Eeeek first time mum needing help!

(155 Posts)
Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Tue 02-Apr-13 09:22:44

I suspect this isn't the right place for this post but not to worry...

I was just looking for a bit of advice really..

First baby will be here any day now and I'm just feeling a bit anxious that I have no clue what to expect still. Never held a newborn baby without its fearful mother helpibg me or changed a nappy in my life :-/
When I ask family/ friends about what I should expect in the first week they will tend to pawn me off with some crap that their child has always slept well/ you'll instantly know what to do etc etc. just want to know an average 24hour routine/ or lack of for a newborn. Ie is there any logic behind why you'd choose to have a shower first etc. how often do you bath your baby? I know ill get into my own routine but just curious as to what you did.
Many thanks!

LadyEdith Thu 04-Apr-13 11:29:34

My advice is: keep fridge and cupboards well stocked with your favourite foods and snacks, have your favourite newspapers and magazines delivered, have your feelgood toiletries/face creams/make up to hand, because when you hit a tough patch all these things will really cheer you up!

ninipops Thu 04-Apr-13 11:45:13

haven't read the whole thread so someone has probably put this already but here's my tuppence worth. First everything is a phase good and bad so don't stress it, second there is no 'right way' to do anything when it comes to babies (other than avoiding the criminal and downright negligent of course!) so find what works for you, you can always change things later if something stops working. Babies are pretty resilient!

Good luck and enjoy!

sherbetpips Thu 04-Apr-13 13:21:39

As ninipops said there are phases and when they are newborn they dont last that long. Will feel like bloody ages at the time but when you look back its only a couple off weeks.
The total exhaustion knackered phase is 3 months at most.
I found 'What to expect in the first year' a brilliant book it literally told you week by week what to expect and also what was happening to you and your body (which is another slightly icky subject).

PreciousPuddleduck Thu 04-Apr-13 13:36:56

Aw, enjoy every moment & try not to worry too much about anything. Let baby wears baby gros all day till at least 3 months & get out for lots of walks when the weather warms up. Saved my sanity! Don't feel guilty about still being in bed at midday with your baby. Enjoy brushing your teeth, it's probably the only thing you will do for yourself all day!
Most importantly, put baby down in cot/ Moses basket AWAKE so they learn to settle themselves.
Believe in yourself, I had no baby experience either and our DD is now almost 11 months old. It's the best adventure of your life (and bloody hard work) smile

Eleri9 Thu 04-Apr-13 13:42:48

I had a beautiful baby boy 4 days ago and he was breastfeeding excellently whilst the colostrum was in, but last night the milk came through and he is now refusing to breastfeed. He will latch on maybe once, but immediately come off. He's getting really agitated and upset if I continue to try and breastfeed. I bought a Brest pump and he has drunk expressed milk from a bottle, but can anyone give me any advice on why this might have happened and how ip can try and get him to latch on to the breast again? Any help would be greatfully received. Thanks again.

noblegiraffe Thu 04-Apr-13 13:55:56

Eleri, if your breasts are engorged then your little boy might be struggling to latch on and slipping off. If you hand express a bit off first to make the areola soft, he'll be able to latch on properly.

Ask for a midwife to come and watch you feed, they should be able to help.

TwitchyTail Thu 04-Apr-13 14:04:15

Get to grips with how stuff works. Like the carseat and pram. Now is the time to watch youtube videos and get it wrong, not when you're standing by the lifts outside the postnatal ward.

<bitter voice of experience>

grin

AMR73 Thu 04-Apr-13 16:48:09

I had never had much contact with babies either before my Son was born (I wasn't worried about giving birth, it was the looking after part which worried me!). My hospital let me stay for a couple of days and were v helpful if I needed help with nappy changing, deciding how many layers of clothes required, feeding, bathing and winding. One of the best pieces of advice was try to relax and stay calm as your baby will pick up on it if you are anxious). For me, was nervous about looking after him at home but midwife visits for first 10 days so if you have any worries, she is there to help. The hospital also said I could phone them if I had concerns. After the first couple of days at home, was much more relaxed and confident. Try to get out for a walk as soon as you feel ready- it will stop you feeling cabin bound and the movement of the pram relaxes the baby.

Baby now 7 weeks and we are both still here! Babies are much smarter than I realised and you will start to learn her cues just by spending time with her.

People do offer advice and I remember feeling that they thought I wasn't doing things right- they are just trying to be helpful but you will know your baby better than anyone. Your body knows how to make a baby so trust your instincts on her care.

Enhoy!

AMR73 Thu 04-Apr-13 17:15:49

ps also practise folding up and setting up your pram. I spent a tearful 15 minutes in a carpark trying to suss mine out!

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Thu 04-Apr-13 19:00:31

Some great advice here-I didn't have a clue what to do either! DS is now 10 months old, so we must be doing something right smile

I breastfed. Sometimes I hated doing it, especially in the first few days, it felt like DS needed feeding every 20 minutes, I just wanted to go to sleep and poor DH would bring this shouty baby into the room and I would just think 'Oh, for FUCKS sake, AGAIN?' I may have said it too blush I Everything hurt-I had stitches, so sitting up was painful, and I couldn't get him to latch on by myself, but we got through it and I fed him for nearly eight months before I went back to work. I'm glad I stuck with it, but did feel pretty shit as a mother for hating it so much at first. It was nice in the end-sometimes even lovely!

Babies get knackered really fast. DS just used to spark out on the floor when he'd had enough. I thought he was bored blush and didn't realise he was tired so much. They're meant to sleep that much.

Cuddling a gorgeous squishy baby and remembering you're his or her mum is just one of the most extraordinary things ever. I still can't get my head round it.

Don't worry about a routine for the first few weeks-as others have said, just work through the hungry/tired/nappy/wind checklist and you'll almost certainly solve the problem.

I used the Gina Ford book when DS was a few months old to get an idea what a normal routine looked like, and followed two of her principles-babies get up at 7 and go to bed at 7, and have a morning nap starting at 9. The rest of it I made up myself (and disagreed with her on a lot of things-DS often had a morning nap of 2 or 3 hours, and she is very strict on naps of 45 minutes!)

Good luck! You'll be fine. And the babies haven't read the books, so don't know what they're meant to be doing-you'll work it out together smile

Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Thu 04-Apr-13 20:26:29

Ah I love this thread! Thanks for all the responses girls! Congrats to all the new mummies too x

almonds Thu 04-Apr-13 21:30:26

Eleri congratulations on your new baby smile There's a really good board here, Breast and Bottle Feeding. You'll get help with your feeding much quicker there. But definitely agree that the main thing is getting somebody in real life to watch you feed. Babies find it really hard to latch onto rock-hard boobs and the coming off and crying is fairly normal (if worrying and overwhelming!) - the hand expressing might help soften your boobs a bit, and a warm flannel.

almonds Thu 04-Apr-13 21:32:28

p.s. and taking him to bed with him in just his nappy and you in your top off for skin-to-skin contact will encourage him to latch. keep the room nice and warm though! x

multitaskmama Fri 05-Apr-13 00:47:59

Don't worry about routine, just use your time to rest, recover and bond with your baby.

Don't worry about a messy home. You can sort that out when you are upto it.

Breastfeeding or bottle. Totally your choice. I tried so hard to breastfeed but struggled due to not producing enough milk and being very anaemic after C-section blood loss. After one month I combined the two, after three months switched to bottle as baby wasn't get enough milk.

Sleeping? Each child is different. Some sleep 2 hours, some 4 but hardly any sleep more than that. Anyone tells you that may be exaggerating. Ensure baby's feet are close towards cot end. Avoid cot bumpers.

Bathing: Top and tail daily, bath once or twice a week. Babies don't get dirty. They are not on their hands and knees. Just make sure you wipe well in the crease of their neck and behind their ears where milk might trickle into.

Clothes. Buy lots of sleepsuits and babygrows and a sleeping bag is great to prevent baby kicking off blanket in the middle of the night.

TIP: I used to politely ask visitors to wash their hands if they came from travelling on public transport. They will understand. Last thing you want is your newborn getting an infection.

Overall, do what works for your. Listen to advice but it's your choice whether you abide by it. Every baby is different and I'm sure you'll do great with yours. Best of luck x

multitaskmama Fri 05-Apr-13 00:51:16

Oh and a multigym thing where he/she can look up and move his arms and legs about. Will keep baby entertained when you are doing a few chores around them and it will tire them out a little for a better sleep!

pollypandemonium Fri 05-Apr-13 01:29:20

You'll spend about 3 weeks snuggling, after which you might want to venture out.

Do whatever you can to get to know other mothers with babies the same age as yours. It makes life so much easier to be able to share and compare.

Show MIL that you are in charge and perfectly capable. If she offers advice, take it and smile and just play the game. You may need her help if you are isolated so you don't want to put her off.

Remember that the child's father is just as capable of changing nappies as you. As soon as you can, leave him alone with the baby so he can bond and take responsibility on his own. Make sure he looks after you too.

milk Fri 05-Apr-13 09:26:38

Do what is right for you and your baby and no one else!

If you find it better to FF, just do it! If you want to leave your baby in a baby-grow all day, just do it!

BreastmilkCrucifiesAFabLatte Fri 05-Apr-13 12:47:48

Try and relax. Try and enjoy the newness of your newborn.

Don't take the advice to imply that things will necessarily be tough. (For example, you should be offered a lot of help with breastfeeding and in identifying possible PND. This does not mean that you will find breastfeeding hard or will develop PND - most women don't.)

Don't take the advice you are given as a guide to what all newborns 'should' be doing. (For example, my DD only slept on me or in a sling for the first 6 months. It really helped me to consider this as 'just what she did' rather than to be a problem.)

With regard to nappy-changing, it really depends whether you have a boy or a girl grin. (DS was born whilst DD was still in nappies, and it took me a while to work this out..)

mummytime Fri 05-Apr-13 13:05:11

My tips: have a hat even if the weather suddenly gets warm.
Sleep whenever you get a chance.
Have lots of easy to eat food, especially if it can be grabbed and eaten with one hand. Lots of drinks too. Essential as I was always starving when feeding.

It's easy with your own baby, because there is no Mother hovering to tell you you are doing it wrong.

WandrinStar Fri 05-Apr-13 13:53:46

OP I was in the same position as you 9 weeks ago, had never changed a nappy or held a tiny newborn.

There's masses of great advice on here already but this helped me:

1) Get lots of babygrows. DD now lives in babygrows, specifically the ones with the poppers all the way down the front and along the inside legs. They're just so much easier to deal with than any other clothes, especially the sort you have to pull on over their heads (scary stuff with a floppy-headed newborn!). Plus if they nod off during the evening you don't have to wake them up to put them in their jammies, because they're already IN their jammies! DD only wears "proper" clothes now if she's going out visiting...

2) If it's cold and horrible and you don't feel like contending with the shops, don't contend with the shops. Order everything online instead! Plus I found I could bulk-buy wipes, nappies etc online much more cheaply than I could get them in the shops. The internet - yay!!

And enjoy it, as everyone has said upthread, sniff and cuddle them as much as possible, that's the best bit smile

Some awesome advice here - thanks so much for the thread and all the info!

Can I ask a controversial question on this theme too?
What is the ^one^ piece of advice you'd give for ensuring you get the right level of support from DH/OH and ensure he is getting his needs met too? IME men don't always SEE what needs doing and I suspect they might feel isolated from the process quite easily?

TwitchyTail Fri 05-Apr-13 15:07:45

^ Straightforward approach has always worked for me - just ask in a friendly and direct way for whatever you want/need, and show appreciation when he does it. Even if he does it a bit wrong.

Don't wait for him to notice/offer/mind-read, or you'll be a simmering mass of resentment and the washing up still won't be done grin

Taffeta Fri 05-Apr-13 15:25:30

I haven't read all the posts but the single most useful thing that I could have done was actually have someone else's baby ( with them there for guidance ) for a couple of hours, to include a nappy change.

The other thing I wish someone had told me is when they do a poo that leaks and goes all the way up their back, you can pull the vest down over their shoulders and torso ( its why they have envleope necks ) instead of from bottom up, getting poo etc in their hair.

I am another great advocate of wipes, despite advice. I used them on DD from the day she was born, having had a one hour first change in hospital with DS trying to use cotton wool and water.

Taffeta Fri 05-Apr-13 15:27:31

re OH/DH. I would have times you are responsible, and times he is. During their time, the one responsible does everything - nappies, cuddles, etc. So its never one person able to do one thing, and the baby getting used to that one person doing that one thing.

Find a secure, comfortable sling or carrier and use it during the day. I nearly went nuts to start with as dd has reflux so needs to be held upright after feeds. I found it impossible to get a meal, do chores or deal with the dogs. Now I just pop her in the carrier and can cook, eat, clean, dog walk etc without a problem. I feel like I've got my life back!

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