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To feel like I'm neglecting my baby

(53 Posts)
MadAboutFourteen Sat 21-May-16 22:35:50

I have a 3 month old and I'm suffering with PND so I know this is skewing my perception slightly.

But whenever I put my baby down on her playmat or in her swing, and watch TV or fiddle on my phone, I feel like I'm neglecting her.

I never ignore her if she cries and if she gets fractious I go and sit with her or pick her up for a cuddle. But I can't shake this irrational feeling that I'm being a bad mum leaving her to "play" by herself.

My therapist suggested I ask other mums what they do and how they feel. What's the verdict, vipers?

lenibose Sat 21-May-16 22:39:40

I always did this. In fact mine wouldn't be put down. So I would make a cup of tea, put him down and not engage till that cup was done. Less than 10 mins. Obviously if he was upset I would pick him up but low level whinging was ignored. It was vital for my sanity and I think good for him as well. Kids do need to learn how to entertain themselves and not be constantly stimulated and it is best to start with it in short bursts. Also think of it from the baby's point of view, you can't move, you can't really communicate and every so often you want to be left alone but no one ever does. I think all creatures benefit from downtime.

AppleMagic Sat 21-May-16 22:41:05

She'd let you know if she was unhappy.

PaulAnkaTheDog Sat 21-May-16 22:42:09

You're doing fine and definitely not neglecting your baby smileflowers

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Sat 21-May-16 22:42:52

You're not neglecting your baby at all. You wouldn't even be neglecting her if you let her cry for five minutes while you have a shower or clean your teeth.

I always say this, but I had twins and I quickly had to adapt to dealing with one while leaving the other. It's not physically possible to change two babies bums at a time.

charliedontsurf Sat 21-May-16 22:42:59

It's definitely not neglect, you don't have anything to worry about (easier said than done, I know). I popped DD down on her playmat a lot when she was little otherwise I would never have got anything done! It's good for babies on a playmat or swing, the toys/motion are stimulating and you'd know if your baby wasn't enjoying it because they'd whinge smile

mangocoveredlamb Sat 21-May-16 22:43:45

I did this loads, she was very happy just "being" in the same room as me. There was only so much gazing lovingly at her that I could do!

Mishaps Sat 21-May-16 22:45:07

You are doing the right thing to put her down - she needs to get herself in touch with the world around her, play with her toes, watch the leaves out of the window.... She needs to be under your care all the time; but not glued to you or being entertained by you all the time. Sorry to hear that you have PND - being a new mother is difficult enough without also being ill. I hope that your recovery will be speedy. It will pass. flowers

SaucyJack Sat 21-May-16 22:46:27

Remember even at the age she is, she's a separate person to you. She's capable of having experiences and feelings that don't involve her mum.

Sometimes this is the hardest thing to accept re: parenting :-) We want to think that our babies can't manage without us, but actually they can. When she wants you she'll let you know.

Believeitornot Sat 21-May-16 22:46:52

I felt like this with my first. Less so with my second as I realised that trying to interact all the time just over stimulated them.

I made sure I got out a lot - sitting at home was worse for feeling guilty.

MadAboutFourteen Sat 21-May-16 22:47:07

Thank you everyone. Rationally I know this but it's good to hear. Have no idea how to stop these feelings! I think once she starts properly playing with toys that might help. I think I worry she's bored at the moment!

you're not neglecting your baby darling xx you're doing a fab job, when mine was 3 months old she'd literally lie on that playmat for like half an hour at a time, just entertaining herself - it meant i could do dishes/cook/clean whatever until she got bored or time for her next feed.
in fact, make the most of it because in a few months or less you wont be able to peel her from your hip grin
I had pnd also and it can be total hell - i promise you, it does get better. just carry on what you're doing, she's a very lucky little girl. chocolate and flowers for you.

OrElseIWontComeBackAtAll Sat 21-May-16 22:47:54

I did this! There's only so much you can do with a 3 month old. You're not neglecting her flowers

MadAboutFourteen Sat 21-May-16 22:48:33

Believeitornot, I feel SO guilty if we don't go out at least 4 days a week!

DontBuyANewMumCuntingDailyMail Sat 21-May-16 22:48:40

Oh God OP wait til they're older and you're purposely ignoring them and trying to MN
You can't pay them attention 100% of the time, you're definitely not neglecting her.
When they're a little bit older it's great to put them in front of a few toys or books and let them get on with it.

(i should add that mine had one of those mobile thingeys her at the time, she wasnt just staring at the ceiling grin )

drivingmisspotty Sat 21-May-16 22:49:22

I did the same with my two. Always nearby but I did let them bounce for a bit or look at their toys/enjoy baby gym. They are both fine now, sociable, doing well at school, bonded with me. You sound like you are doing great.

MadAboutFourteen Sat 21-May-16 22:52:14

Thanks all. It feels so full on, and she was so clingy in the early days, that it's nice to get 10 minutes to myself, but then the guilt kicks in.

She's now started crying her head off before going to sleep which isn't helping my PND...

Champagneformyrealfriends Sat 21-May-16 22:52:54

I have an 8 week old. I have spent 8 weeks feeling guilty for not holding her enough, or for reacting a few seconds longer than I feel I should when she cries. I think motherhood is punctuated by guilt for some of us. I feel guilty for taking her out too much. I feel guilty for not taking her out enough. I think I'd find guilt in any situation. You're not alone and I'm sure you're an amazing mum. flowers for you op.

Pinkheart5915 Sat 21-May-16 22:53:02

I often use to put my ds on his play mat or such like and watch an episode of something or start dinner, he was happy making baby noises. His now 8 months and even now he entertains himself in his jumperoo or something while I do dinner.
If he gets bored he lets me know normally he cries and I go give him mummy cuddles and play with him

kiki22 Sat 21-May-16 22:54:14

I put mine down often it never done him the slightest bit of harm in fact it done us both good to chill for a while. Hes 4 now and still sometimes will just need some space retire to his room with Netflix and binge on paw patrol. I'm sure people judge but he's reached every milestone ahead of time and has completed the ready for school check list by 4, never has been in trouble outside of family with school friends etc

For me the time to get some space to do something i want to or watch something i like means I'm not stressed, I rarely lose my temper and if I feel stressed I'm able to ask ds for some time alone and he totally understands doesn't see it as rejection.

I couldn't cope having to be on baby/child mode all the time it would drain me.

Coconut0il Sat 21-May-16 22:54:18

I always feel as you've described when I'm doing anything for myself instead of DS2. I don't know why. My sensible head tells me he's fine, he's happy, it's good for him to not always be with me but I just feel guilty!
I can't remember if I felt like this with DS1 but I'm hoping it will pass.

poocatcherchampion Sat 21-May-16 22:55:44

What is dadt about this is you don't feel neglectful if you are doing an important or essential job like a having a wee or putting a wash on, although you are ignoring l the same. It is just if you stare at your phone or watch TV - IE have your own leisure time - that it feels bad. Push through it OP grin

Hope you feel better soon flowers

MadAboutFourteen Sat 21-May-16 22:57:46

Glad to hear I'm not alone. Mad, isn't it?

And Kiki, yes, I feel so tightly wound on alert it's grinding me down.

WeeWaspie Sat 21-May-16 22:59:22

Absolutely not. I do the same (but have exactly the same worries too).

Speaking from a development perspective (this is from my degree years ago so i might have rememebered it all wrong), at your babys age they are learning all the time. At this stage its all about "primary circular reactions", so for instance when they're on a play mat and they hit something they start to learn that they can replicate it again and again. So in actual fact, those five/ten/fifteen minutes by themselves is boosting their cognitive development. Hopefully that makes sense confused

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