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Eeeek first time mum needing help!

(155 Posts)
Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Tue 02-Apr-13 09:22:44

I suspect this isn't the right place for this post but not to worry...

I was just looking for a bit of advice really..

First baby will be here any day now and I'm just feeling a bit anxious that I have no clue what to expect still. Never held a newborn baby without its fearful mother helpibg me or changed a nappy in my life :-/
When I ask family/ friends about what I should expect in the first week they will tend to pawn me off with some crap that their child has always slept well/ you'll instantly know what to do etc etc. just want to know an average 24hour routine/ or lack of for a newborn. Ie is there any logic behind why you'd choose to have a shower first etc. how often do you bath your baby? I know ill get into my own routine but just curious as to what you did.
Many thanks!

curryeater Tue 02-Apr-13 15:25:48

If you want to bf and your nearest relative (MIL) is not keen, then look up now who can give you some help and support - even peer support, not necessarily a qualified lactation consultant, can be helpful if you don't have people around you who are bfing. You probably have people in your area who can talk things through with you and it would be easier to look up where they are and collate that information now before you have the baby.
Otherwise - go with the flow, rest now as much as you can, and don't forget to enjoy your yummy snuggly baby.

sleeplessbunny Tue 02-Apr-13 15:51:43

Online shopping
You will never get your old life back, just accept it and don't fight it (like I did)
Your new life will be even better once you give in and get used to it

Quak Tue 02-Apr-13 16:07:43

xlatia - I'm not being very clear today grin I think I am just trying to say, you don't have to wash everything after one wear. DD wasn't that sicky a baby so I got several wears out of her babygros. And if it was just a little dribble I spot cleaned!

Ilovecheeseandlovinglife Tue 02-Apr-13 16:10:03

Girls this has been so helpful to me! I will be bookmarking this page for sure! Bf and mil aside I am really excited and hope I can bluff my way through smile x

Xenia Tue 02-Apr-13 16:21:14

Just relax. It is mostly all instinctive including breastfeeding. I fed all the babies myself. It's a lovely thing to do.

Get as much rest as you can. If people want to visit suggest only after 5 days. If they must come then have them put on the washer and make food. Do not let it result in your having more to do, Make sure everyone who comes makes things easier not harder for you.

I went to back to work full time at 2 weeks so that worked really well for us all but I accept not every woman wants to do that!

curryeater Tue 02-Apr-13 16:25:32

It is true that with tiny babies there are very few decisions to make, so don't worry about not knowing what to do. Your new baby will not need counselling about friendships, or potty training, or any kind of tough love. Just the softest cuddliest kind. That is hard at times, when you are very tired, but never confusing or complicated. and always rewarding.
the baby's head releases chemicals that make you feel better so when you are strung out, smell the baby's head.
But then you might not get strung out - some people just don't.
If you do, just sniff the baby's head and remind yourself if it not like this for long.

shufflehopstep Tue 02-Apr-13 16:34:33

Firstly, congratulations on your impending arrival. Being a mummy is lovely. My first baby was born last May and I was in exactly the same situation as you. I was really apprehensive beforehand. She was overdue and I didn't do anything to move things along as I didn't know how I was going to cope. When she was born, I was a little bit scared to hold her for the first couple of days and I hadn't got a clue what I was doing changing the first nappy. One of the midwives in the hospital even told me off (in a friendly way) for not being firm enough because I was terrified of damaging her. I was treating her like she was made of porcelain and was really worried I was going to do something wrong. The thing is, your baby doesn't have any expectations; you're both learning together and everything will just fall into place as you get used to each other. Listen to the advice you need (for me I struggled with bf so took the advice of midwives and lactation specialists until we'd cracked it and I topped up with formula until I was able to feed her completely myself) and ignore the stuff you don't need (mil was surprised that I was leaving weaning until 6 months as she started giving DH rusks crushed up in his milk at about 7 weeks old!!). Just take each day as it comes and respond to baby when they cry - it's usually because they need their nappy changing, they're hungry or they need winding. If people offer help for things like cleaning or baby sitting for an hour or two so you can have a nap, take it. They don't need bathing every day when they're really tiny but you'll be able to judge when it's best. Most of all just enjoy your baby. My little girl is 10 months old now and is already starting to act like a proper little person with her own personality and isn't a little baby anymore. Although I love watching her grow into the person she's going to be, I miss those first couple of months when she was curled up on me like a little frog. The best advice anyone gave me was my mil who just said "Drink it in. You'll not get this time back again and you can't bottle it." Routines will happen as and when you need them to - just enjoy every minute of being with your baby smile.

1789 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:09:08

so much good advice on here already. you will figure it out! my only advice is that, in my experience, bf was excruciatingly painful for 3 days and then totally fine and remarkably easy. also, if you want to go somewhere far away (think nice sunny holiday!), then book it now because small bf babies are remarkably easy - totally happy to be held and fed for a long flight. if you go before 6 months, you don't even need to bring any food with you! 1 year olds are mobile nightmares on planes!

pocketandsweet Tue 02-Apr-13 17:13:14

First of all congratulations. Don't worry about your lack of previous experience it's all about On The Job Training smile. My advice is just try and not get to overexcited about getting things "right". Babies don't read parenting books..... Use them if it helps but but don't get too excited if it doesn't bear resemblance to you and your situation. There is not one right way to 1) give birth
2) breast feed/bottle feed 3) get your baby to sleep ( to give only3 examples). I would have a certain amount of suspicion of anyone who tells you different ( anyone who has had more than one baby can testify for how different babies can be).

Try and take care of yourself and carve a tiny bit of time for yourself. You can't really "prepare" for what it is going to feel like but even though you will probably be besotted/happier than you could have ever believed you will also probably cry a lot. Hormones and sleep deprivation are powerful things. I was not a person who cried much before and was initially upset that I seemed to find this whole mum thing a lot harder than other women seemed to. Rubbish. The woman you see who has apparently regained her pre pregnancy figure in a nanosecond and manages to appear at baby groups looking immaculate probably has a weep as often as you do. You will be just fine. Oh yeah.... "Everything is a stage". What you worry about one week will probably not be what you worry about in two months. You will be fine. smile

And don't forget to put a top on when going out of the house.... I once nearly walked out the door in only a nursing bra after a particularly gruesome night of feeds ( luckily I have a kind postman who reminded me before I crossed the threshold ).

almonds Tue 02-Apr-13 17:51:54

pockets that is hilarious!

My DH says his overriding memory of those early days is of both us at the same time changing dd's nappy as she mewled piteously and I sprouted big wet patches on my --already puke-stained--nightie...

QueenBee245 Tue 02-Apr-13 18:17:42

Not sure if someone has already said it but the number one rule IMO is

Always trust YOUR instincts

If it doesn't feel right it probably isn't and after a few days you'll be feeding and changing nappies like a pro

Good luck smile

SpectorL Tue 02-Apr-13 18:26:00

None of us are experts when we start. It's all brand new. Doesn't matter how many children you have look after before- it is very daunting when it is your own child! I probably speak for most women when I said with ALL my children- I was terrified!

My oldest has just turned 5- and well, she is still alive so I think we have done OK!

In the early days if baby cries- bottle/boob, check nappy or put down for a nap! You can't go far wrong from there.

Shagmundfreud Tue 02-Apr-13 18:42:05

Feed the baby. If you can't feed the baby get help IMMEDIATELY.

You will need to sleep. This may mean putting your baby next to you on the bed while you sleep if he or she won't settle without you. Follow the safe sleeping rules. here

The anxiety you may feel, and the niggling feeling that you have no idea what you're doing? Normal. That's your parenting instinct, cunningly disguised as feelings of cluelessness. Actually what you're really experiencing is an extreme focus on your baby and wanting to do everything possible to keep them safe and happy.

None of the rest is really that important.

RememberingMyPFEs Tue 02-Apr-13 19:02:18

thanks for all the great advice on here - another imminent (ish) first time Mum who's starting to wonder WTAF I do when I get home from hospital x

onceipopicantstop Tue 02-Apr-13 19:17:56

Our first night home - DS was 5 days old - we had no idea what to wrap him in to sleep. In hospital they had him bundled in umpteen layers in a really warm room. But at home we were terrified of overheating him!! So we put a sheet and a blanket on him, plus his clothes. As soon as he was in his crib he yelled, picked him up he'd settle straightaway. Took us several hours of this to realise he was cold!! Duh!! A friend had given us a swaddle so we used that plus a couple of blankets and he settled instantly!! Even though I had done a fair amount of reading beforehand, there was definitely alot of trial and error in our case!! smile

mummymafia Tue 02-Apr-13 20:43:11

If your friends want to come round in the first week get them to bring a cooked meal. My friend recently had ds3 & I set up a meal & cake Rota amongst us mums for the first couple of weeks as I know that is what I really appreciated - a home cooked meal instead of ready meal as too knackered to cook. Dh' s idea of cooking was to bring a pizza in!

scriptbunny Tue 02-Apr-13 21:06:08


Congratulations. I am very excited for you and reading all these posts is bringing it all back to me. I too had never held a baby, didn't know what I was doing, was miles from my own family and had my MiL on attendance. She had formula fed all three of her own children, plus all four of her previous grandchildren had been exclusively ff. Luckily she is very sweet, so I just had to be focussed and be clear that we were all (baby, me and Nana) going to learn about this new-fangled breast-feeding thing together and make it happen!

The only thing I would add to everything that has been said already is that I partly stayed sane by holding onto a little thread of my old life. I did this by listening to Radio 4 - a lot. I listened to the news like a newsjunkie. I listened to all the arts programmes, Woman's hour, everything. I heard about all the films I wasn't seeing. I heard about books I wasn't reading. I got ideas for holidays I wasn't going to go on. This sounds mad and a bit sad and like it should be frustrating. But actually I liked the drip-feed of non-baby information because when I finally did get together with old friends (as opposed to new baby friends) I could talk about something other than babies and this made me feel like myself. Motherhood was such a profound shift in identity for me, with everything so disorienting, it was comforting to be able to sit for 5 minutes and have the kind of conversation I might have had before the baby landed. It also helped me to feel connected to the world because those 2am feeds can be quite isolating.

Good luck. It might be a bit of a roller coaster at times, but it will be a wonderful, life-changing time.


joanna1985 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:10:37

I was exactly the same as you op. its so daunting when you dont knw whats coming and everyone tells u its so hard etc, but you really do just get through it and it is flyinnggg by for me. my lo is 6 months now and i was so nervous and thought i wouldn't know what to do and the baby would pick up on it and be fretting and crying and i would be shit. It really will just come to you though. I woudnt even worry about reading books and stuff every baby is different and most of the ones iv looked at are too strict on both you and the baby.

I only bathed my lo once a week when he was only tiny ..i just washed him everyday.

The only thing i would say is listen to the midwives when they say put the baby down before they fall asleep because i cuddled mine to sleep at nights and now hes in the bed with me with his fingers wrapped in my hair angry and struggles to go asleep on his own.

awwwwmannnn Tue 02-Apr-13 21:46:31

best advice, enjoy every single moment, good or bad as its so true the time goes wayyyy to quick!

when i first brought my DD home (my 1st and only), we popped her on the floor in her car seat and i looked at my DH and said "what do we do with her now". totally clueless blush

was pretty much clueless for a while but we muddled through without any major incidences lol just do whatever feels right for you and don't ever be afraid to go with your instincts, they are always right!!

one thing i used to HATE was at baby clinic or wherever for the first 6-8 weeks, and there would be other mums going oh that's xx hungry cry/tired cry...i would be like WTF all my dd's cries sound the same to me! went into see the HV in bits saying i was an awful mum as i didn't know what cry was what and what if i was getting it wrong, she looked at me and said she's 2 weeks old she hasn't got different cries yet lol


shufflehopstep Tue 02-Apr-13 22:10:06

Just read some of the other posts on here and need to add that the most important advice I can give, which others have alluded to, is be strict with visitors about when they can and can't come round.

DH was off for 3 weeks and in all that time, there were only about 2 days we spent on our own as a family as people kept dropping in. We tried to ask people to all come together but some people couldn't make it on the day we wanted so came at other times. Then they stayed all hours and wouldn't take the hint that I wanted them to go (it was my birthday a few days after DD was born and I'd said to family that we were having an open house in the afternoon for a few hours however certain members of the family arrived late and then stayed until half past nine at night! DH had bought and cooked a lovely meal for me with lots of food and drink that I couldn't eat when I was pregnant and we had to eat it off trays while people had conversations around us about various dead relatives who had missed meeting DD angry).

Decide when you want people to come round and don't feel rude about telling them to get lost when you want to go to bed. Anyone who's had babies of their own should appreciate this. hmm

Phineyj Tue 02-Apr-13 22:28:48

Lots of good advice here so I'll just offer a few practical tips.

I found my short term memory completely went due to the lack of sleep and all the new things I had to remember, so lay in some note pads and ideally a small whiteboard and pens. It really helps to write down the last time you fed the baby/how much they ate/when you last did a nappy/stuff you need to remember to buy etc etc.

Set up a couple of changing stations in the rooms the baby will spend most time in e.g. bedroom and living room with a basket or box containing everything you will need most often - nappies, wipes, nappy bags, changes of clothes, muslins, bibs. Then you won't need to go searching.

Changing baby clothes is horridly fiddly, at least to begin with. So if like me you end up with a baby who can sick up over multiple clothes a day, these are wonderful and a lot easier to change than the entire outfit -- and the sick actually lands on them unlike normal bibs (these ones say from 4 months but as my DD is a chunker I used them from 2 -- there is a newborn version too although I haven't tried it):

Get a pram/buggy you can lift, fold easily, fit through doorways and get up steps or on public transport if applicable. You do not want to do your back or wrists in or end up not going out because you can't face wrangling the monster pram. Slings are great for shorter trips but mean you don't have anywhere to lie the baby down if you go out for an extended period.

Finally, if bf doesn't work out for you the main thing is to feed the baby.

Phineyj Tue 02-Apr-13 22:31:57

Also we found this really useful to watch in the early days -- it is a bit stressful when you can't work out what your baby wants! (my DH said despairingly at one point 'I've done all her service points and she's STILL crying...)

Southsearocks Tue 02-Apr-13 22:33:57

Your baby will gets loads of bugs in the first 18 months and so will you. Expect to call the doctors in a blind panic umpteen times a week. They never mind.

My best source of knowledge was always Mumsnet!

tinysleepy Tue 02-Apr-13 22:41:58

Congratulations & best of luck with the delivery.

Cuddle, cuddle and cuddle your baby as often as you want. Older generations can be weird about this and you will get the "rod for your own back" comments. It's crap. Baby and mum get lots from skin-to-skin contact.

Breastfeeding can hurt to begin with, you aren't necessarily doing anything wrong. Even with a good latch it can be stingy! However if you can get through the first week it just gets better and better. I am still BFing my 2.5 year old and when he is poorly or fed up there is nothing like it (no disrespect to FF mums - just my experience).

It's fine to feel completely weird emotionally in the days following the birth. I cried, felt deliriously happy one minute then had very low mood the next. It passed quickly though. thought I was alone in this until I discovered mumsnet. It will even out.

Getting out of the house once a day makes a massive difference with your first baby, obviously when you are past the first week or so. And people will love cooing over your beautiful baby.

I know you didn't ask for the next bit of advice but I am giving it anyway (coz it makes me MAD!)...Ignore all the "when are you going to..." which will range from stopping BFing to weaning to dummies to toilet training and it goes on and on. Everyone seems to be in a mad rush to move your baby on to the next stage. Sod them all and do it when it feels right to you and baby.

Right, rant over...good luck!

joanna1985 Tue 02-Apr-13 22:46:30

Southsea is right i was down at the doctors a few times the first few weeks over nothing. I rang the hospital too which was really stupid when i think back lol. I was playing with my lo in his bouncy when he was 8 weeks and pushed it back and let go and he just flew into my face (i basically heatbutted him) he was really crying and so was i ( with guilt)
Rang the hospital in a panic and once they confirmed he wasnt knocked out, marked..or even crying, they kindly told me to go away lol.

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