What did you struggle with most when you had your first baby?

(197 Posts)
GummyBearGrandad Fri 23-Mar-12 14:32:45

My niece recently gave birth to her first baby and was complaining that no-one told her about the really difficult stuff of being a first-time mum. Such as colic, teething, reflux etc. I'm trying to get her to join Mumsnet as I think she'll benefit from the support so I want to link this thread to her (and it's also why I've changed my posting name so she will recognise it instantly).

So, be honest and tell me what you found most difficult with your first baby and what advice you would give to others.

For me, it was the colic and breastfeeding. I felt under quite a lot of pressure to keep going with the breastfeeding even though it bloody hurt and I got mastitis. I also remember the sleepless nights just walking up and down with her screaming over my shoulder and feeling so very shite, frustrated, angry and helpless. Then feeling guilty that I couldn't stop her from crying.

GreyGardens Wed 25-Apr-12 11:50:25

Boredom, non stop crying baby, and lack of sleep.
I stopped at one! grin

tightwad Wed 25-Apr-12 11:52:12

The bone drenching utter utter unexpected exhaustion
which was almost constant for the first 5 years of my childs life.
Then:
colic...living torture for all concerned
followed by
teething & injections
followed by
worry..about just about everything possible of every minute of every day & night.
The lonelyness, and how long the days are when feeling so alone.

I also remember feeling something akin to hatred towards every woman that i knew who had had a baby and who had not told me any of this stuff.

Its alright now as i have mumsnet smile

ChunkyPickle Wed 25-Apr-12 12:18:05

Like a couple of others, I didn't find the baby himself too bad, it was the adjustment that everything I had to do now, I had to do whilst factoring him in - so I couldn't pop down the shops if he was asleep, I couldn't go to sleep if he was still awake, I always had to be armed with nappies and wipes.

I found it worse once he started eating solids, and I had to remember food/drink as well..

And now he's hit some kind of developmental leap and I have to be watching constantly because he's climbing everything, tall enough to reach the kitchen counter-top etc. TBH this is the most challenging I've found it (20ish months) so far!

yorkieg Wed 25-Apr-12 12:29:37

Oh where to begin.

I remember pacing the hallway in the hospital when DD was 2 days old (and I had had a section) trying to get her to stop screeching and thinking I wanted to give her up for adoption but was too embarrassed. She was just cried and cried and practically all the staff that dealt with us in hospital commented on it. I cried too. No one offered any suggestions though. Looking back it was clear I had PND.

I found the first 6 months relentless. But after I got help for the PND, I stopped being so anxious, toughened up a bit and things became much much much better. It really has gotten better ever since. I hated being a mum before and now I love it and really enjoy spending time with my wee sidekick.

mercator Wed 25-Apr-12 12:30:39

As an older mom it came as a total shock this little whirlwind that entered our lives and I suffered from panic attacks the first night home, but that was possibly due to the drugs post op.

I'd gone from international traveller and career girl to SAHM which to be honest I found quite lonely but you do settle into the role but I struggled as had few friends or family locally.

Lack of sleep is a killer but hearding into my 2nd I now know what to expect and that bit I am dreading!

Also the crying and not going to sleep which can be exhausting especially when you oh is away!

I must say the shock to my body even after a c-section was something I hadn't anticipated but it does bounce back - thankfully.

DialMforMummy Wed 25-Apr-12 12:34:04

Colic was the worst bit for me. Then feeling frumpy and unattractive (that came a few weeks after the birth). Then boredom. I missed work.

cuteboots Wed 25-Apr-12 12:39:32

For me it was the tiredness and the colic as I had never heard a tiny baby screaming that loudly . They never even showed me how to bath or wash him when I was in hospital so thank god my mum was on hand to show me the basics!! I do remember a few nights of thinking oh my god what have I done but thankfully he did start to sleep through the night and I stopped walking around looking like the living dead!

AngryFeet Wed 25-Apr-12 12:39:34

Breastfeeding for me too. I didn't find it painful or particularly hard but she fed every hour for the first year and every 2 hours for the second so I was tied to her 24/7/365. With my son I stopped at 15 months as I needed to get myself back! (I bfed her up to when he was born so it was non stop for over 3 years).

troutpout Wed 25-Apr-12 13:14:27

All of it
Pnd,Loneliness, boredom..the endless dreary days of screaming and sleeps and nappies and the strain of pretending it was all ok.
<<shudder>>

parques Wed 25-Apr-12 13:30:05

Going back to work f/t when DS was 5 months old. Ended up exhausted with PND
sad

That heart stopping moment of realisation that your life and you as you knew it has gone. There is life before and life after having a child. The overwhelming responsibility of being a parent is too enormous to explain to anyone that does not have children. I asked my OH to take ds to live at his parents after about two weeks as I just couldn't imagine doing it for one more second and ds was a pretty easy baby. Luckily my OH realised that I needed more support and I was diagnosed with pnd and things improved a lot after about 3 months. I joined ^an ante and post natal group on here which was brilliant and the advice I got really saw me through sometimes.

I couldn't imagine my life without ds now, he is incredible and I feel so lucky but in those early days, wow, I felt differently.

Get your dn on here now, it should be recommended by midwives, health visitors and gps!

LillianGish Wed 25-Apr-12 13:37:01

Sleep deprivation and never being able to have a lie in to catch up. Neither of mine were even particularly bad sleepers - I just hadn't realised how relentless it would be.

Treadmillmom Wed 25-Apr-12 13:38:30

Trusting my own maternal instincts!

Listen to your inner voice and your heart - you're the mummy, only YOU.

What NeedToSleep said. DS is 4months and I can barely remember what it was like to do what I wanted when I wanted.
The fact that childless friends can't understand that just because you've palmed the DC off on someone does not mean you're able to do anything other than sleep.

issimma Wed 25-Apr-12 13:39:47

Breastfeeding, boredom, sleep deprivation.
DD is pretty much a toddler now, and it's much easier, although I still find it challenging sometimes.

Colic. There were a couple of times I had to put ds down on his cot and walk away as my temper was fraying and I was seriously worried about hurting him. It sounds terrible now.

The impact on my relationship with exp. He will only admit now (ds 4) that he had no interest in ds when he was a baby. I did everything and it played a major part on our breakup. Without sounding bitter being a part-time father suits him better.

Boredom and loneliness. I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby so everyone else was at work. Ds was prem and got out of hospital end of November. I was told to avoid taking him out and mixing with older kids in those winter months because of the risk of catching RSV. My parents at the time lived abroad and no in-laws.

How ds didn't follow all the developmental milestones. He was ages in catching up so we had the non-feedback baby stage for much longer and of course I worried myself over it, comparing him to other ones his age.

I'm pregnant at the moment and I have to say I'm not looking forward to it the same way I did with ds and am feeling a bit of trepidation towards the baby months. For me the baby stage is something to be borne blush

Sleep deprivation, loneliness and loss of freedom.

Iggly Wed 25-Apr-12 13:44:40

I got bored...

Also DS had silent reflux. and went on nursing strike for months. And couldn't have formula without being sick so that wasn't an option for me.

Getting ready to leave the house was tough but now I've had DD (second one), I didn't bat an eyelid at having to be somewhere for 9am. Baby will be fine! Get a sling, they'll sleep most of the time especially when newborn.

Remembering to eat properly. Again, I didnt feel happy leaving DS to make a proper lunch until he was about 12 weeks old. With DD, into the sling she goes and I cook and eat.

Oh and the baby books, the bloody baby books. Telling you that you should just swaddle your baby, pop them in the cot, lights off and that was it. Er no bedtime is more of a feed, wind, feed, rock, feed some more until they pass out grin

Iggly Wed 25-Apr-12 13:45:50

ballroomblitz I've found the baby stage easier this time around because of the older DS to look after. DD is nearly 5 months now and I'm not sure how that happened!

Longdistance Wed 25-Apr-12 13:47:09

Bf 4 me was a struggle. But am sure the relentless bottle washing, sterilising, making up bottles monotomy is getting 2 her 2. I didn't get any support from my dm, and she was really shitty towards me. My mil helped, and dh was an absolute shit 2, and didn't take his full paternity, and 'worked from home' angry
Colic is was bad in dd2. I tried lots of things, but the best was 2 go see an osteopath, and get dd treated. The earlier the better. It's all 2 do with the birth of baby, and the forming of the skull/bones in babies body after birth. Made the world of difference, and only needed 2 appointments.

revolutionconfirmed Wed 25-Apr-12 13:49:42

Breastfeeding was difficult for me. Nobody yold me that the first few seconds, even with a correct latch, can be painful. I thought I was doing it wrong and since DD1 was a big baby born the health visitors kept telling me she was hungry and to bottle feed. After 4 months of relentless cracked nipples, mastitis, pushy midwives and cluster feeding I gave up.

I struggled with getting out of the door (and still do). Everything took half an hour longer, I was armed for every possibility and it was such a nightmare I stayed home a lot. Now DD1 helps with DD2 i's a bit easier but I still try to run errands/do the school run without DD2 in her pushchair.

issimma Wed 25-Apr-12 13:50:38

I bloody love mn. DM has been making me feel like a right freak for not loving the baby stage!

nickelhasababy Wed 25-Apr-12 13:52:01

i struggled most with trying to find a solution.

okay, DD wouldn't go down in the cot, so because we'd been frightened about co-sleeping, so dh spent ages pacing the room with her.
i'd then feed her and try to put her down again.
eventually, we just decided to try co-sleeping and haven't looked back.

i panicked about a lot of things, in case i wasn't doing them right.

Thanks Iggly Good to hear you found it easier smile I have a lot more support around me this time and ds looking forward to being a big brother but have my eek 'what have I done moments??' thinking back at times.

ragged Wed 25-Apr-12 13:53:46

Sleep. I've always had insomnia issues but it was never a problem in my life until I had kids.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now