New mum finding it hard...any advice please(41 Posts)
New on here. My dd is just over 2 weeks so I know it's early days but I feel that I am really finding it tough to adapt. She is a much wanted baby and we went through a lot to have her and I feel that I should be much more grateful and enjoying it.
I just feel so lost and have no idea what I am doing. At the moment she will feed loads...have moved mostly to formula but doing bf during the night. But after feeding, night or day, she's calm for about ten minutes then just will not settle. She is crying, flailing her legs really agitated. This can go on for an hour or more and we have to do everything possible to get her to sleep.
I just feel like all she does is eat then cry till will manage to find something that gets her to sleep. Am worried that we are already teaching her bad habits eg that we either feed her to sleep or rock her to sleep.
Am not enjoying new motherhood at all and if I am honest have had times when I have wondered if I have done the right thing having a baby..feel awful admitting that because I have bonded with her and I do love her but I do miss my pre baby life.
Can anyone offer any advice about whether we are doing the right or wrong thing and whether the way I am feeling is normal.
Thank you in advance x
I have never cried so much in my life than during the first few months of my baby's life. But I've never laughed so much, or been so happy, than during the time since then. It gets so so so much better. Think of it as walking up a mountain - you're getting there!,
Irish, I completely agree with everything everyone has said on here. With my DS1 the worst things I did were (1) to compare my DS1 with other children of a similar age whose parents would all be saying he/she sleeps through the night and is an absolute angel (I have since found out this was all a complet load of rubbish anyway) and (2) checking what my little one "should" be doing in books and online and then worrying/trying to force him to do it. We both became far happier when I just accepted that he wasn't going to do what he 'should' and decided that we would both just go with the flow! The simple facts are all new mothers feel at times like they can't cope and have to have a good cry - that's completely normal. It is also completely normal for newborn babies to cry - alot. Don't panic I am sure you are doing a great job and just try to enjoy the special snuggle time you get with a newborn. As for getting them to sleep I firmly believe that you should do what it takes - after all they need their sleep and you need a break! I used to walk my DS1 round and round till he fell asleep. One night when he woke at 3am I counted and I did 76 laps of the bedroom before he fell asleep again!!
I promise it gets easier. I posted an almost identical message about 12 weeks ago (when DS was about 3 weeks old).
As he's got older all of the problems slowly started to get better.
We're now at the stage where he (very nearly) sleeps through the night and DH and I get a few hours to ourselves every evening to eat dinner and watch a bit of tv. DS also smiles, coos and plays which makes it all much nicer as well. I also said I wasn't enjoying being a mummy and now I love it .
Everyone's kind advice on here really helped me too. x
Congratulations on tge birth of your little girl
Dont worry about bad habbits, at this stage do what works for you and her ( I say this with my 8 month old napping on me, they are only small for a really short time)
I second the poster who suggested a sling, ds lived in the Moby wrap tge first couple of months.
Are you getting lots of skin to skin? I found that really relaxed ds and lifted my mood when I was feeling down.
At 2 weeks post birth I was still very hormonal and emotional, I did find that the only time I felt ok was whilst breastfeeding. One ray the cloud of emotion just lifted and I felt normal again!
It sounds like you are a great mum, really trying your very best
Hope you're doing ok irish
I noticed you said again that your dd cries a lot after feeds... afaik this isn't the norm for newborns and it does suggest she has either trapped wind or reflux.
If this doesn't improve, and if getting burps up doesn't seem to relieve her, do go and speak to your GP about whether she might have silent reflux. If the GP thinks it is reflux, medication can help enormously (gaviscon is usually given first but ranitidine is a lot more effective).
Hi both my children had this and it was because they could NOT tolerate ordinary milk. try switching to soya. Its the fat in milk some babies find hard to digest. there is nothing wrong with proper baby soya (boots) good luck
Soya formula is no longer recommended by the NHS by the way, so I wouldn't switch to soya formula without checking with GP/HV first. Here's the NHS page about soya formula:
Yes, it can feel like an endless drag of wake, feed and struggle for ages to get them back to sleep and then start the cycle all over.
What meandtheboys has said reflects a lot of what I would have posted.
It really can be about survival. But, every day you are on track to getting to a time when you get a smile, a quiet time, a cuddle, an easy night, an easier day....a little "chat" .......it's worth it. No-one told me how tough the early days can be and it really knocked me.
Keep posting on here and just tell yourself "it will get easier" "it will be worth it"
Irish, I felt the same way in those first few weeks. My DH did too. No one had told us that we would have to do shifts in the first few weeks to ensure we could sleep, that she wouldn't sleep anywhere but on us until she was 3 weeks old. Family were hysterical and pushing us to take her to a doctor. I then read loads of threads on Mumsnet where people had exactly the same experience. Personally I think the body releases a bucketload of hormones after the baby hits a certain age so you forget the horrors of the early days, meaning you intentionally go on to produce further children and also you don't warn your friends off doing it.
Our DD is now nearly 14 weeks and I feel lighter in myself (history of depression here also so was watching myself like a hawk) but also that initial bond that was perhaps an invisible string between me and her is now like a bridge made out of cement, it is indestructible. As soon as she started smiling back, between 6-7 weeks, it's like somebody turned the lights on, full whack. Her smile still makes me teary at times.
Previously I was terrified by my own capacity for misery. It seemed bottomless. Now I see that was a drop in the ocean compared to the feelings of love and wonder and bewilderment I feel on a daily basis now. It's hard, but you talk about it, you let yourself cry if you need to get it out (crying is normal and OK!) and you ask for support and help.
Ooh forgot to say, and perhaps this is the reason that I sound so nauseatingly happy in my previous post, over the past 7 days we have risked catching up on a new series of our favourite TV show that aired quite a while ago but has been sat on our Sky box unwatched and taunting us. Aside from having to pause it on Sunday night following a fountain of vomit (as a side note, do treat yourself to some nice clothes, if you need any for the transition from maternity gear back to pre-preg clothes, and get two pairs of jeans so it doesn't matter if one is covered in vom!) we have managed to have a few nights catching up on a great series with a glass of wine or two whilst our daughter slept happily.
Keep posting x
You sound like a great mum in that you're trying so hard to do the right thing for your little one. I agree with everyone else - ditch the baby guru books. I've never yet come across a baby that conforms to their ideals but know plenty of mums who've felt bad after reading them. The only book I found really helpful was Your Baby Week by Week. It doesn't try to push any particular theory or viewpoint but rather explains what you can realistically expect each week within the large range that is 'normal', and also what isn't normal and therefore needs professional attention. It has lots of advice for things such as colic and teething, and has a very easy-to-read format for the seriously sleep deprived.
It will get easier. For me, I found that when DS started to smile it made a huge difference. It felt like he was acknowledging all my love and hard work and a two way relationship was beginning to emerge.
Congratulations! It sounds firstly like you are doing an amazing job already and secondly, that what you are going through is something many of us have shared. Lots of supportive comments but I wanted to add a couple of cents for what it's worth....
1) try not to put too much pressure on yourself, easier said than done but for the first 3m try not to think too far ahead, as others said it's too soon for any habits. If I am honest? It will get harder before it gets better... 6 weeks is v optimistic although some people do see a big change then. Expect the settling to come around 12 weeks (for us it was 10) and you're less likely to be let down. You WILL get there though and it IS worth it!!
2) trust your instincts more than (sorry...) your HV. I know so many people who have turned to HV at vulnerable times and been terribly let down. I know some can be amazing but don't take their word as gospel, try to find a small community of other new mums if you can (even online) and always believe in yourself and your instructs. No one knows baby better than you, even if you think you don't know parenting yet!
3) don't forget your own health and needs, if you start to feel more pressured or down than you expected to or feel is manageable, talk to your HV or even better, doctor. They are ALL there to support you.
Good luck xxx
You're probably in bed now, but as a Canadian MNer who has been there as recently as a year ago, I can tell you that YOU.ARE.NORMAL.
And a good mum. The fact that you want to be the best you can for your baby means you are.
The first weeks are hard. Think of it this way-your body just went through a major trauma. If this were appendicitis, no one would expect you to be 100% and be in any kind of groove.
Or, if this were a new job, you'd still be on probation. It would be EXPECTED to make mistakes, ask questions and feel lost.
As someone who is a compulsive reader and worrier, my best advice is this: Just stop reading. Whenever you
feel like reading, cuddle your baby. You made something amazing. Enjoy every single moment with your baby. She's been long awaited, so you've every right to hold and snuggle her as much as possible.
I would also agree with previous posters. One thing that helped me was to try and get out of the house everyday! Even if it was just for a 15 minute walk with baby in sling. If you have a garden could go out there for ten mins. Fresh air helped me and the baby and you might be able to stop in a coffee shop to get a drink while they sleep
Good luck xx
My DD (PFB) is 3.5 weeks and I've ha v similar issues with fussing and flailing arms. I started this thread which has some great advice.
Even in the last week I feel slightly more in control and slightly more confident too - it was such a shock to the system! I second the advice to go out, even if just to walk to the end of the street and back til you have the confidence to walk around town and go for a coffee...
Good luck, relax and be good to yourself
My DD is 5 1/2 weeks. Already things are easier. You are doing fine, just do whatever you need to to get through, as others have said.
I second above about going out, apparently some sunlight in the afternoon also helps them sleep at night (obviously done safely)
The thing that really helps me when she is crying for no reason I can determine (ie, clean fed winded right temperature etc) is to think that sometimes she just needs me to be there for her while she is crying. If I know everything important is done this helps me cope, otherwise I start to feel I must be missing something/there's something wrong with me etc, when sometimes there is nothing to fix but to cuddle them and make them feel secure.
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