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AIBU to think that very few people have a realistic expectation of what it is like to have a newborn?

(233 Posts)
CrispyCrochet Mon 24-Feb-14 08:50:26

My DS1 is only 2.5 months old and while pregnant everyone was dishing out advice and they continue to do so. Yet, even with all the advice I was given I still had no clue what I was in for. Yes, I knew that newborns slept a lot, ate and pooed but what I did not realise was that they would

a) breastfeed near enough constantly for those first couple of weeks
b) only sleep on me
c) how intense on demand BF would be

I posted several posts on MN along the veins of "Help! My 15 do baby won't settle" or "4 week old won't sleep in his moses basket" and "6 week old is BFing for HOURS is this normal?"

So AIBU to think that midwives/friends/family don't actually prepare us for this sort of thing? I see posts on MN literally everyday with someone asking those exact same questions. I know that some people will have newborns who happily go off to sleep in their moses baskets yeah right or what have you but is it fairly safe to say that most newborns only want mummy and no manner of tricks/tips can really get them to change - only time. All this nonsense about "routines" - can we all just agree that it is pretty much pointless until the baby is a wee bit older??

Should it be up to the midwives to actually give us a bit more of a real world perspective on what it is likely to be like with a newborn? I say this as my DS has essentially been in my arms since 11pm last night having slept in his moses basket for all of 3 hours & is currently sleeping on my lap with a boob in his mouth. shock

<ponders> Maybe they did tell me it would be like this and I didn't listen...

<crosses fingers that it isn't ^just me^>

StealthPolarBear Mon 24-Feb-14 08:51:39

No yanbu
I dont think you knoq what you do all day

givemeaclue Mon 24-Feb-14 08:51:58

Yanbu. Ante natal classes should include a chance to chat to someone who has a new born

PikaAchooo Mon 24-Feb-14 08:53:42

Got to admit I didn't have any of the problems you mention... It could just be the people you spoke to had different experiences.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 24-Feb-14 08:54:35

I agree, they sould tell you about how little newborns sometimes sleep and how often the feed. Also that its perfectly normal for a 4 month old to be still waking at night. And that this doesnt mean they need baby rice, it wont help at all.

EmmaBemma Mon 24-Feb-14 08:55:02

I think it was different in ye olden days when more people lived in extended family groups and so had lots of experience with other people's newborn before becoming parents themselves. When I had my first daughter at 29 I'd never so much as changed a nappy. The midwives in the hospital showed me how to do that, and how to bathe her. It was all a total culture shock - those first weeks were the most traumatic of my life!

EmmaBemma Mon 24-Feb-14 08:55:18

*other people's newborns

GingerMaman Mon 24-Feb-14 08:56:15

Yanbu. I wish I was told how difficult it could be. But having said that, I don't like telling pregnant friends about it as I don't want to scare them, as they may have a completely different experience.

Normalisavariantofcrazy Mon 24-Feb-14 08:58:06

I don't know. I knew I was going to be exhausted and I knew I was not going to be my own person again and I knew that my days would be monotonous and dull for a while.

Knowing that isn't the same as experiencing it though.

fiatpandababba Mon 24-Feb-14 08:58:21

No one mentions that without sleep that me and my dh would take the opportunity to fight to the death over "everything". I feel so sad looking back that we fought so much during that wee babba time.

2beornot Mon 24-Feb-14 08:59:25

It's tricky though. Yes you could have exposure to real
Life newborns, but if you'd met mine you'd have no idea what yours would be like (as I'd never had these problems) and then you would be worried that it wasn't "normal". Internet forums have such a breadth of experiences, that there will be someone going through what you are and can help or just reassure.

Also if everyone was totally truthful we'd either ignore them as scaremongering, start an Aibu about unwanted advice or not have babies at all!!

notthegirlnextdoor Mon 24-Feb-14 08:59:27


By the time I had my third child I thought I knew it all and was prepared.

Totally wasn't.

Its like you forget how demanding and exhausting it is.

fiatpandababba Mon 24-Feb-14 09:00:47

I had such a romantic view of it all. But after 13 months of no sleep - it stops being romantic. I should say that we're at 15 months now and we've been sleeping for 2 months. Feel like a changed woman.

CloverHeart Mon 24-Feb-14 09:01:04

I think even if we all got together, wrote a collective book about newborns and first time parents everywhere scanned through it with a fine toothed comb...... we still wouldn't be prepared.

AShowerOfBastards Mon 24-Feb-14 09:01:21

Absoloutely YANBU, the perception and the reality are staggeringly different in a huge amount of cases.

I struggled with, luckily mild, PND after dd1 was born and I really think it was down to how much of a car crash my life seemed to become, I remember just sitting up at 2am holding my 3 day old baby with my boobs out and failing repeatedly to put her down and I just though oh fuck what have I done sad

I'm lucky I got though it and the knowledge helped massively when dd2 was born, but definitely I had no idea what was coming first time round.

How is best to tell people though, no one wants to feel lectured when pg and I feel reluctant to be too brutal with my own truth as it could be quite scary to a mum to be. Agree more info is needed just don't know how its best done.

Casmama Mon 24-Feb-14 09:01:36

Either people don't want to scare you or they just don't remember. I am due dc2 in July and what you are saying is definitely ringing bells but dc1 is 4 1/2 so I think I've forgotten most of it - especially the sheer relentlessness of it.

Annakin31 Mon 24-Feb-14 09:02:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrispyCrochet Mon 24-Feb-14 09:03:06

I knew I would be tired - in fact, I expected to be more tired than I have been. I just feel like I thought once the baby falls asleep I'd be able to put him down to sleep but that just isn't the case & I see that it just isn't the case with so many people on mumsnet.

I fear that in RL people lie or fib about their baby's sleep patterns because so many people give you the judging eye if you tell the truth or offer incredibly unhelpful advice like to let you 7 day old baby cry it out.

I would not be afraid to "scare" my future pregnant friends but I will definitely be gifting people slings as presents instead of yet another baby grow because I would be getting bed sores on my ass from how much I'd be stuck to the sofa otherwise.

WhispersOfWickedness Mon 24-Feb-14 09:04:29

I think we are told! It just goes in one ear and out of the other, or we convince ourselves that our PFB is not going to be like that grin
Also we hear it but because we haven't experienced it, it doesn't actually mean anything. Yes, I knew that newborns get up a lot in the night, but nothing could have prepared me for the bone-crushing exhaustion that that causes, especially on top of just having given birth, establishing breast feeding, etc etc.

Sparklingbrook Mon 24-Feb-14 09:05:17

I wish someone had told be how excruciatingly painful breastfeeding can be.

This was 1999 but my antenatal classes talked a lot about labour and birth but didn't go much further. The first 6 weeks after having DC1 I seriously wondered what on earth i had done.

Flumpy2012 Mon 24-Feb-14 09:07:31

I think I was actually very lucky, I had a complicated pregnancy and therefor prepared myself for a complicated baby. I also got all the stories of sleepless nights, how difficult breastfeeding can be, how when you're tired you can still hear the baby crying in your ears even if they're not!

Luckily this preparation for the worst helped a lot, although not easy we did establish breastfeeding, DD did sleep 7 hours through the night from 6 weeks and even now doesn't cry unless there's a reason.

However I'm so glad I was prepared for the most difficult situation as it certainly made me appreciate all this. Of course every baby is different and I think professionals are very big on talking about average babies. Xx

RandomInternetStranger Mon 24-Feb-14 09:08:44

DD was exactly like that but I just went with it and was happy with everything. I decided as soon as I fell pg to just surrender now and accept that this little thing will completely take over my life and if I fight it and get upset that they are not in a routine or that they won't sleep alone or feed when It's convenient for me It was going to be 1000 times harder. I think midwives or antenatal classes do need to better prepare mothers to be but I think the best piece of advice would be give up now!! You are NOT going to win, just go with it! smile

Ifcatshadthumbs Mon 24-Feb-14 09:08:50

Actually what I really wish I had been told is to appreciate how lovely it is to have your first and to make the most of it because you never get to enjoy your second one in the same way as your time is divided. I found the leap from one to two so hard and ds2's baby days went by in a blur.

Yes first babies are a shock to the system but enjoy enjoy enjoy

NoArmaniNoPunani Mon 24-Feb-14 09:09:28

Not sure it's such a good thing to know too much. My brutally honest friends have scared me so much that I'm still not ready for a baby

bodybooboo Mon 24-Feb-14 09:10:15

I don't think anyone can prepare you for the tiredness and torture of sleepless nights.

trouble is the first baby is actually easier because you actually can sleep when your baby does.

with dc4 I had a dh who had 3 days off work and then it was back to school runs/after school stuff/homework and the emotional beds of 3 siblings.

incredibly hard.

but worth it. grin

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