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To ask what keeps you so busy with a newborn?

(357 Posts)
Floraleigh Thu 30-Aug-18 06:58:17

Apologies if this seems daft but I'm a first time mum and no idea what to expect from my NB. I've seen the stories that I can't have a hot cuppa for months, but why? If babies sleep 14-18 hours per day, what am I doing whilst baby is sleeping? What keeps you so busy and knackered?

Trying to prepare myself and DH as he seems to think he'll have time to keep up hobbies at the same pace when the baby is here. This isn't meant to be goady, really haven't the slightest what to expect from a tiny baby!

Twooter Thu 30-Aug-18 07:01:13

Because the baby cries every time you put it down and will sleep when you’re holding it, but be awake when you not. ( in my dcs case anyway). Oh and those hours it sleeps - it’s in stints of two- three hours throughout the night with an hour of crying in between. ( for me anyway)

bridetobe2017 Thu 30-Aug-18 07:02:44

I have a 3 week old and have 4 cups of tea a day confused

Wheelerdeeler Thu 30-Aug-18 07:03:09

My baby had 3 then 4 hours between feeds. I always put them down awake. 2 great sleepers. I've a toddler now and that's hard work. You need eyes everywhere

ratbaggy Thu 30-Aug-18 07:03:17

Draw a clock face and draw in your usual Saturday timings, the draw another one and add in x10 40 minute feeds per day and then you should see where your day will go. Then try and slot in shower, breakfast, lunch, shopping etc

They got us to do this at our ante natal class. This gave me a shock but not the true shock of the relentless feeding, winding, changing, settling that a newborn brings.

Good luck. I'm doing it all again in December!

unlimiteddilutingjuice Thu 30-Aug-18 07:04:14

I had a relatively easy baby. He woke every 3 to 4 hours and only needed a feed, a change then back to sleep.
The waking every 3 to 4 hours, on its own, was enough to leave me too tired for a lot of stuff.
I did a lot of sitting about watching box sets.

Lauren83 Thu 30-Aug-18 07:04:22

I think you will get a real mix of replies, my baby is 7 months now and I didn't have any of the 'not drinking a hot brew' 'not having time to brush my hair' etc that I thought I was going to get. Yes there's more to do but it's manageable (with my baby though I'm not saying all are the same)

KoshaMangsho Thu 30-Aug-18 07:05:07

You can have cups of tea. But babies don’t ‘sleep’ like you and I do. They wake frequently. They need constant feeding. If you put them down especially in the early weeks they wake up within 5 mins. They need frequent changing. So it’s not solid blocks of sleep.
Having said that I still managed to get a shower in everyday, cook some basic food, do laundry and drink tea with a newborn. Twice. But then neither of mine were reflux-y babies so after the first 4 weeks or so would sleep in the Moses basket downstairs.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Thu 30-Aug-18 07:05:17

I did drink plenty of tea though

Ansumpasty Thu 30-Aug-18 07:05:23

Because it’s what comes after the newborn stage.
Yes, they sleep (or at least mine slept) most of the time during the first 4 weeks. But, you are in a kind of daze and aren’t used to being woken up all night with every little sound they make. You can’t shut off- feels like you are permanently on high alert.

It’s when they start to be awake more that it gets tough. One of mine had colic and cried for weeks straight and would only nap on me or out in the pram. I think that’s the stage people are talking about.

gamerwidow Thu 30-Aug-18 07:05:38

They don’t do that sleep in a block and they’ll be awake every 2 hours day and night leaving you too tired to contemplate even the most simple tasks.

sleepsleepandmoresleep Thu 30-Aug-18 07:05:56

In my experience newborns do not sleep 14-18 hours per day. Some of them cry or fuss for that! (Hopefully yours won't).

Also, even if they do sleep well, some only want to sleep on you. Meaning you're anchored to wherever you're sitting.

Aside from that there's the hours you spend feeding, winding, cleaning up sick if you get a puker, bathing, staring (many a wasted hour is spent just staring in wonder at the person you just made!). That's all before you've done anything at all for yourself.

I am slightly biased, I had a very high needs newborn. Some people's eat, sleep, poo, repeat and the newborn bit is easy followed by harder times when baby gets mobile then becomes a toddler. Mines got easier and easier the older she's got (not 2.5).

The day will fly by when your baby is tiny regardless!

StarsMoonSun Thu 30-Aug-18 07:05:59

Whoever said babies sleep between 14 - 18 hours a day has obviously never had a baby!
From my experience, the first few months is a constant round of nappy changing/feeding/winding. And when I say constant I mean constant.

I don't think anyone can really understand how tiny babies really do take up so much time until they have one! .... it is exhausting but so worth it . You'll find out what I'm on about soon enough OP smile

SlimmingMumOf1 Thu 30-Aug-18 07:06:13

When my DS was a newborn, he had colic and reflux so I had to hold him all the time because he never slept sad he would wake up every hour on the hour, and nap less than half hour every day. I was running on empty as my husband used to have to go work so I didn't expect him to stay awake to help me out.
Washing and sterilising bottles was a chore because I used to have to put him in the bouncer and he would cry about 5 mins into putting him down! Then I'd have to do washing, cook dinner, clean the house... Bloody hard work! A lot better now he is almost 2 because he can sort of entertain himself so I'm able to get things done a lot easier. Having a newborn is no walk in the park... Especially when they suffer from colic!

Thishatisnotmine Thu 30-Aug-18 07:06:50

I thought that. Change baby, feed baby, baby sleeps in basket in the corner of the room.

It's actually a bit like this:
Change baby
Change baby
Feed baby
Wind baby
Sigh. Change baby
Try to put baby in basket
Feed to sleep again
Run and have a shower!
Soothe baby
Get ready to out
Turn around on doorstep to change baby...

They do sleep! Some sleep loads like dd2, some won't be put down like dd1. But its amazing how everythings takes more time with a baby.

It is so worth it though!

milkjetmum Thu 30-Aug-18 07:06:50

As pp said 14 hr sleep per day does not meaning you get any nice long stretches. Expect 2-3 hour sleep/wake cycles. You might get more if you're very lucky, and if you're unlucky I remember a phase when dd1 woke every 45min...

Hard to adjust to sleep deprivation if you're used to a nice 8hr+ each night. But you will get used to it. Now 2dd later I feel fine as long as I have 2 x2hr sleep in 24hr...

CherryPie18 Thu 30-Aug-18 07:06:55

I do find there tends to be a lot of social media posts around the whole “No one tells you there won’t be time for a cup of tea, no one tells you that you’ll never shower again until their 3” It really isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be, of course it’s hard work and everyone’s different but this is an extreme

SlimmingMumOf1 Thu 30-Aug-18 07:07:13

When baby sleeps - you sleep! Seriously. Just go sleep. You will need it!

Hmmalittlefishy Thu 30-Aug-18 07:08:03

I had non sleepers so not the envious 'luxury' of 2/3 hour naps. So in my experience you spend your time trying to eat, grab some sleep, have a drink, catch up with visitors, have a shower. And for me everything just seemed to take a lot longer.

Oh and as soon as you want to leave the house they poo everywhere and you have to give a bath by which time they are hungry so then you have to feed them then re run the bath then attempt to leave the house grin

With dd1 I was very exhausted from the birth and the newborn days were a blur
It can't have been that bad as by dd3 I was getting the other dc to school, doing reading/spellings etc and bounced back quicker because I had to.

The newborn phase is short and you soon get into a routine don't worry

Winegumaddict Thu 30-Aug-18 07:08:40

For me they did sleep but in 15-30min bursts tgen in between each one was time spent trying to get them back to sleep. I did drink tea, shower etc but it could take all day to pop to the shops and walk the dog. Everything takes longer, even leaving the house. You're ready and so is the baby then they fill a nappy or are sick possibly on you then you both need to get changed (again) then you're ready to go and they need a feed etc. Etc.

0nTheEdge Thu 30-Aug-18 07:08:59

They sleep well at first, apart from the constant feeding, but they soon sleep less, cry more, want constant comfort, wake lots in the night so you're knackered. Mine had colic and reflux, so screaming in pain which is worrying as heck as you panic it could be something worse, and non stop puking, so lots of washing (your clothes, their clothes, your bedding, their bedding). It takes half a day to try to leave the house and as soon as you think you're ready they poo out need a feed (and then poo). Some babies are easier than others and some mum's manage better than others. I was a frazzled mess most of the time, but in did ok. Good luck with your baby OP, it's all worth it.

callymarch Thu 30-Aug-18 07:09:02

For me i had to add in extreme blood loss during both of my births and the subsequent anaemia meant i had the energy for nothing but constant breast feeding. I could only get halfway up the stairs without having to stop as i could no longer breathe. Oh and yes stbxh kept up the with football 3 times a week.

Hmmalittlefishy Thu 30-Aug-18 07:09:33

Oh and I remember asking my mum the same question. To be fair to her she just smiled and said 'I'm sure you'll find something to do'

Movablefeast Thu 30-Aug-18 07:09:58

When they are newborns they are breastfeeding every couple of hours, that makes for lots of wet nappies and they are getting used to being a human and regulating themselves so need your constant presence. Also depending on your own baby’s personality they could be very relaxed or high-need and anxious needing lots of reassurance and will scream the place down if you put them down! The point it, it is very unpredictable and you will find the baby is now the center of your life and the priority in terms of scheduling and planning.

While getting to know your baby and her/his needs you also need to try and get enough sleep, eat and hopefully shower a couple of times a week! Also get used to always going to loo with a baby in tow.

If you do have any free time you will want to SLEEP!

The whole experience is a culture shock.

Ragwort Thu 30-Aug-18 07:10:09

Totally depends on your baby, mine was such a good sleeper, 7am-7pm (with just one very quick night feed) and two long (2 hour) naps a day - plus he was happy to just lie on a blanket when he was awake, never wanted picking up or cuddling grin. But I appreciate not all babies are like that. I never had a shower or hot drink interrupted and never had that 'can't go to the toilet on my own' issue.

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