Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Don't know what to do

(27 Posts)
StrawberrySherbet Fri 14-Dec-12 13:23:36

What am I meant to be doing with 4mo DD? I don't mean the obvious stuff like feeding, changing, trying to get her to sleep, etc., I mean the rest of the time. I like it when she's feeding or sleeping or even fighting sleep because then I know what I'm supposed to do.

I suspect the answer involves playing and reading to her and stuff; the trouble is, I really don't want to. I feel like the worst mum in the world, but by the time I've dealt with the screaming fit and got her to sleep and held her through the nap and dealt with the waking-up screams and changed and fed her, I just want to put her down, hand her a toy or two and leave her to it. I don't have the energy to care. My energy levels are at rock bottom and I don't think it's lack of sleep because the nights are really not too bad (maybe because I know what I have to do at nights?).

I feel like I'm stuck on a treadmill and can't get off. I end up resenting DD's demands and then hating myself for it. There isn't anyone to help. I don't trust the HV; she's been useless on everything. DH does his best but he works long hours, and we don't have any family nearby.

SuperDuperTrooper Fri 14-Dec-12 13:53:17

Sorry that you are finding things hard. I can empathise. When my DS was that age I too struggled and often wanted to run and hide.

My main activity was to pop him in his pram and just walk and walk and walk - in ALL weathers! He would, mostly, be happy just looking around and taking in all the sights and sounds. Then, when I noticed he was tired, I would recline the pram and he would sleep and I would walk and walk and walk. Helped to shift some of the baby weight too.

For me it was when he hit about 6 months and was able to interact a bit more that I started to appreciate and enjoy him more. That feeling just grew and grew from there onwards.

If you at all feel that you may be suffering with pnd do go to the GP for a chat. They will get you to complete a short and simple questionnaire to try and determine if you are or not. Don't suffer unnecessarily.

Have you tried going to any baby groups? I found them good and bad and different times but changes of scenery and having adult company is very helpful. Makes the day pass quicker too!

QTPie Fri 14-Dec-12 14:15:30

If in doubt, go out...

Always worked for me: no matter how crap everyone feels, fresh air and a change of scenery ...

Honestly, getting out (and regularly) adds structure to your day, means that you don't have to think of what to do and gives a break from the treadmill that is home life...

How about baby groups? NCT cafe? Waterbabies? Baby Sensory? Sure Start etc? Mother and baby yoga. That sort of thing saved my life...


WeAreSix Fri 14-Dec-12 14:29:54

I have a 4mo DD too. I find getting out helps, but with my 1st DD (who is 9 now) I couldn't summon the energy to get myself out. I was quite lonely and isolated until I found a really lovely baby group - if kept me going. I made a couple of really good friends there, and even now we meet up for coffee etc.

I've found myself feeling a bit like that again recently. The best thing I've done is to tell someone. I posted here first and then told DH how I was feeling. If helped no end, with a good cry too.

DD has got a musical piano thingy which she will lay under happily. It gives me 5 minutes out on mumsnet to get a couple of jobs done, then I can re-focus on her. I admit I don't do as much as I'd like, but its a difficult age where they need entertaining / stimulating but still can't actually do much.

If she's fighting to sleep, do you think maybe she's overtired or even not quite ready for a nap? I've had to learn my DDs sleep cues so that I don't end up pacing the room rocking a crying baby

Have you got any friends with babies or toddlers you can see?

Please don't feel alone, really you're not.

aimingtobeaperfectionist Fri 14-Dec-12 14:34:54

Out and about if you can. Otherwise I found 'involving' baby with household chores worked blush
Talking to baby about what you're doing, sit them somewhere to watch you Hoover, put music on while you dust/cook/iron and sing to baby.
When DD was 4mo we used to have a bit of cuddle time (so I could watch an hour of tv), a bit of playing (read a book, sing a song, dance aroun together) then me gettin on with house things.
By the time you include naps and feeds there's not much of the day left. I really dont think you need to spend all day just focusing on baby and it doesn't make you a bad mum either. Just human.

Hassled Fri 14-Dec-12 14:35:15

Do you have the cash to get something like this playmat? Mine all loved those at that sort of age.

It is a tricky time - as they get older you can interact more obviously easily, if you see what I mean, and actually "play" with things together, so I think you will find it easier in a couple of months time. Just hang in there - mine spent a lot of time in a bouncy chair watching me cook/iron/fascinating stuff like that, and I'd provide a running commentary of what I was doing so it sort of felt like quality interaction, or at least I could convince myself it did.

YDdraigGoch Fri 14-Dec-12 14:37:26

Totally agree with QTP. Find the energy from somewhere to get out. Find something to and a reason to go out every day.
Or invite people with kids the same age, or a bit older, round to you.

It will seem like an enormous effort at first, but will make you feel better very quickly.

There are baby/toddler groups, swimming lessons, or even classes for yourself where child are is offered.
Have a look in your local library to find out what's going on.

StrawberrySherbet Fri 14-Dec-12 20:16:09

I meet up with the people from my NCT class most weeks, but apart from that I don't want to go to groups, because it means meeting strangers and that terrfies me. I did try a few times, but I ended up on my own in the corner because no one spoke to me and I was too scared to speak to them. And I don't see the point of walking when there's nowhere to go; there aren't even any shops near us (not that I have money to spend if there were - so no expensive classes either), let alone a park or anything else nice to go to. Just pounding the streets sounds really boring, and frankly if I'm going to be bored I'd rather be warm and comfortable at home!

Yes, I know, all negative. At the moment everything seems negative. I think what I really want is break, but I can't - DD is always there.

WeAreSix, she always fights sleep in the day and evening, no matter how fast I pick up on the sleep cues, and she won't nap at all unless held so no break there either. God knows why as she hapoily goes down at night foir several hours - fed to sleep, but she won't do that in the day either.

Hassled, we've got one, but she won't go on it for long without attention. I don't know if she's extra demanding or I'm extra bad at coping.

QTPie Fri 14-Dec-12 21:52:45

What about weekends? Can you regularly have a few hours off one afternoon? DH look after your DD whilst you get out of the house?

We used to just walk for miles when DS was younger (he used to fall asleep in the pram). You don't know until you try it and getting DS to sleep was like gold dust.

I am really quite shy, but making an effort at baby groups can be worth it.

Have you thought about returning to work? Being at a SAHM really isn't for everyone. Working may not make a huge amoun if financial sense (ie ith the cost of childcare), but may really help you to feel you again and get the freedom that you want.


SuperDuperTrooper Fri 14-Dec-12 22:33:18

Pounding the streets is boring but it worked for me. It helped to have the change of scenery and fresh air. I actually believe my DS was less grumpy for it. On the days where the weather was really poor and I wouldn't go out I'm sure he was more grumpy!

I returned back to work just 8 hours a week when he was 4 months old and have gradually built up to 20 hours. I am self employed so was able to do things my way. My DH came home early on those days. Financially we were worse off but we decided my sanity was the priority. I have come to realise I am not SAHM material. I need to be away from my DS sometimes to appreciate and enjoy him fully when we are together.

bubbles1231 Fri 14-Dec-12 22:39:03

Baby gym and mat are good.
Once asleep, are you able to lay her down in her cot, this would give you a chance to do something that you want to do, even if it's only for20mins.

sharond101 Fri 14-Dec-12 22:53:59

I found that age extremely difficult and now at 6months DS is so much easier and able to content himself just that little bit longer which I so much appreciate now. We have a Fisher Price jumperoo and a Leap Frog activity centre which have been a godsend. I found at 4months accepting that was how it would be easier than feeling agitated about it and knowing it gets easier is helpful too.

StrawberrySherbet Fri 14-Dec-12 23:15:44

Unfortunately I don't have a job to return to, so I'd have to find one and childcare, which I haven't been able to face yet. It seems very complicated that way round because of not being able to sort the childcare in advance.

DD seems to have given up sleeping in the pram. sad Laying her down while asleep during the day has never worked yet, but I keep trying at intervals. It can take 30-45 minutes from the first tired cues to get her to sleep and then she often only goes half an hour, which is frustrating. However she has just managed over 2 hours in her cot this evening, after her bath and feed, which is a record!

DH does take her a lot more at weekends. I might be stressed because it seems so long since the last weekend!

QTPie Fri 14-Dec-12 23:38:52

It gets bettter: really 4 months is very early days, for both of you...

Have a think about what you want. If going out to work will help you, then start working towards that. Start looking at jobs, then apply for childcare afterwards.

Keep working on naps/ routine, it will improve. DS used to only sleep on me print the pram until 6 months, then we started pushing him backwards and forwards on the pram either on the house or outside to get him asleep and he would stay asleep (45mjns each morning and 1.5hours each afternoon as clockwork). Made life a lot easier! Then at 14 months we started/persevered settling him in the cot and cut to one nap each afternoon (2 to 3 hours). He still does this at almost 3 years!

Having a child is a very longhaul thing, BUT you have a lot of control over it: like anything in life, you need to identify what you want and gently-but-firmly move in that direction. Once you start taking control, you feel more in control and feel a lot better (and less helpless). Ok it does require patience, persistence and a longer term view, but...

Make sure that you use that weekend to get out and do something for you (gym/swim/friends - something "non baby")

WeAreSix Sat 15-Dec-12 07:56:39

strawberry do you have any friends with babies? Someone who can give you support in these early days?

nannynick Sat 15-Dec-12 08:08:47

Do you have a sling/mai-tai so you can carry DD around with you? It sounds to me that she wants to be held a lot so a sling could well help.

Babies like seeing people and places, different sights and sounds. Just do whatever you like taking them with you.

Are you in a small village? Sounds as though you may be quite issolated. Could you meet with people from the NCT group, so people you already know?

LoveMyBoots Sat 15-Dec-12 08:15:00

Don't know if this has been mentioned, but have you had blood tests for anaemia? That can make you feel very tired, and is easily solved with iron tablets.

JellyMould Sat 15-Dec-12 08:29:09

Two things that helped my baby nap were baby massage and swimming. He always had a good nap after either of those, and its something to do. Children's centres often do free massage classes.

3littlefrogs Sat 15-Dec-12 08:51:21

I think you need to see your GP. You sound anxious and depressed, I think you need to tackle this asap.

You say that you are fearful of getting out and meeting people/talking to strangers. Please get some help with this so that you can enjoy your dd as she gets older.

StrawberrySherbet Sat 15-Dec-12 17:57:08

I live in quite a big town, but before I had DD my work (when I had it) and my choir (main hobby which I miss like crazy) were elsewhere, so I don't know many people except through church, and most of my church friends work so aren't around in the day. I meet up with the NCT people but not often anyone else.

I have a sling which is great for going out (in fact I might try walks with DD in the sling, rather than the buggy which I find a faff), but for some reason not as confortable around the house. I think I need to go back to the sling meet when it restarts after Christmas and borrow some others to try.

Also after Christmas I will look into massage and/or swimming, though the children's centre and sports centre websites are massively unhelpful. I could do with a site with lists of all activities in the area but if there is one I haven't found it yet. The GP - maybe. Fear of meeting people is normal for me. And they weren't very helpful when I was depressed when I was pregnant, which puts me off a bit.

DH has had DD for most of today except for feeds, so I had a long relaxing bath and the chance to read!

Loislane78 Sat 15-Dec-12 19:27:26

I understand as my LO is 17 wks. As others have said, she's at the stage of sleeping less and wanting to play but getting frustrated easily as she doesn't have the coordination quite yet. I just chat whilst doing house chores often or snuggle when i'm watching TV smile

Nothing to add in addition to what's been suggested - walks, children's centre etc. Every day I ask my DP if he has any jobs that need doing ie. post letter, get something specific from the shop. Sounds silly but it gets me out, is easily achievable and I have a mini focus in between the baby stuff.

Can't big up the childrens centres enough. As well as my NCT group, I made a point of going and swapping mobiles with some ladies, I invited a few round for coffee and now we meet once a week at each others house. If you meet in 3's its not as awkward initially. Just go and talk to someone with a newborn - you'll be a veteran in comparison and they'll be grateful for your advice.

GL smile

WeAreSix Sat 15-Dec-12 20:27:42

The two best baby / toddler groups I've been to are church based. Dies yours have one?

Have you looked on the local pages on here? Might be some like-minded mnetters near you.

I agree with 3littlefrogs about seeing GP if you are feeling very anxious or low.

sittinginthesun Sat 15-Dec-12 20:31:30

Everything above! Also, try taking a Vitamin D supplement. My energy levels were awful for years after DS2 until I started taking one.

StrawberrySherbet Mon 17-Dec-12 12:30:17

Thanks Loislane, that makes me feel better that I'm not the only one who snuggles my LO while watching TV (or on the internet)! I've just offered to deliver NCT newsletters so that would get me out of the house anyway. Asking DH for jobs is also a good plan. But the children's centre near me mainly does stuff for older babies and toddlers as far as I can see; I only see mums with newborns at the HV clinic and when I try chatting it always seems to be their second baby. blush But we went to see friends yesterday who are expecting their first in January, and answering their questions boosted my confidence as I realised I know more than I thought!

WeAreSix, the church does have a group but it's mainly for toddlers (the baby stuff is really for younger siblings) and is very oversubscribed so I'm a bit hesitant about taking a place.

sitting, hadn't thought of vitamins - thanks.

WeAreSix Tue 18-Dec-12 14:08:22

How are you today Strawberry?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: