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What do you actually do with a baby ?

(77 Posts)
curlyclaz13 Sun 07-Apr-13 20:21:01

I am so clueless ! in terms of a newborn what do you do with them day to day ? I know they sleep a lot need feeding and changing but during the day do you put them in a bouncy chair or their crib ? I don't think I will be holding him all the time ! I have no close friends with children I can ask really. I am going to be terrible !

isitsnowingyet Sun 07-Apr-13 20:29:05

You may be holding them quite a lot! I'm sure someone with more recent experience can advise, but the first few weeks they like to gaze at a face quite close up as they can't focus far away. A newborn is too floppy to put in a bouncy chair, as they need to have their neck and back supported quite well. (But I might be wrong - depends on the chair?)

All 3 of mine liked gentle movement and being more upright than flat, and it did involve holding them quite a bit..

I'm sure you won't be terrible, as it's your own baby and you will find through your own experience what works and what doesn't. smile

icravecheese Sun 07-Apr-13 20:29:17

of course you're not going to be terrible! I have had 3 babies in the past 6 years and with my first, i had NO idea what I was doing - i'd never held a newborn, let alone changed a nappy.

With my first born, I did a lot of browsing around town with baby in pram. During the day at home, baby slept in pram alot, which was parked up in the lounge - I didnt put him up in his crib / moses in his room on his own (mainly because I was a wierdo neurotic 1st time mum who had to regularly check that he was still breathing etc!). I also didnt put him in bouncy chair or on floor playmat until he was at least 4 weeks old, perhaps even 6 weeks, he was just too young to appreciate it really.

I felt like I should've been cuddling / holding him alot more, so spent time doing that, but then he just used to get too used to it & wouldnt settle in moses, so that eventually stopped!
He basically spent at least the first month of his life snoozing in pram in lounge whilst I watched daytime tv / chatted on phone and peeped in on him every 2 seconds 20 minutes smile

JollyPurpleGiant Sun 07-Apr-13 20:33:04

I'm wondering the same thing and I will be having my second in August.

Between feeding, changing and sleeping there's not a great deal of time left. Maybe 20 minutes or so awake at one time. So not much. Cuddle, smile, sing songs.

isitsnowingyet Sun 07-Apr-13 20:35:51

icrave that's a much more practical answer, and probably more helpful. They do sleep a lot - it's true

curlyclaz13 Sun 07-Apr-13 20:37:08

I will not be torturing the poor thing by singing !
do you use sheets on the pram mattress ?

Sunshinewithshowers Sun 07-Apr-13 20:43:45

When are you due?

I wont know what to do either,

Im due in 3 weeks, currently laying on my side on the sofa with a huge dog asleep next to me, with his front paws on my tummy grin

icravecheese Sun 07-Apr-13 20:53:56

my pram mattress came with ready made small fitted sheets - am sure you can buy whatever size you need online. Also, I wrapped a muslin round the pram mattress where baby's head was to lie - they invariable feed, lie in pram, gurgle, them vomit onto nice clean sheet, so having a muslin there means you can whip it out and put a nice clean muslin in its place - just have lots of clean muslins handy!

Oh, and if you don't fancy singing to baby, just chatter away instead - well, you'll be chatting to yourself, but it (a) stops you going mad in your own company and (b) is good to chatter to baby as it should help them start to talk 18months later wink

curlyclaz13 Sun 07-Apr-13 20:56:54

sunshine, I am due in 9 weeks. I spend most of my time lying on the sofa with guardian cat next to me !

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Sun 07-Apr-13 20:59:16

I held DS a lot, he slept in my arms and I watched a lot of telly. When he got bigger I used to put him down on a blanket or play mat so he could stretch and practice rolling. I used to feed from one side, pop him down and go and get myself a cuppa, come back and feed from the other side. Didn't use the bouncy chair all that much. I also went out most days to meet friends or just for a walk.

babyradio Sun 07-Apr-13 21:10:48

I'm due in 7 weeks, been wondering the same thing. Also feel that I'm going to be hopeless.

Everyones so busy frightening you that you'll get a nightmare baby who never sleeps, eats or keeps a nappy clean for more than ten seconds that you forget to worry about the 'rest' of the time!

likelucklove Sun 07-Apr-13 21:15:32

My favourite thing was to have 'conversations' with DD like crave. I would pretend her gurgling were profound answers about all my questions, like what shall I have for dinner? Motherhood doesn't make you insane, oh no wink

Honestly, just appreciate how little and perfect they are, the are running round and causing havoc way too quick. And the snuffling sounds they make for the first week, I recorded them because I miss them so much.

Most of all, YOU take it easy. Don't push yourself to go out and show baby off, just let others do they running round.

AliceWChild Sun 07-Apr-13 21:20:06

Snuggle up in bed with them, gaze at them, take them for walks, sniff them.

Panzee Sun 07-Apr-13 21:23:41

And lose yourself in the snuggly bit on the nape of their neck.

amandasegal Sun 07-Apr-13 21:41:30

i would consider taking a postpartum doula. having one really helped my friend who didn't know a thing about taking care of a baby.
good luck.

Kafri Sun 07-Apr-13 22:36:13

you may find yourself holding dc much more than you think. mine would not be put down at all for those first few weeks. he slept upright on dh and I as he has reflux.
he insisted on being rocked at ALL times! he disliked his pram/chair/swing etc. dont worry, im not trying to put you off - just making the point that you will instinctively know what you need to do and get on with it. You will learn what works for your dc and capitalise on that.
Don't make any rules just yet- wait and see what baby needs as different babies need different things.
mine is just plain awkward - still dislikes most things, will only nap in his cot so days out are awful as he gets too overtired and screeches.

rachywhite83 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:36:38

Reading all this has made me so excited about the arrival of my bundle of joy in 5 weeks !

MortifiedAdams Sun 07-Apr-13 22:39:31

They wake, feed, need their nappy changed, lay in your arms or on your knee while you look at them, lay on their mat (so you can brew up and cut yourself another slab of cake), yawn, go back to sleep. The whole awake time for DD up until at least 6 weeks was 45 mins at a time, followed by a 45min snooze. Daytime, anyways.

VenusRising Sun 07-Apr-13 22:42:11

Well if you get one who sleeps, you could I suppose put him down for naps.
My one didn't sleep much, maybe 20 minutes between feeds, and only about 6 hours at night, so I ended up wearing my little babe in a sling all day pretty much for the first few months. Also holding her, looking into her little face, and massaging her, and sitting on the sofas breast feeding.

Get yourself sorted with online shopping, and get a breast pump.

I used pillow cases for cot sheets, and a growbag instead of blankets, as my little one kicked a lot and would get cold- and wake.

Best of luck.

new newborns really do just feed and need changing.
there's a fair bit of sleeping, too, but not when you think there should be.

I wish i'd not been so worried about it and just accepted the odd sleep patterns. and fed her when she cried while I held her instead of always giving her to dh to calm her down

whirligiggle Sun 07-Apr-13 22:50:44

Dh & I pretty much held Dd for the whole of the first 6 weeks. Recommend you get an insulated, lidded cup for hot drinks or you will die of thirst. All visitors must pay a toll of making you a brew.

mybelovedmonster Mon 08-Apr-13 08:08:28

Use pillow cases for the pram mattress.

StormyBrid Mon 08-Apr-13 08:36:27

I've been wondering this myself, but so far DD (aged four weeks) isn't really awake long enough to need much by way of entertainment. She gets up, she gets fed, we spend a few minutes burping and being upright (helps with the reflux). Nappy change, and she's generally quite happy to lie on her changing mat in the kitchen waving her arms and legs and staring at the clock while I make a cuppa. I talk to her a lot, give her kisses, make her dance, poke her nose and say "boop!" because it's entertaining watching her go crosseyed trying to focus. When she starts yawning, it's swaddle, cuddle, into the Moses basket. The whole thing takes about 45 minutes, then she naps for a couple of hours. When she wakes, the whole thing starts again.

Of course, if you get one of those babies that won't go to sleep, refuses to be put down, or screams a lot for no discernible reason, your days are going to look very different to mine!

Numbthumbs Mon 08-Apr-13 09:02:01

You are going to be wonderful!!!

DS is 10 weeks. For the first fourish weeks there was a lot of sleeping (for him, not me as i also had an 18 month old to entertain) and since then he has been really happy to lie on his colourful play mat for quite a while. I must admit that the mat has been the best investment for both my DCs as they have both been awake quite a bit in the day and as much as its lovely to hold them sometimes you do want a brew and a sit down.

Just relax, accept their sleep pattern and get out for a walk as often as possible, its lovely to give them fresh air (DS sleeps outside in his cosy pram in the day) and all the old ladies come and chat to you grin

frazzledbutcalm Mon 08-Apr-13 09:31:18

You will be wonderful and find your own routine/way.
ds1 - fed, burped, slept in moses basket/pram.
dd1 - fed, cried, burped, cried, moses basket, cried, car seat, cried, pram, cried, bouncy chair, cried, cuddle, cried
dd2 - fed, burped, slept in car seat or bouncy chair as she had dislocatable hips and couldn't lie in moses basket/pram as comfy due to the pavlik harness she had to wear
ds2 - fed, burped, slept in moses basket with no clothes as I couldn't catch up with washing!

curiousgeorgie Mon 08-Apr-13 09:59:25

Personally I did put my DD in a bouncy chair from about a week old.. Maybe slightly less? But it was a well supported one and she was very happy to sleep / sit in there...

Other than that had her curled up on my chest while I watched boxsets (can't remember anything I watched though!) or put her in her pram and walked around the shops. Had a bit of a routine from about a month onwards of taking her to a coffee shop in her pram and reading my kindle for hours.

It was blissful!

And I had never really held a baby before, let alone change one or feed one.. But with your own baby it's different and amazing smile

I still have 10 weeks to go until DD2, I can't wait!!!

TantieTowie Mon 08-Apr-13 10:24:35

First time around, I could really have done with knowing about the Kari-Me sling, since DS didn't like to be put down at all, ever. I had one the second time and basically DD spent a lot of time asleep in it. It was lovely...

Lionsntigersnbears Mon 08-Apr-13 10:34:52

I'm expecting DC2 in 10 weeks and from memory newborns are both horrid and boring. Sorry but its true. They become interesting, fun and brilliant little people and really quickly, but in the first few weeks they somehow manage to be mindbogglingly dull as well as overwhelmingly hard work. I'd take advantage of the baby's relative portability and go do things you'd like to do anyway. There is time enough for Peppa Pig (oh so much of it!). Either that or plonk yourself somewhere comfy, feed away and catch up on your box sets. I spend a lot of time last time breastfeeding in a local cafe chatting away with all the people who stopped to talk to me. It was better than being sat at home for sure! THis time- I'm doing the museums grin

Eskino Mon 08-Apr-13 10:42:39

Newborns require a lot of inspecting. You'll wonder where the day went and at 3pm how come you haven't had time to get dressed yet. Lovely time thieves, babies are!

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 10:43:36

You will find feeding takes up a lot of the day...and night

All my first child wanted to do as a new born was being fed, and being held. So basically I fed him and watched lots of tv while I did it. He was also passed around from one family member/friend to another, because he would scream if left unattended...

Dd was easier, she would feed and then sleep for hours. She was also happy to be left lying on her mat etc, you'd leave her awake contemplating her hands, go to the toilet, come back, and find her asleep.

Ah yes, both my dc loved being taken around in their pram, so I soon developed a routine, where I'd feed them and then take them for long walks, regardless of the weather.

VenusRising Mon 08-Apr-13 11:00:49

Oh am reading this and getting all broody for a newborn!
How exciting for the OP and other preggo posters!

Enjoy your time gazing at your little babes: it's so lovely. Chatting al, the time is very important too: describe what you are doing in detail- like a running commentary.

Make sure you've got the numbers of lactation consultant, or have booked a session with the hospital, and of a good post natal physiotherapist, even if you have a sneeze birth: it's good to get things sorted out.

And accept all help- you can sort out the cutlery drawer in about six months.
Online shopping is a god send.
If you're going to get a cleaner, have her/him come in a few times before the birth, so that you can tell/ show them what you want- you may be too tired to make much sense if you leave it till after!

Take lots of photos too! I still look at little video clips and photos of my babe... I don't remember the tiredness at all now, and it's lovely to see pictures.

Have fun and good luck!

Chunderella Mon 08-Apr-13 11:12:25

Good idea about muslins from icravecheese. DD loved doing stealth vomits when lying in pram or crib- on the rare occasion she would consent to go in either, that is. I'd pick her up, and the back of her head would be covered in either wet sick or dried. Not sure what was more minging.

And yes, I wouldn't worry too much about what to do with them. Newborns have a habit of taking up most of the day. They do have their advantages, though. I remember my auntie telling me that although newborns are hard going in many ways, their greatest benefit is that when you put them down somewhere, they stay there. It's only once they get mobile that you realise how truly wonderful that is.

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 08-Apr-13 11:23:19

My midwife told me I was the most clueless, useless person she had ever seen, dealing with a new baby (yes, I loved her too). But I managed. Baby is now 14! Keep them clean, keep them fed, pray that they sleep (mine didn't, but was very interested in eating), buy a sling so that you can wear them while you get stuff done (like hoovering). Get a good breast pump so that you can pump and someone else can give a bottle while you get some sleep.

VenusRising Mon 08-Apr-13 11:29:15

Tsk mrs schadenfreude. What a cah!
Oh yes to Muslims, more than you ever think you need. And disposable pants in a huge size more than you ever think you need.

VenusRising Mon 08-Apr-13 11:29:38

Auto correct is gorn mad today muslins, I mean.

Purplecatti Mon 08-Apr-13 12:12:13

Muslins are great. If you're preggo and bored by a couple of metres and hem them youself it saves money. Ikea do good cheap packs of them.
The first six weeks of my lo were spent feeding, bum changing and holding. She wouldn't be put down. Normal day for her was:
7am feed. Sleep in with us in our bed
9am feed and bum change. Bit of eye opening and we'd go mad trying to decide what colour they were going to go.
10ish a bath. She loved the bath from day2 and just stretch out all relaxed in it. Then decide what cuteness to dress her in
Half ten to 11 a feed. Maybe a peep at my face and a teeny hobble with the pram. I got a big bouncy ancient coachbuilt and she loved it.
1ish a feed bum change and probably thanks to a poo explosion a change of outfit, 10 mins of eyes open and snooze. I lived in a moby wrap at home. They are great.

I rigged the sofa cushions to support me so I did used to sleep there with her in myarem crook.

Half 2 a feed. Bum change.
Half 4 was cluster feeding every hour until about 9ish and she'd take 45 minutes to feed so more sofa time! And major grumps in the 15 to 20 minutes between feeds. I would get someone to rock her whilst I shoved some food down me.
From then I'd get some open eyes and I'd show her baby vids on you tube and then basket her and grab an hours sleep at a time til morning.
Most of the time you're sat exhausted on the sofa feeding and marvelling at every new thing. Are their eyes going brown? Are their fingernails longer? Are they getting so and sos nose?

abbyfromoz Mon 08-Apr-13 13:40:31

The new born phase is the easiest in my opinion. You can enjoy having time to yourself in between feeds doing all the things you love doing. I went shopping, got my hair done, nails done, numerous coffees! Even went on holiday when she was 6 weeks old. The tiredness is a struggle but the toddler years are more challenging in my experience. You will be great!

SweepTheHalls Mon 08-Apr-13 13:44:35

Feed and watch box sets!

i use muslins to wipe my hands, face, baby's dribble etc.
all the time, even now at 15 months.

SamraLee Mon 08-Apr-13 14:47:57

I held my newborn constantly, if I wasn't holding her, husband was. I suppose I "spoiled" her. I don't even have a pram... but that's just crazy old me! grin

MrsHoarder Mon 08-Apr-13 15:53:22

Held him all day. I occasionally put him down in the moses basket so I could dash for a pee. Then more baby holding. A lot of time sat on the sofa, holding DS.

Occasionally going out for a walk, cooing into the pram or with DS snuggled in the sling (after I'd recovered from giving birth).

IdaClair Mon 08-Apr-13 19:08:52

Give birth, put baby in the sling, insert nipple as required. Get baby out in about 6 months time. Then put it back in when it starts getting mobile and annoying grin

lynsey212 Mon 08-Apr-13 19:13:54

My baby was born 5 wks ago 6 wks early so spent a bit of time in scbu he slept fine there but now home noooo he does not like sleeping in cot/basket/pram etc he sleeps in my arms most of the time ... I keep trying him in basket he has managed an hour then screams the place down ;)
He also makes the funniest noises like a dolphin but apparently that's normal for a prem baby !
I used to work in a nursery yrs ago so thought I was a bit prepared but nothing can prepare u for the lack of sleep lol
I feel guilty sometimes that I have done nothing in the house cleaning wise during the day but master Harry does not like to b left alone so the cleaning will have to wait ;)
My advise is to take one day at a time plans go out the window ... Just relax and enjoy u will b amazed at how much time u spend just looking at your perfect bundle ... Enjoy smile

cooper44 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:31:21

Hi Curly - congrats you must be very excited.
DS2 is six months and I am feeling very nostalgic reading this thread. Unlike PP I loved the early weeks - well every week intact.
1. As everyone has said don't expect that your baby will happily be put down. Neither of mine would. For the first 8 weeks or so I pretty much had to carry them around with me all the time if they were awake.
2. Really try and get to know your baby. With DS1 I missed so many clues - never put him down at the right time for naps etc so he would get over-tired. Second time round from day 1 I was fanatical about getting him to sleep so he's always been a happy camper.
3. If you want to BF then keep the baby near to you/feeding as much as possible to establish everything as quickly as possible. But don't stress if you don't crack it right away - it takes a good six weeks or so I think to really feel very at ease with feeding.
4. Co-sleeping is a godsend. Read up on how to do it safely. I can honestly say I haven't been tired once since having DS2 because he's slept right next to me every night - snacks and goes right back to sleep. Heaven.
5. FILL up your freezer with lots of hearty meals. This week I spoke to a friend with a two week old - she couldn't believe that she didn't even have time to eat with her newborn. It's really important to make sure you get at least one good meal a day and lots of water. Also stock up on snack bars, anything grazable. As someone above said online shopping is a godsend in those early weeks.
6. Stock up on washing powder - you'll not only be doing a ton of baby washing but there's a good chance you'll be puked on several times a day too.
7. I don't know what they are called but we have a sort of fleecy bouncy chair thing that is great for first few months. the more cocoon-y/comfy the better.
8. make sure all your visitors bring you yummy food too - and lots of treats.
9. Don't worry if you live in pyjamas and look a wreck for the first couple of weeks.
10. Line up the box sets and plan on watching a LOT of telly.
ENJOY and good luck.

babybythesea Mon 08-Apr-13 21:50:53

I am due in 10 days and with a very busy 4yo in the house I think it may be very different this time round!

Last time, dd would wake about 7am, I would bring her into bed and feed her, put the radio on (DH would make me a cup of tea before leaving for work, and bring it up - luxury!), and then drowse until around 10.00 when she'd want feeding again, so I'd do that.
Then she'd doze off, I'd get up and have a quick shower, and potter until she woke again and wanted more feeds.
Then we might go out, or I might sit and watch TV or read while she lay in the Moses basket, or on me, or on the playmat (it was a nice big comfy one). When she started to be a bit more awake (at about 4 weeks) I started to lie on the floor next to her while she was under the playgym and bop toys a bit.

But I always spent ages changing nappies, chattering away to her. And loved cuddling her when she was well-fed and sleepy. And suddenly I'd find half the day had gone. I found it hard to get out and do things, but I think that's because I have always been very happy in my own company and was quite content pottering at home. And she was very placid as a tiny baby, which meant she was happy lying in her Moses basket waving her arms and legs around.

She's now grown into a very busy, sociable four year old who wants to know 'what fun are we going to do today?' so I think it may be less quiet, peaceful pottering and more 'Come on kid, we're off out, your sister is going crazy....'

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 08-Apr-13 21:55:04

RachyWhite - I'm the complete opposite to you - reading this has left me feeling panicked again about the arrival of our first baby at end of August. My DH is already excited but I just seem to be going through the motions and doing my best not to think about it because I just get stressed God I sound awful Wonder if the excitement will ever come for me sad

Cuddle, feed, cuddle, feed. Repeat.

Get yourself some cozy pyjamas and a nice blanket for the sofa and stay there.

I carried my baby a lot in the first couple of weeks - get a nice carrier, like the Caboo Close Parent one, it's fab. When you're in house, where it with no clothes/just a bra underneath so you can breastfeed easily.

Make a 'cosy' spot, somewhere for you and the baby to sit. I used a mattress and duvet in the baby's room, with a radio/cd player close by, and a pile of books and magazines and a flask of tea or water, so if baby would only sleep in my arms I could easily just stay there for ages without disturbing him.

Go for at least one walk every day. Two if you can manage it (morning and afternoon).

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 08-Apr-13 22:55:31

Sniff their heads and kiss their teeny toes grin

Rock, pace, walk, feed, wind, feed, rock, cuddle, feed.

You will get the hang of it very quickly smile

Kafri Mon 08-Apr-13 23:06:02

my experience was totally different to how I expected it to be.
I was looking forward to strolls to the park and lazy boxset days cuddled up with my tiny bundle but no - I got the baby who didn't like to sit cuddled in my lap or be pushed along in the pram.
I had to bounce him CONSTANTLY for the first 8 weeks at least. even now at 15 weeks he does not like to sit still - has to be on the move and still cries in the pram/car so tends to be carried.
its been hard work and I truly mean HARD.
but, hes my ds and I love him regardless-as will you, however your experience goes.x

IdaClair Mon 08-Apr-13 23:15:54

I say enjoy the freedom and get out and about, nothing much changes you just have an etra person with you and a nappy in your handbag. It's a good time to do all the things you want to do whenever you want to do them before the baby wants constant entertaining or you can't take your eye off them for a second or finish a sentence before they've eaten an electric wire, or before you're tied down to home and bedtimes and all that stuff. For the first few months I try to make the most of that freedom and do lots of going out for dinner, nights out (baby friendly ones of course) cinema, events, lunch with friends, nights at friends houses etc, before you know it it'll be all CBeebies characters and you don't get a chance to go see a proper film or can't go to a nice restaurant because the 6 month old will throw ricecakes all over the floor. Or go see your friends because the baby is asleep in its cot. They're so portable when they are small don't waste the time sitting at home with some idea that your newborn has to go to bed at 7pm.

scaredbutexcited Tue 09-Apr-13 09:36:44

This is a great thread. I was wondering the same (due this week sometime).

I have spent ages planning the birth and decorating the nursery but working until now so hadn't really thought about what to do with a baby. Then realised I didn't have a clue and paniced!

My first too so can't advise from experience but I am trying to stock the freezer and have set up some online shopping orders to come in so at least we have the basic fresh stuff.

Really confused with the sleeping part. Are we just meant to let them sleep whenever they want to or do others actively try to get them to nap?

Just let them sleep whenever to begin with. Newborns often sleep for 18 hours a day during the first few weeks. Once they get a bit bigger, you can start introducing a routine if you like.

BB01 Tue 09-Apr-13 11:40:23

This thread is hugely helpful and has really made me excited about the early stages (with an underlying caveat that things may not be that lovely for everybody e.g. if baby has colic or you have PND).

I think I wanted to ask the same question as OP did but was too worried! I feel like I now know about childbirth inside out but about looking after a baby? No clue.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Tue 09-Apr-13 12:47:39

I have a 17 week old DS. And quite honestly, I did hold him an awful lot still do

You might want to think about a sling. It means you can continue doing things and baby still has the closeness.

They do sleep lots, so maybe have a Moses basket handy too.

I found he was just too tiny to put him in a chair until he was a little older.


HTH grin

LadyMaryCrawley Tue 09-Apr-13 13:07:12

Sniff their head
gaze at each other
marvel at what you've grown
Follow their lead in terms of feeding and sleeping
laugh when they fart
Talk to them
give them millions of cuddles
Eat cake for breakfast at 2pm if you have to
Aim to leave the house at least once a day, but it's also nice to put the heating on and stay on the sofa when it's freezing out

Oh and when you get home from hospital, enjoy opening all the lovely card and parcels that come through the door for the next three weeks!

beginnings Tue 09-Apr-13 16:01:38

A lot of babies, a lot, when newborns, cry in the early evening. Don't worry about it - it interferes with dinner time which is inconvenient - they grow out of it more quickly than you think.

I agree with the head sniffing, gazing, etc., etc. My DD was a "didn't want to be held" one though so that's ok too. She still doesn't like being manhandled when she's tired - just wants to be put down to sleep.

GettingGoing Tue 09-Apr-13 18:05:31

Like the others say, you may be holding him a lot! I fed for hours and hours and hours for the first few weeks.

It also used to take me about an hour to change a nappy, so that was another 8 hours of the day gone!

You'll be fine. Just enjoy it, because it's a completely different story with a newborn and number two/three etc.

Armi Tue 09-Apr-13 21:53:03

I was constantly on the go. I wish I'd spent more time just snuggling - I was always zooming off with the pram to walk the dog or whizzing off to meet up with people. I wish I'd just stayed in bed with her and cuddled.

Many people have mentioned how much newborns sleep, and it is true they do need to sleep for the majority of the time. However, in some cases sleep is something that is hard to attain. My DD is 5 weeks and for the past three has not slept well at all. Every minute of sleep has to be coaxed out of her through hours of rocking and walking. I carry her in a sling all day every day as it is the only way that she will sleep and I can do anything essential such as eat. I personally get virtually no sleep as I obviously can't nap if I am carrying her and she is up with colic most of the night.

I'm not complaining, as I love every minute with her, but it is best to realistic as a model baby that wake for feeds then goes to sleep nicely in a moses basket shortly afterwards is not necessarily what you will get!

CheerfulYank Tue 09-Apr-13 22:57:48

My DS was born in a blisteringly hot summer, so I used to take him for a walk at 5/6 a.m. as it was the only time it was cool enough.

Then I'd feed him, change him, talk to him...hold him while I watched every single episode of 6 Feet Under.

He had a low slung bouncy chair that he loved to sit in while I did things around the house.

DC2 will be here next month and it won't be nearly so relaxed because I'll be doing school runs, etc.

formicaqueen Tue 09-Apr-13 23:04:37

expect to hold them and feed them constantly and get little sleep.

LadyMC you made me laugh, that's exactly what I do all day!. Plus I sing a shitload of nursery rhymes and stick my tongue out at him 1000 times a day.

Droflove Tue 09-Apr-13 23:25:17

A newborn is classified as the first month only I think. If you are wondering about that, I would say one thing to be aware of is that they give nothing back at first except dirty nappies and often a lot of inconsolable roaring. Don't be shocked by this and it's not a reflection of your ability. Expect to still be very emotional at this time. I spent a lot of the first month very anxious and/or crying. I wish someone had told me of how tough the physical recovery was going to be, that was another surprise. But then suddenly he/she will smile around 6 weeks and then it starts to become more like 'looking after a baby' rather than just firefighting. You will start to see patterns in their eating, sleeping and even crying and you will know what to do with them when. They will respond more to you which is a huge relief and makes being a mum actually feel like being a mum.

My little fellow basically at from 6 weeks cried when he wanted fed or to sleep. I recommend you offer food first, quiet sleepy environment and arm rocking second. If the baby is content, chat to it and try it in a bouncy chair. The day will take care of itself.

VenusRising Wed 10-Apr-13 00:12:01

Oh yes, you will cry and cry. I think it's just a way of getting rid of excess water or something!
Get a lovely box of tissues, or a muslin!

Book yourself a massage for those aching shoulders, and do some weight lifting now for your upper arms to strengthen them. I also had a baby who was happier in my arms, and I can remember the pain...... I got a lovely sling in the end and wore my babe all day every day- even went to the loo with her strapped to me.

Be prepared for massive arguments also with your partner- sleep deprivation is a torture method for a reason.... Don't try and out do each other with I'm more tired than you antics... Life's too short, just be kind to each other.

Yes yes to filling up the freezer, and yes yes to taxing all visitors with dinners and cups of tea.

If you can, get a dishwasher if you don't have one, and a tumble dryer is very useful too.

Even if you plan on breast feeding, get a few bottles and a steriliser... you never know if you'll need a bottle of formula now and then.

Most of all, slow down and cuddle your babe, and recover from the birth.

CalamityJ Wed 10-Apr-13 02:45:30

Agree with Drolove re looking after a baby vs firefighting. My DD is 6 weeks & the first month was hard with the lack of sleep and constant cycle of sleep/eat/nappy/cry/sleep etc. However, when she smiled at me at four weeks (rather than her pooing face) and seemed to recognise it was me smiling at her it changed everything. So expect the unexpected, go with whatever your DC wants. Don't even think about a routine as you will only be frustrated and disappointed when it goes out of the window. Listen to other people's experiences but don't expect yours to be the same. Yours might smile at three weeks or seven weeks it really doesn't matter. Keep them safe I.e. when changing or sleeping. Get help STRAIGHTAWAY if you're struggling with breastfeeding as it will not get better on its own. I went to a BF counsellor after 1 week and I wish I'd gone after 5 days. Always pull the ruffles out on the legs of the nappies or they leak (no one told me!) Huggies Pure wipes are better than the freebie Pampers ones you get in your Bounty pack. Wipe the creases at the top of their legs as poo hides in there. For the first month you cannot cuddle them too much but if you do want to get stuff done buy a sling. However, don't expect it to be the solution to all your problems as sometimes they won't want to go in it for absolutely no reason. Do take it VERY easy the first week esp after a c-section. If you take iron tablets get yourself some Lactulose and/or Fybogel before you get bunged up too much. Eat whenever you can as you'll need the energy esp if BFing. Your baby will feed as long as it wants 10/15/20/25/30 etc minutes. There's no "right" amount of time. Mine feeds for 20 mins in the main but it was 30 before bed tonight and just done an 8 minute feed (hence on MN waiting to see if she wants more!)

Here's my final piece of wisdom: listen to everyone else's advice...and then do what feels right to you. There is no 'right' way to do things (well within reason of course) but you'll get to know what works for you and your baby. Some love bouncing/rocking; some hate it. Some love being swaddled; some hate it. Yes it's trial and error and when you get it 'wrong' (note the inverted commas as it's not really 'wrong' just something that doesn't suit your baby) try something else till your baby starts doing what you think it should be doing e.g. Burping/sleeping/eating. Enjoy the magical first few weeks of being a Mummy and use MN to keep you sane!

MrRected Wed 10-Apr-13 04:18:44

I have to be honest and say that you should be prepared for the fact that you may feel overwhelmed - and not necessarily in a good way. With DS1 I was totally freaked out for about 12 weeks until I got into the swing of things. Never having had somebody totally reliant on me was a total shock to me.

So what I did was I surrounded myself with other mums (joined a group of 1st time mums) and got myself out and about.

A typical day would consist of housework/feeding/bathing/nappy changes, a long walk, listening to music (lots of different stuff, not all baby-ish), a visit to the library, a meet-up with post-natal group. If DS wasn't in my arms, he was in his rocker or on the playmat (from about 4/5 weeks of age).

emmyloo2 Wed 10-Apr-13 08:09:44

I must confess my experience wasn't quite as blissful as others'. I really really was overwhelmed and found it all very difficult. My baby didn't sleep that well during the day and I found it quite difficult just to take them out and about because of nap times and trying to get him to nap in the cot etc. I really didn't enjoy my maternity leave at all. I also didn't expect the sheer relentless of it all. It's day in and day out, 7 days a week. Even now my son is 2.5 and it's still relentless. I am expecting DC2 in 6 weeks and must confess I am slightly dreading it, although hopefull this time I will be more relaxed and go with the flow a little.

beginnings Wed 10-Apr-13 21:19:31

Brilliant post CalamityJ

purrpurr Wed 10-Apr-13 21:44:04

Thank you for posting this OP, I'm 36+3 and the reality of having a proper real live baby has started to settle on me, oh my god, panic stations!!! Now when dd-to-be wakes me by turning/kicking in my tummy at 5am, I lie there thinking, 'maybe I need to wash her things again. Are they definitely soft enough? Did I use enough softener? They might still be scratchy. A baby's skin is 7 times thinner than an adults, you know. Oh god, what if I'm putting on a bodysuit and a corner of my nail rips her skin oh god oh god oh god quick file the things, do it now, no don't do it right now, it's five o'clock in the bloody morning, get back in bed...' aaaaargh roundthebenditis.

MrsHoarder Thu 11-Apr-13 07:21:40

Purr my real life ds has never had his clothes washed in fabric conditioner, we minimise chemicals next to his skin and cotton Jersey (that he spends 99% of his time in) is soft anyway. Just wash in minimal amounts of non-bio powder and stain remover spray

GizzaCwtch Thu 11-Apr-13 07:34:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GizzaCwtch Thu 11-Apr-13 07:40:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bohoec Thu 11-Apr-13 07:51:20

OP and other new mummies, the old adage that your instinct will take over is so true, so long as you let it! Don't read too many baby books and just go with the flow for the first few weeks. Make sure your baby is fed, clean & dry, comfortable, feels secure and loved and you won't go far wrong. Try not to let the baby get too hot or too cold, which you won't if your house is usually at a fairly normal temp. Let them get fresh air and sunshine - take them for a walk in the pram. The teeny baby days will over before you know it!

VenusRising Mon 15-Apr-13 00:05:09

Snap Gizza!
Crying and crying for Europe!
And feeling soooo very tried.

And having rows, until we both decided we were sleep deprived and crazy!

But that little smiling face was fab.
(Stills is)

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