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Scared...First time Mum

(23 Posts)
moomin35 Wed 02-Apr-14 16:55:40

I'm 31+ 4 and realising that I really have no clue about how to care for a baby. I absolutely love babies so I have no doubt I will love mine but in reality know absolutely nothing about them. I've never bathed one or changed a nappy and I'm worried I'm not going to know what to do. Anyone else have this?

Ginnytonic82 Wed 02-Apr-14 17:15:14

I felt the same, I burst into tears at the midwife appointment because I had no idea what to do. She very kindly told me that no-one actually knows what to do, but you learn as you go. I've certainly found that to be true, my Ds is 5 months now and I'm still learning! But Ds is healthy and happy, I may not have got it all right (put nappies on back to front for a week!) but who cares. We love our son and we're doing our best.

I did find our NHS antenatal classes useful as our midwife went over bathing and feeding, so it might be worth giving them a go if you can. Other than that I just asked other mums and mumsnet! You'll be great, don't worry.

SourSweets Wed 02-Apr-14 18:32:04

Don't worry, you will learn so quickly! The NHS videos for bathing and other things are great though if you want to prepare.

I have an 8 month old and I'm the first of my friends and siblings so knew nothing either but you have no choice but to learn very quickly! You'll be fine!

AryaOfHouseSnark Wed 02-Apr-14 18:35:11

Dont worry, no one knows what they are doing. Honestly, everyone I know just muddles through.
Our hospital did a bath demo for new parents,and you pick everything up as you go along.
You will be fine.

Jaffakake Wed 02-Apr-14 18:36:52

I hadn't a clue and had never even looked after a baby before. The nurse in the hospital showed us how yo change a nappy. Somehow you just seem to figure it out. It helps to have / make friends that are figuring out at the same so you feel slightly less foolish & that you're in the same boat.

Thank god we're doing this in the age of google & you tube!

Sparklingbrook Wed 02-Apr-14 18:40:29

moomin you really mustn't worry. It's just like learning any new skill. I hadn't held a baby for years before I had one.

I remember bringing DC1 home from hospital in his car seat and plonking it in the middle of the living room. He was asleep. I was so scared he would wake up and need something.

First bath took about three people and an hour with much trying to work out the best way to do it. But like all things the more you do it the easier it gets.

Plus muddling through is ok, no need to be perfect. x

naty1 Wed 02-Apr-14 21:48:04

You can read up on burping , bathing etc.
I gave birth at 7pm and went to ward alone at 10pm and partner left. Sometimes the women cried , i think some didnt expect to be left alone)
Some hospitals let you pay to have a private room and you may be able to have a partner there.
My baby cried a lot of the night i was bf almost constantly, didnt know how to burp
Nappy changes etc are simple enough
The hat and mittens are annoying and never stay on.
Swaddling helps them to sleep.
The midwives in my hospital wouldnt show people how to bathe the baby. But the bounty books has good info

wafflingworrier Wed 02-Apr-14 21:58:24

I had never held a baby before my own. it is scary. but it is nice too, a new start for you both, you both need to get to know each other and that's ok. I don't think it's any easier if you've read a million books on babycare, and to be honest I think the people trying to sell us stuff take advantage of this feeling of uncertainty (if I buy THAT bathing seat, then my baby definitely WON'T drown etc.)

I didn't leave the house for 3 weeks with DD1, I just needed time to adapt. everyone's different.

it will be ok. you will make it ok. and then you will get to be the person that makes it ok for your child for the rest of your life x

if you are worried, i'd recommend reading lots of books that make you happy in general rather than baby-specific. (jaqueline Wilson/roald dahl)

or go to your library and take out a few books about stuff to do with toddlers/older children (eg craft stuff, baking, party cakes, fun games), you can photocopy/take notes on these in a pretty book (excellent excuse for a trip to paperchase!)

focus on thinking about the fun things you will do with your child+all the traditions you want to start as a new family. this is much more fun than desperately trying to learn how to stop a baby from choking, it still feels like you are "doing" something, plus, when your child is a toddler this book will be great as you won't have as much time to read up on things.

I hope it all goes well for you and congratulations on your pregnancy

Sparklingbrook Wed 02-Apr-14 22:01:43

When I had DS1 the Midwife suggested I take to my bed for two weeks with him, sleeping and feeding. But I knew better. There was housework to be done and other important stuff. hmm

How I wish now that I had done exactly that.

mummyxtwo Wed 02-Apr-14 22:54:00

Of course you're not alone in that worry! None of us have a clue when we start off with this mothering malarkey. As a mum of two and my eldest is now 5yo I can say with confidence that you continue to make it up as you go along and everything is a learning experience. But fun! I made the midwife stay with me when I gave ds1 his first bath in hospital as I was fairly certain I was going to drown him. Don't worry, you'll be fine!

Isabelle12 Thu 03-Apr-14 05:51:47

Yeah, at one time, no-one knows what to do with a new-born, so you are not alone. And much of it is a hands-on learning experience. I often find that family chip in with ideas as to how I should bring up my 10 month boy, but those ideas tend to be more of a hindrance than a help. I also spend some time researching online to help me fill-in those areas that I am still unsure about. Wishing you well!

PumpkinPie2013 Thu 03-Apr-14 08:13:16

Aww honestly don't worry smile

My little boy is 18 weeks now and my first baby. I can remember feeling exactly like you towards the end of my pregnancy.

I was thinking - how will I know how/when to feed/burp/change/cuddle etc.

I had him by c-section at 3am and looked at him sleeping in his little cot thinking 'I don't have a clue!'

You soon work it out though - if you need help with anything ask the midwife (even when you go home you are still under the mw for 28 days).

Do you have a local children's centre? I've found mine really useful, especially in the early days when I felt a bit isolated and didn't feel confident about going to groups.
The activities at the centre are mostly free and the staff are there to help/chat.

Now I can honestly say I am much more confident - I go to groups and out and about with my little man everyday. I feel more confident about knowing what he wants/needs and things just feel easier.

So much so that I now think 'yeah, I could have another'

Congratulations and enjoy! X

Sparklingbrook Thu 03-Apr-14 10:22:54

One thing I found was as soon as I had sort of got the hang of one stage we were onto the next. DS1 is 14 now and the teenage stage is bewildering much the same as newborns and toddlers. In fact it is very similar to having a toddler.

BUT all the experiences made for a less bumpy ride with DC2. smile

MiaSparrow Thu 03-Apr-14 20:57:35

Oh bless you. I was the same, although my feelings came out after DD was born: I felt enormous guilt at having brought this little thing into the world without knowing what I was doing. Looking back I'm sure I was a flippin' amazing mummy in those early days and weeks. You'll be grand. x

NickyEds Thu 03-Apr-14 21:31:04

I'd had loads of experience with my neice and nephews but was still completely bewildered when it came to my own!! Don't worry-we're all just winging it. Sign up for the NHS e mails and watch the videos- then forget it all when little one comes along!
Oh and yes the first poos ARE supposed to be that dark and sticky!

NinjaLeprechaun Thu 03-Apr-14 22:30:42

I had much younger siblings, started babysitting infants and toddlers when I was twelve, and my two best friends had babies the year before I did. Which didn't matter at all, because when my daughter was born I still felt like I had no clue.
Probably the best advice I got, to be honest, is that babies don't break as easily as you think they do - there is some room to get it not-quite-right as you're figuring out what you're supposed to be doing. What works with one baby doesn't work with them all anyway, so experience with that baby doesn't always translate to knowing what to do with this baby.

sugarandspite Thu 03-Apr-14 22:50:31

For me the key things were:
- if it makes a noise, shove a nipple in it's mouth.

- let DH be in charge of nappy changing. Let him become expert at it and appreciate his expertise. Your 'thing' will probably be feeding, let him have a 'thing' of his own too.

- it will take at least 2 people to bath the baby for the first time. To make it less stressful, you might want to get in the bath with it too. But don't worry, with a but of practice you'll do it fine on your own.

- the first 24hours or so they are really sleepy, so wake it every 3 hours to feed and don't be too smug about your amazing sleeping baby, it probably won't last!

- do try to get as much rest as you can in the first few weeks. Even if you feel great, have a nap when you can.

- try to be as kind and polite as you can to your DH. You'll both probably be sleep deprived and in a parallel universe and getting ratty with each other is to be expected. But try to be nice and expect niceness in return and it will help you both get through it.

- there is no such thing as 'making a rod for your own back'. If you want to cuddle / feed / rock your baby to sleep, go for it. Focus on what works in the short term, you can always make changes later.

- I'm a big believer in the 4th trimester - give your baby a good 3 months to adjust to being out in the big wide world and do whatever you can to help make that adjustment easy: swaddling, white-noise, co-sleeping, wearing in a sling etc.

- if it's born with a willy, gently point this down at his ties when you put a new nappy on.

- have a well-earned glass of wine and celebrate giving birth to The Most Beautiful Child Ever Made.

sugarandspite Thu 03-Apr-14 22:51:55

toes not ties - bloody phone

SimLondon Sat 05-Apr-14 18:57:35

The midwives on the post natal ward will show you how to change a nappy and get started with feeding. The assistant community midwife will be able to come round the day you come home or the day after to show you how to bath LO.
Oh and Aptamil has a free 24/7 helpline and there's always mumsnet

naty1 Sat 05-Apr-14 19:21:53

I agree with sugar (except i wouldnt get in bath with newborn especially a breastfed one)
They were really good about helping with bf.
But i expect you may have to ask for help showing nappy change (i had to do mine in the night)
Dont be afraid to ring the buzzer for help.

HugoTheHippo Mon 07-Apr-14 10:25:26

You will be fine - just keep coming on Mumsnet! It's been a godsend for me and I use it all the time to ask advice, check things I'm not sure about and see what is normal. Good luck and enjoy your squidgy little baby.

wishinwaitinhopin Mon 07-Apr-14 10:34:20

I knew absolutely nothing at all. I didn't read a book, I didn't go to a class, my health visitor said "you've got your head in the sand". I cried.

My baby is now 1 and he is happy! We are all happy. We made it through. There were tough times but the confidence trickles into you day by day, hour by hour till you're not even thinking about it! You just know!

My partner said this morning "as we've kept him alive for a year , I think we are ok to have another!"

Please don't worry. You will be fine!! Scrap that - you will be great!

Bumpsadaisie Mon 07-Apr-14 11:04:14

OP, EVERYONE else feels like this.

There is no right way or wrong way to change a nappy or bath a baby, don't let anyone scare you by saying it has to be done like this or like that. Just start doing it as seems sensible to you and carry on. Soon you'll be doing with your eyes closed due to sleep deprivation smile.

The only thing you need to do is love your baby (most of the time, sometime you will want to get 100 miles away!), and be responsive to his or her needs. It doesn't matter whether you breast or bottle feed, co sleep or not, use a sling or not, use a baby bath or the big bath, or any number of permutations.

When baby arrives he or she will be a little stranger who is nonetheless quite familiar because you have been carrying him around for 9 months. It'll take a while to get to know each other, you'll try a then b then c to try and work out what he needs. But soon you will know him better than anyone else and you will know what he needs and wants because you are his mummy. Don't worry too much. It just happens!

No one can be as good a mummy to your baby as YOU. You were designed for each other. Don't let any bossy midwife or interfering mother in law or friend tell you otherwise!

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