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Am I being abusive to my baby?(67 Posts)
I’m exhausted. I’ve got PND and on medication.
Baby cries at nap time and after an hour of trying to help him sleep (he’s been showing signs of tiredness) I start to get cross and I’m worried he can feel it. I put him down in his cot, go next dor and shout and throw something. He’s crying. I went back in and cuddled and fed him and he went to sleep, but how much does he feel of my stress? And my shouting must have scared him? This has happened a few times and I’m worried it’s causing him harm. Is it abuse? I feel awful. I cuddle him so close whilst he’s sleeping but I feel like I’m damaging him by getting so worked up.
Am I bad mum? How do I stop getting so frustrated?
Its very difficult when they won't go to sleep but yes they do sense your stress and shouting isn't good.
Unfortunately babies do show signs of tiredness and then refuse to nap. I find when I'm struggling with my two its easiest to load them up in the buggy and push them out. I'm not being twittered at by the 3 year old and the motion sends the baby off to sleep.
You did absolutely the right thing in the moment. It's always better to put them down safely and go into another room when you feel anger (which is misplaced panic, upset and frustration, in my opinion) rising.
He won't have noticed what is going on in another room - after all, he was already busy crying.
But you do need more support. Please, ask for it and tell them that you're feeling incredibly frustrated and panicky.
As long as baby is safe then it's fine to leave in a cot while you take a time out. You have recognised you are getting cross and have taken yourself out of the situation for a while.
If you are struggling, can you speak to someone, a gp, health visitor, midwife.... I don't know much about medication but how long have you been on it/how long does it take to start showing improvements?? Is there anything else which may work better.
Having a newborn is very stressful, even for those without pnd X
You’re not a bad mum and you’re not abusive, but he will be able to feel your stress and hear you shouting, and that in turn will aggravate him and make it harder for him to sleep.
You did exactly the right thing - put them down safely, walk away, take out your frustrations and come back. Don’t beat yourself up about it, I’m sure everyone feels that way sometimes. If you feel like you lack support, look into what might be available.
It's not great, but I have been told that if you find yourself losing it, it's ok to put them somewhere safe and then remove yourself next door for a few minutes to calm down. It's utterly exhausting and it is so so hard to get some perspective, but you must try. If you take out the shouting and throwing stuff - maybe punch a pillow instead? - it sounds like you're doing the right thing? Good luck and you are not alone in finding it very very hard.
The HV always tells me about ‘safe crying spaces’, this is something they actively plug in my area. She always says if I feel myself getting frustrated by my baby, I should leave the room for a few minutes to perhaps have a drink, talk to someone on the phone, take some deep breaths etc then return. I’ve never felt the need to do it but this is advice they dish out so don’t feel guilty about it at all. Babies are exhausting and you’re battling PND on top of everything else, please don’t beat yourself up.
Have been on medication for a month, dont feel better. There’s No one around to help really? Haven’t seen the health visitor since he was born and no family. Partner working overtime at the moment because of Covid.
I feel awful. Will it damage him that I’ve been like this?
There used to be a video new mums were shown on how to cope when a baby screaming pushes you to your limit. The advice was exactly what you did, put the baby down in its cot where it’s safe and remove yourself until you feel calmer
Hang on in there the medication realistically takes 6/7 weeks. You done the right thing walking away, my DS was a terrible sleeper.
I used to push him in his buggy so he'd drop off he hated being still on his back.
Can anyone help you out by taking the baby for a few hours.
Have you spoken to your GP about your feeling that the medication isn't working? Have they increased your dose?
As others have said, putting baby down in a safe space and stepping away for a moment is the best thing to do. It shows you have an awareness of when you are struggling and you want to keep your baby safe.
Can you get in touch with the health visitor for some support. I found that I had to do the chasing when I needed help. Speak to your gp about your medication too. It could be that the dose isn't high enough or it isn't quite the right one for you.
What's happened won't damage him but you do need to speak to your GP again. How old is baby? If also advise calling the HV. I know they've not been very accessible but in most areas they are trying to be available where is needed. You need the support and reassurance.
Agree with the others, you out him somewhere safe, took a couple of minutes to yourself then went back and held him. That's the best option in these circs.
You haven’t damaged your baby. We all (in my experience) have moments like this with children. My second pushed me to the absolute limits sleep wise when he was a newborn.
I would make sure you discuss this with your HV if you can call them or your GP, in case they can do more to help.
I'll tell you a trick:
Put baby in their pram in the house, sit down and rock the pram with your foot up and down. They'll fall asleep if they're tired and it saves you getting cross.
Worked every time for my DC and never did them no harm.
Maybe try and step out and have a breather before you reach that boiling point. Or wear headphones and blast some of your favourite music so you are not just focusing on the crying while you are trying to get baby to sleep.
I've absolutely done the same now and again. I can feel in a complete ball of rage, put my baby in his cot (where he will cry but is safe), take myself away for 5 mins and come back to him feeling like a completely different person.
I am sure there are mothers out there who have not felt that rage and never reached that point but I do not feel bad about the fact that I did.
It is a very real thing and why as previous posters have said, health visitors etc will actively say to put them down where they are safe and step out to calm yourself down because the consequences of not doing so can be very bad.
Hi OP, I had a 'high needs' baby who hardly napped and just screamed all day long, it was tough. I got PND and had to spend a lot of time putting baby in her pram/crib and going into another room for a cry. It's ok to do that, baby will be safe and it helps you calm down.
I would definitely try and get more support for your emotional well-being though, could you call your HV and tell her how you're feeling and what you're struggling with? I had regular visits from mine until my DD was about 7 months old when I started to feel better as her crying started to reduce. It was helpful to have someone check in with me, give me tips and someone to talk to. When was the last time you spoke to your GP about your mood, do you need a review with them? Could you be referred for a talking therapy, this might help? Do you have any local children's centres you could ring and see if they have a Home Start programme or any other support or groups you could join? Are there any local baby groups or activities you could go to?
The second issue is dealing with the napping. You mentioned 'nap time'. Who decided this was nap time? Maybe your baby is not tired enough for a sleep at the time you're calling nap time? I found the Huckleberry app useful for a rough guide to when my baby was going to sleep, I found it very accurate and it reduced big battles trying to get her to nap. I also found she napped in the pram or baby carrier, or baby bouncer under 6 months. Basically motion helped, have you tried any of these things? Going for a walk will probably put baby to sleep and it's good for you to get some fresh air and sunlight and exercise too.
I think you are doing the right thing. You are making sure he is safe and expressing your stress in a different room. Can I suggest you try singing before you try shouting? I learnt in a parenting course that some people need to be physical to get their stress out. Singing, dancing etc might help you. If you try these first you might end up laughing and not feel the need to shout.
You did absolutely the right thing, OP. I was told to do this by HV 20 years ago, although I only really needed it with DC2 as he did this - getting in a state when he needed to sleep. I resorted to taking him out in the Pram instead and just accepted I wouldn’t get the break that I used to get with DC1.
If you need to make some noise close both doors for a few minutes but pummelling the pillow is safe and not noisy in itself! Breathe deeply and then head back in when you’re calmer.
No you are not abusing your baby. He won't remember your moods any more than he will remember crying at his age.
You love him. You meet all his needs. None of what you have described is dysfunctional - it's normal for parents.
Be kind to yourself, and remember that you are his amazing and beautiful Mummy - he won't hold it against you that you needed to shout a bit in another room (he won't ever know to be honest), so don't hold it against yourself either.
When I had my two little ones, I used to worry like you that they were going to grow up scarred in some way because I wasn't always the perfectly balanced, calm mother I hoped I would be. One of my close friends worked in Social Services in child protection - she was always able to reassure me that this kind of thing is NOT abuse. I bet your baby has a full tummy, clean clothes, a lovely place to sleep, you give him interesting toys, the house will be made safe for him when he gets big enough to explore and he will always know that you are there to comfort, guide and protect him. The babies that don't have those things - they are the abused ones.
It definitely won't damage him. Please don't worry. You did the right thing. Babies are very resilient. You're doing your best. It's very easy to get overwhelmed with a newborn as it's all so new and incessant. Truly relentless. Every time you need a breather, pop him down in the cot and go off. He will be fine. You need a break now and then. You'll find it easier once you've had a bit of time away. Then back you go. I had a high needs baby twice and it was the most stressful thing I've ever been through. But you do get through it and you will be fine and so will he.
Please ring your HV and ask for support. I know you haven’t seen yours since baby was born but they’re still there and they won’t know you’re struggling with PND unless you tell them. Also antidepressants alone will only mask it, you need talking therapies. Please look up self referral in your area for iapt, your GP or HV should signpost if you’re unsure. Home start is also a great resource if available in your area.
Also look up icon for tips on dealing with crying babies, it includes putting baby down in a safe place, going into another room and returning when calmer so you did the right thing.
You are not a bad mum. You are a good mum. You recognise that you are becoming overwhelmed and you remove yourself in order to calm down.
You would be a bad mum if you stayed and lost control and risked shaking your baby etc.
I don't think there are many new parents who can honestly say they never felt like this.