 5:40 am


Jo (A Rose Tinted World) 20/11/2018 - 9:29 am

I’m pretty sire babies aren’t cool when you are a toddler. They just don’t do anything, do they? I’m sure his interest (and love hate) will change as he gets older! #ItsOK

Lyn 20/11/2018 - 9:48 am

Absolutely love it! Social media is guilty of giving that perfect view and, when you don’t measure up, you feel like a failure. But, you know what? Life isn’t perfect and you’re doing a great job!

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 22/11/2018 - 11:24 pm

Thank you, and too right, they actually make much funnier pictures and memories too!

Nicole - Tales from Mamaville 20/11/2018 - 12:06 pm

Hahaha Helen, the pics are hilarious. But keepsakes, nonetheless. The good thing (as you have said as well) is that there was no jealousy/ sibling rivalry that often makes it very difficult for parents. And the older bubas. Your three look like a happy-go-lucky cool bunch:) Love how he suddenly proclaimed his love for his brothers. Touche.

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 22/11/2018 - 11:23 pm

Oh yes these days he tells me loves them on a daily basis – followed literally five minutes later by how he doesn’t like one of them because “they’re giving me a headache”!

Sarah | Mummykind 21/11/2018 - 9:04 pm

Aww bless him. It might be a while before you get that perfect smiley picture! 😉 #itsok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 22/11/2018 - 11:20 pm

We’ve had a couple of half decent ones by now, but that perfect one might take a while! 🤦🏻‍♀️

Catherine Campbell 21/11/2018 - 9:45 pm

Ha this made me laugh! Love all the pics. Frame that last one for the wall! #ItsOk

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 22/11/2018 - 11:19 pm

I guess the pics are more memorable this way!

Lisa Pomerantz 22/11/2018 - 7:01 pm

I have a feeling he will come around once he realizes they are old enough to do things for him, or at least play with him. Mazel Tov on this beautiful batch of boys! <3 #itsok xoxo

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 22/11/2018 - 11:18 pm

Thank you – you’re right, he’ll love it when he can order them around!

Crummy Mummy 26/11/2018 - 2:25 pm

The newborn photo shoot is a lovely shot! If it’s any consolation I can never get a nice shot of my three either #itsok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 26/11/2018 - 11:17 pm

I’ll get one of all three one day!

Momoftwolittlegirls 26/11/2018 - 6:35 pm

Awww – bless him. My eldest wasn’t that impressed either. It hasn’t got much better 5 years later! #itsok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 26/11/2018 - 11:18 pm

Something to look forward to then!


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