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Neurotic new mother

(103 Posts)
SilverBirchTree Wed 01-Nov-17 09:06:16

My baby is 5 weeks old, and this weekend my husband wants to bring him to a family party. There will be about 40-50 people there and they are all excited to meet the baby. It starts at 10am and will go until 5pm.

I'm concerned as the baby hasn't been vaccinated, and I know it will be a full day of people wanting to hold the baby, touch his hands, & basically pass him around like a joint at Woodstock! People have already texted me saying they are dying for a cuddle and if we're there I will feel obligated to let everyone 'have a go' (a phrase I've come to hate!) There will be kids there who are in childcare and often sick, and although I love them to pieces I am worried about them bringing germs to my newborn.

We've also had dramas establishing breastfeeding. We're now 80% of the way there but I'm still not comfortable feeding in front of people, and when the baby is constantly held he tends to get too cosy and sleep through his feeds and get thrown off the fragile rhythm we've established.

Id really rather not go, or just to go for an hour or so. But I would feel so mean telling my husband that, as he is excited to show off the baby.

Am I being a neurotic new mother? Are my fears ridiculous? Anyone else had to make a similar decision?

DancingOnParsnips Wed 01-Nov-17 09:08:53

I think your baby may get fed up with a long party - you could always plan to leave after a couple of hours but see how it goes.

Sirzy Wed 01-Nov-17 09:10:26

I think just going for an hour or so between feeds if possible makes most sense. Preferably when baby will be asleep in her pram if possible.

A whole day party with a tiny baby sounds a nightmare

TabbyMumz Wed 01-Nov-17 09:11:02

"kids there who are in childcare and often sick".....bit judgey there aren't you.

afrikat Wed 01-Nov-17 09:11:03

Can you put baby in a sling? People can't ask for a cuddle then really.
It really is a long day though and if nothing else you will probably be pretty tired! I'd definitely plan on just going for an hour or two

DancingOnParsnips Wed 01-Nov-17 09:14:21

tabby hmm she's not being judgy!

SilverBirchTree Wed 01-Nov-17 09:15:02

Tabby- not judgy about childcare at all. I used to work in childcare while I was at uni, and i think it's great for kids. But kids in childcare are sick more often, simply because they are exposed to more bugs and germs. It's good for their immune system in the long run, but in the short term- they have coughs and colds which id rather not expose my tiny baby to.

frogsoup Wed 01-Nov-17 09:16:11

Um, kids in daycare ARE often sick tabby, at least all mine were. Jeez, the stuff people find to get offended about!!!

JuniUmiZoomi Wed 01-Nov-17 09:17:07

Can you go for a couple of hours? You'll all end up shattered if it's all day. I also used to put my DD in a sling if I didn't want her handed round and say she'd just gone to sleep and I didn't want to disturb her. People will just have to suck it up, babies aren't dolls.

JuniUmiZoomi Wed 01-Nov-17 09:17:27

Oh and I don't think you're being neurotic at all!

SilverBirchTree Wed 01-Nov-17 09:19:19

Afrikat, thanks a sling is a good idea. I've been thinking about buying one anyway. But I'm pretty sure people will still insist on a cuddle and I'll feel so awkward telling them no.

user1493413286 Wed 01-Nov-17 09:19:37

I had similar at about that age, I wouldn’t expect to go for the whole party as that’s a long time for you both. If possible find somewhere that you can breastfeed in private as even if you were comfortable feeding in front of people I found that my baby was a lot more settled feeding in a quiet calm room and it gave me a breather.
I let a couple of close people hold my baby then when others asked I said yes but after she’s fed/when she wakes up/when she’s settled etc, basically making excuses why they couldn’t at that moment and then when we left saying sorry we need to get her home.
Don’t be afraid of asking people to wash their hands or take some sanitizer gel and just say you’d rather children didn’t hold her until she’s bigger. It doesn’t matter what people think and 99% will understand, it’s your baby so your decision.
Are there any close family members that you can prep with how you want to do things who can intervene if anyone is being a bit much

LapinR0se Wed 01-Nov-17 09:21:04

I would go for an hour and if the baby is asleep just say oh sorry no cuddles today, hopefully he’ll be a bit more awake next time. Fuck passing around a 5 week old who will get totally overstimulated and be a nightmare later on

Heatherbell1978 Wed 01-Nov-17 09:21:14

I think the feeding would bother me more. I have 2 DC and my DD is 8 months. I was definitely less PFB about her being handled especially as I also have a toddler so I barely considered that before her vaccinations but she was a terribly fussy feeder. She’d only bf in quiet dark rooms so going out and about with her at a young age was very difficult especially all day. If it’s making you anxious then I wouldn’t bother.

KarateKitten Wed 01-Nov-17 09:22:59

Most first time mothers are at least a bit neurotic. But it's understandable.

I'd go and enjoy showing off the baby and the company and craic. You can probably sit there being waited on hand and foot and people will happily take your baby for a cuddle and a walk around. Most 5 week olds will sleep especially in a busy environment for the majority of the time.

But I've a big baby loving family and am on my fourth so well used to this sort of thing and would be gagging to get out and about somewhere easy like a big family party with food and drinks on tap.

SilverBirchTree Wed 01-Nov-17 09:25:58

I forgot to say in my post (sorry to drip feed!) that the party is 40/50 minutes drive from us so we can't squeeze the visit in between feeds.

I also hate the idea of driving that far as he might be unsettled or hungry on the long drive home. But I suppose I could pull over and feed him in the car, I haven't tried that yet.

It's been such a trying 5 weeks between the C-section, struggling with his losing weight and breast feeding, broken sleep etc... I just really don't feel like an additional challenge this weekend.

But then my husband has friends who've had babies and seem to be back to normal by 5 weeks, out and about and wonder if I am being difficult.

ememem84 Wed 01-Nov-17 09:29:54

I don’t think you’re being neurotic. Ds is 5 weeks old and is my pfb. I wouldn’t want to go to a huge party like that. But if I did go with him it’d be on the proviso that it wasn’t only for a couple of hours.

That said I have taken him to baby groups and he hasn’t been vaccinated yet. And he’s had a cold. Butfor me it’s more the everyone wanting to hold baby etc.

BarbarianMum Wed 01-Nov-17 09:30:19

I think most new parents worry about this. Its only when you have a newborn and also a snot-ridden toddler that you are forced to give up relax. So as telling you not to worry won't help (you will) then maybe just go for a couple of hours?

MrsA2015 Wed 01-Nov-17 09:30:31

I was the same ! What I used to do is go into a spare room (obviously ask the hosts) and let a few people know they could come for a quiet cuddle before feeding. Otherwise only go for two hours then leave as “we’re just getting ready for nap time now, see you all soon”

BarbarianMum Wed 01-Nov-17 09:34:30

X posts. Its fine to not go if you don't want to. And 5 weeks is very early days, esp with your first. No one is "back to normal" after 5 weeks with their first. The old normal is gone.

MyOtherNameIsAFordFiesta Wed 01-Nov-17 09:35:38

But then my husband has friends who've had babies and seem to be back to normal by 5 weeks, out and about and wonder if I am being difficult.

No. I had this kind of crap from various people - "Oh, but X was doing that when her baby was this age" or "But my sister never worried about germs; it's better to let them catch bugs!" etc. IT DOESN'T MATTER. Do what you feel comfortable with.

There's no way I'd go to an all-day party with a baby that age, for all the reasons you said.

I'd go for a couple of hours, and tell people "Sorry, he was really unsettled last night and I don't want to pass him round while he's nice and comfy!" or something like that. Also, disappear off to a quiet corner to breastfeed. Bonus points if you find an empty room with a bed in - put baby safely on the floor to sleep (obviously make sure no pets or children can get in etc), and then "doze off" Mumsnet on the bed for an hour!

AnnabellaH Wed 01-Nov-17 09:38:36

Flu season with a newborn and younger kids who might be shedding if they've had the nasal vaccine. Not a chance in hell I would take my baby OP!

LucyAutumn Wed 01-Nov-17 09:39:00

Oh my- you sound like me a few weeks ago!

You are not being over the top at all, it's so hard to get a good routine going ESPECIALLY when you've had difficulty establishing breast feeding.
People tend to forget or just don't realise how invasive it can be to pass a newborn around large groups, and also how fragile and easy to disrupt a routine can be.

I would not go to the whole thing if I were you, definitely for an hour (maybe 2 if you want to) at a time that works for YOU. Try also talking to your partner to get him to understand and support you in this decision; he needs to understand that it's causing you stress and the baby will feel that too, plus there needs to be boundaries set by you as parents.
People sometimes need the parents to remind them that a baby is a person too and, as much as everyone loves them and 'wants a go', they are not a toy to be passed from pillar to post.

With regards to passing round, I've recently adopted using a sling which is a great way to stop this from happening. If it's my babys wake time I might let a few cuddles happen but if it's sleep time (or if I just want to keep him to myself) he goes in the sling and that's it- it's a great natural barrier and ensures sleep is not disturbed.

SomethingNewToday Wed 01-Nov-17 09:41:40

But then my husband has friends who've had babies and seem to be back to normal by 5 weeks, out and about and wonder if I am being difficult

Are they bf? Because this time round (ds3 is 5 months and it's the first time I bf) I was very aware of about 5/6 people I know who had babies around the same time and were out and about by 5 weeks or earlier and it made me feel like shit.

They were all ff though and there's a massive difference. After a few weeks with dc1 and 2 I was the same, back to 'normal' life. With ds3 there were some days I could still barely get dressed at 5 weeks because he wanted a feed every hour. Going to an all day event or anywhere for more than a couple of hours was just more stress than it was worth because it wrecked any semblance of the routine we had.

Establishing bf is a long and hard road IME so be kind to yourself. I would be honest with your dh about how you're feeling and sack this one off - easy for him to make excuses for you at 5 weeks PP!

I also don't think it's neurotic or PFB to not want your 5 week old passed around everyone. I've been much more assertive with ds3 whereas the first twice I was too willing to please others and let people pass the baby around. Not a great idea in cough and cold season IMO as plenty of people have no common sense.

megletthesecond Wed 01-Nov-17 09:41:56

I don't think you're being neurotic especially when you're still finding your feet bf.
Go for a short visit and use a sling. Babies aren't human pass the parcels.

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