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AIBU to have no idea what to do with my 4 week old...

(60 Posts)
Binglesplodge Sat 08-Nov-14 20:19:06

... when he's awake?!

For the first few weeks with him, it was a case of changing, feeding, and he'd drop back off to sleep. He wasn't often awake and alert unless he was crying, in which case feeding usually sent him back off to sleep! Obviously as he gets older he is awake and calm for slightly longer periods but I find most of the things I try (cuddling, time on the play mat, time in the bouncy chair, making faces, chatting to him) result in crying within a fairly short time. Then I find myself feeding him to settle him and hoping he'll fall back asleep.

How can I enjoy the awake time? I've begun to dread it because I know it will fairly quickly end in tears. Is it unusual to enjoy feeding and putting baby to sleep but to be nervous of spending time with them when they're awake? I need to figure this out because the awake time will only get longer as he gets older and I don't have any real strategies for filling it...

eurochick Sat 08-Nov-14 20:21:28

You can leave him on the play mat by himself with some things to look at. You don't have to interact all the time.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sat 08-Nov-14 20:23:06

It's odd when they are awake more, as you have been surviving by dealing with them but enjoying them at the same time. They don't need a lot of stimulation at this age as it is too much for them and they cry or get the hiccups. Just talk to them and potter around or pat them.

formerbabe Sat 08-Nov-14 20:24:26

Dont feel too pressured op to think of stuff...I always say 'I'm a mum, not a children's party entertainer!'. You don't need to keep them amused all the time. Have a cuddle on the sofa, watch something you like on TV before you are being forced to watch kids shows all the time!

EatDessertFirst Sat 08-Nov-14 20:24:30

Pop him in his bouncy chair and let him watch you doing jobs eating cake. You are the most interesting thing in the world to him at the moment. Enjoy the fact that he is getting more aware of himself and his surroundings. Also enjoy the fact he can't move around by himself just yet wink

SingSongSlummy Sat 08-Nov-14 20:25:35

Try a bouncy/vibrating chair with a mobile to look at, or the brilliant rainforest swing. Both of these worked wonders with mine when tiny, song with a baby gym.

Pointlessfan Sat 08-Nov-14 20:25:58

I remember feeling exactly like you do! I spent a lot of time singing to her. I also found going to some groups eg baby massage and baby yoga gave me more ideas of ways to entertain her.
Remember that at that age they tire quickly and will be ready for more milk and sleep. It's only a few weeks until they get more interested in things like a baby gym too.
My DD really enjoys going to busy places with lots to look at e.g. supermarket and at the moment she's enjoying Xmas lights in shops.
Also invite lots of people round to play with him!

toddlewaddleflipflop Sat 08-Nov-14 20:27:06

Sounds normal to me. I did time in bouncy chair, sling and just carrying him about while I did jobs.

BlinkAndMiss Sat 08-Nov-14 20:28:33

YANBU, at all! When they're suddenly awake for longer it's hard to get used to. But this is the time you start enjoying them, without having to constantly be doing things like feeding/changing/burping etc. I found using a playmat with an overhead toy bar was great, it's usually just something to stimulate them for a few minutes. We also had one with a light show which was lovely too. Other things like pictures and books with black and white patterns are good too. Then there's just singing and talking while you're going about your business. Only do things for a few minutes, it's easy to overstimulate them and then the crying is worse.

When he starts crying it's probably time for him to go back to sleep, try to catch him before he starts so he doesn't get overtired. The awake time doesn't last long at this age so it might seem that he cries whenever you pop him down, but that's normal. Congratulations on your newborn!

ghostvitruvius Sat 08-Nov-14 20:28:47

Hold him while you watch TV
Put him in a bouncy chair
Sling and go for a walk
Put him on a mat
Have a bath together

Generally they'll only one thing for a few minutes before they start crying though - I would just rotate between arms-chair-sling-mat-feed.

BlinkAndMiss Sat 08-Nov-14 20:29:13

Oh and a bouncy chair is a lifesaver.

gamerchick Sat 08-Nov-14 20:30:15

When he's awake and content.. prop yourself up and bend your legs lying him upright along your legs so he's close enough to see you.

Poke your tongue out at him until he does it back. They all do it back it's proper mint grin

Hedgehogging Sat 08-Nov-14 20:31:27

He's still a bit too little to get much out of books/rattles/baby mats. At the stage I used to stress that DD was getting basically no interaction beyond boob! But used to spend time just walking her around the house, narrating as I went-"ooh, we're in the kitchen! Mummy is making toast etc" and then I'd change her nappy again and let her kick her legs in the air a bit. She seemed to quite like that. Also watching me do things for a limited time- so I'd pop her in her chair while sticking a wash on or making a cuppa and yet again narrate what I was doing.

Then I'd give up and stick her on the boob again grin.

Don't worry they get much more into things in a few weeks and you won't find yourself just feeding him for something to do! (Although that really never gets old.)

PulpsNotFiction Sat 08-Nov-14 20:35:12

That's just brought back some lovely memories gamerchick you're right it is proper mint smile

DeadCert Sat 08-Nov-14 20:37:54

It is proper mint gamer chick. Yeah, do that OP. A lot.

Silvercatowner Sat 08-Nov-14 20:39:27

At that age both of mine were mostly either feeding sleeping or yelling. Until they were able to sit up by themselves they were not really amusable - I did try very hard. It was very frustrating but it did pass.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 08-Nov-14 20:43:27

He's only 4 weeks old, just let him be a baby. Leave him to gave tummy time. Play nursery rhyme.

lomega Sat 08-Nov-14 20:47:36

I used to find this odd with my son too! It's like, what does he actually want to do apart from feed, sleep and be clean...?

My answer? Sing to him. I used to chuck Smash Hits or Kiss or Magic or something on the telly and sing along (or hum if you don't know the words). Used to both baffle and settle my ds simultaneously I think! and I think he'll love Fleetwood mac forever now

ThisFenceIsComfy Sat 08-Nov-14 20:48:58

My DS spent a lot of time on my legs like described above while I watched TV. The rest of the time was spent feeding or walking around with him in a sling while he screamed. I used to dream awake time too. Looking back now, I wish I'd just chilled out and enjoyed being able to sit down and watch shit TV.

ThisFenceIsComfy Sat 08-Nov-14 20:49:15

Dread not dream, sorry

TinklyLittleLaugh Sat 08-Nov-14 20:55:33

How old are they when they start doing that really cute thing of working out how their bodies work; you know, staring intently at their hand while they open and close their fingers or rotate their wrist?

I've had four babies , but it's all a bit of a blur to me.

Singmetosleepzzz Sat 08-Nov-14 20:58:05

i would just cuddle pretty much all the time!

Binglesplodge Sat 08-Nov-14 20:59:04

Thank you all - it's a relief to know I'm not the only one! You spend such a lot of time learning to breastfeed, where baby should sleep, etc before birth and nobody really mentions what to do with your baby as it gets out of the survival phase and starts being a proper baby... It's at times like this that I'm so grateful to be doing this in the age of the internet, where mumsnet can come to my rescue - it must have been very lonely for my parents' generation doing this all on their own!

LapsedTwentysomething Sat 08-Nov-14 21:00:10

PM me. I have some Usborne cards which give you ideas for things to do with a 0-6 mth old and a 6-12 mth old. Just little ways of engaging with them really. I've been wondering what to do with them and will happily post them to you.

Binglesplodge Sat 08-Nov-14 21:02:29

Singmetosleep - I don't know if my baby is unusual but he doesn't seem to enjoy cuddling! I think because I smell of milk, even if he's fed very recently if I hold him he begins to root and flail his arms rather than relax. It's a pity - I'd love some awake time cuddles but perhaps he's just a little too young still to have anything other than a feeding instinct when I'm cuddling him. It also means I can't really rock him to sleep - he ends up frustrated that he's not being fed so always ends up feeding to sleep instead. That might change when he's a bit older?

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