To ask a lovely bunch of total strangers on MN to please boost my confidence about bringing up baby??(85 Posts)
Specifically about sleeping/feeding, which as DD is only 7 weeks old is pretty much all she does anyway!
Basically I am getting in a bit of a state and doubting everything I am doing. I am quite (ok, very) suggestible.
Obviously DD is too little for any kind of real routine (at least that is my instinct) and instinctively I know that even when she is older I am not keen on controlled crying etc (btw that is absolutely no judgment on people who do CC, it just wouldn't suit me). But I am in a panic at times feeling that all the advice I am getting is contradictory and not knowing what to listen to and what to ignore... Hmm, maybe I am a masochist to ask on MN then!!
But I would v much like to start instigating a few good sleep habits early on. we are lucky I think in that DD is not an utterly atrocious sleeper (at the mo) and seems a fairly chilled little character, however she does often get painfully overtired as she sleeps v little indeed in daytime... I hate watching her work herself up when I know it is over tiredness... Glazed eyes, rubbing face etc.
However I ave literally NO idea what to do for the best re daytime naps. Marc Weissbluth book has got me stressed out about the importance of napping (I said I was suggestible!!) and I have a good friend ramming Gina Ford down my throat (not literally...) then on the other hand I have my mum being deeply suspicious of daytime naps as she seems to regard it as some badge of honour that her children never napped, thereby in her eyes proving their high intelligence and general specialness...
Anyway right now I am honestly doubting everything I do, for example my initial instinct was that I wanted DD to NOT go up to her cot for a daytime nap but instead nap downstairs in her carrycot (I thought this might help her distinguish between day naps and night sleep) but thanks to all I have been reading I now worry that I am doing the wrong thing nd that if DD catnaps in her carrycot rather than going up for a proper deep sleep in her cot, she will be a anti social horror for the rest of her life etc...
Also we were getting some good results (calmer baby, more regularity to the day) by starting a three-hourly feeding regime last week after totally feeding on demand til then, but now I read in Marc W that I should NEVER wake a sleeping baby...
I am joking obviously but honestly it is making m head spin, I don't know what to do for the best.
I basically just want DD to get enough sleep if possible. I hate to see her overtired and she isn't keen on the daytime sleep I think she really needs. I would also love to be able, one day in a few months, to have some degree of self soothing in her cot rather than always having her fall asleep on me or DH... my Sister's children do the latter and it is something I personally would rather avoid if possible.
I had hoped to be able to cherry pick from a few experts (it is why i read a few books) plus use my own instinct but all the experts are so bossy and their methods seem so all encompassing (ie if you don't do every single thing they say you may as well not bother) and I am losing all confidence in any instinct anyway.
Any advice? And can anyone clear up the matter of pram versus cot for daytime nap, for the love of god??!
Oh and if three hours routine works then embrace it, never mind where e advice came from. It works for you now, so own it as your own idea.
And yy to babies not being problems that need a solution.
Well it sounds like you're doing fine.
Emerald, I'm finding if very interesting that you haven't or from what I can see, haven't been asked about your feeding routine or in fact breast or bottle very interesting. I may well have missed it.
That's how lovely and perceptive your opening post was.
Oh, and one other things, yes, babies go through different phases, but it sounds to me that your dd has been given a very good start
Yes Alnwick I have one, its doing really well against a wall in the sun.
My utter fav is "Elyagynte" though. Stunning.
Also got Harlow Carr, and LOVE Gertrude Jekyll.
MyDarlingYou my friend told me that DD 'has to learn' that if she cries I won't go to her... Pretty much the only thing I have always been sure of is that my DD will not have to learn anything of the sort.
May now have to name change though as have blethered on about this Alnwick Rose hedge so much in RL I fear I may have outed myself!
Surely she should learn that if she cries you will go to her! Some people are just plain wrong.
Its been proven now that picking baby up and actually moving with baby lowers the heart rate to calm baby down.
Leaving baby - can trigger stress hormones and set all kinds of things out of balance.
Sometimes, You need to put the screaming baby down, walk away and recover for a few minuets then try again....but I dont get any of this - baby is being manipulative etc
Good luck with it! I adore adore adore roses.
Thank you Monty I really appreciate the confidence boost!
Honestly I have been forgetting (er, maybe not even quite realising) that I am Mum and therefore In Charge... Well, DD is in charge really but I am Interpreter In Chief!!
Alnwick, yes that is my feeling exactly!! I did have to bite my tongue not to ask my friend what on earth she was blithering about!!
Just smile and nod, smile and nod (then ignore). You're doing great.
Read this its very funny!! Best explanation as to why books are useless!
Your LO is only 7 weeks, just do what you feel is best for her to sleep. Don't worry about routine. She is just little that all she wants is love and cuddles. When she gets a bit older she'll start setting her own routine a bit eg what time she goes to sleep and how many naps etc.
Th huffington post article is brilliant!!!
I promised myself I wouldn't read any baby books or join baby groups well except lurk on here a bit so that I could just get on with what feels right about looking after my baby. He's 6 months old and we're doing great. Bin the books and trust yourself.
Thanks for your post, Emerald. You are not alone in feeling this way - I am in a similar position (my DD is 5 weeks old) although in my case all the advice is coming from well-meaning family members, making it very hard for me to disagree with them (at least in the early days). In our case it's particularly about feeding - we're BF on demand and from the very first days I had my MIL and DM telling me "she's not always hungry you know" when I could see her hunger cues and knew she would start screaming soon. My MIL in particular would try and avoid giving me the baby when she was getting upset because she was convinced I was feeding her too much. I am usually very confident in my own approach to things but in the first few hormonal weeks I felt completely out of my depth and all this conflicting advice really undermined my confidence. DH is fantastic but knows even less than me about babies and is really keen to make sure that we get it right as he adores DD, so is listening to a lot of the advice we're getting and repeating it back to me in crisis moments. Last week I finally had a bit of a rant to my DM and I feel much better. I am still worried that I am doing the wrong thing and that I will break the baby but I am trying to remind myself that I am her mum and know her needs the best. All the posts here are very helpful so THANK YOU!
BoffinMum has given the best advice. In fact I think she ought to write a book!
I definitely got the best results from trying to work out what he wanted to do naturally, not fighting it. But remember it changes every few weeks so don't get frustrated if the pattern keeps changing.
Your op reminded me of this which made me smile.
She is still so young! Gosh, if she cries it means she needs something.
I could understand the 'she needs to learn' if she was 8 months old or 8 years old!!
Have confidence in what you do, you are brilliant and develop a thick skin that stupid comments just slide right off!
Chuck all the routine/solution type books.
The only books I found remotely helpful were the ones that just tried to explain a bit about why things were happening, not to give you a quick fix.
The Wonder Weeks by unpronounceable Dutch couple is brilliant - it explains the key developmental phases that happen in the first year and is very much "this too shall pass" in tone. It does give some ideas for how to weather the phases, but not how to stop/change/fix them.
Just go with it. Babies act on pure instinct for the first few weeks/months - just do whatever keeps them happy. I swear by wrap slings - you can pop them in when they're tired, pull the fabric over their head to make a dark, warm environment and then walk around to lull them to sleep.
Baby Whisperer says something about 3 hour cycles I think, so if 3 hour cycles are helping you just tell people that you are doing Baby Whisperer and it's working great and they might back off.
You don't actually have to read Baby Whisperer.
"At this age everything is a phase and changes so fast"
Oh god - I remember the books. "Change Baby's nappy at 8:02. At 8:03 go downstairs and eat cereal and toast for breakfast. At 8:06 wash up bottles. Do not deviate from this routine by one minute or everyone in the world will die!"
Except dd would go and do a poo at 8:04, I hate cereal and was breastfeeding so didn't have any bottles to wash!
I think your dd is far too young to have a routine beyond "eat every few hours, try and get to sleep when tired / grumpy (either of you!)"
I'd advise getting to sleep in the buggy at least sometimes or you are going to be very trapped in the house.
The three hour thing I did with dd and it did work fairly well although I got a bit obsessive. (Note to self - baby's head will not fall off if left 3 hours 5 minutes between feeds.)
I quite liked a book by someone called Elizabeth Pantley as it gives a load of suggestions and advises you to use only the ones you want. Although I think that was at about 7 months not 7 weeks that I used it.
Sorry pressed send too early.
But that's it in a nutshell. She'll have a growth spurt in about a fortnight when she'll want to feed all the time. Then there'll be teeth coming in, which might make her a bit unsettled. Sooner or later she'll get a cold...
If she's fed, warm, clean and dry and she has the security of your reassuring voice, smell, face. A walk outside in the fresh air everyday, That's what babies need.
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