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Feeling like I do everything wrong

(29 Posts)
willowsmyname Thu 01-Aug-13 13:38:28

I've got a 7 week old and am constantly feeling like I'm doing everything wrong with her. I've become obsessed with putting her in a routine but I can't seem to make it work. Every morning I vow that today will be different but then every day, I do something that screws it up. I can't get her to sleep in her moses basket in the day and spend hours trying to get her to drift off only for her to wake up 10 mins later screaming. She's overtired and won't sleep unless I carry her round. I was determined that she would sleep in the day in her basket and not have a dummy, both of which I've completely failed to enforce.

I feel like a complete failure and that I can't make anything work. I've been trawling internet sites, and it seems like everyone else can make a routine work - why can't I? I'm tired and overwrought and feel like I'm a crap parent. It's not meant to be this hard is it?

JuliaScurr Thu 01-Aug-13 13:50:00

You're not a failure! Giving birth, esp to your 1st baby, is the most gobsmacking experience

If you want/need a routine, read some advice and keep trying
If you feel you SHOULD have one, maybe reconsider if it's really what you want

Deep breaths. Do what you want to do. Whatever you decide, someone will tell you you're wrong. Ignore them. Find people who will help you do what YOU decide

willowsmyname Thu 01-Aug-13 14:38:43

Thanks Julia. I've been trying to follow the Baby Whisperer but I just don't think she / I are cut out for it. I keep making all these promises like "I won't let her sleep in our bed tonight" and then every night don't follow through. It's all making me feel a bit crap. I wish I could either relax and stop trying or have the conviction to follow it through. I'm in a lather of indecision and have no confidence in the decisions I make. Is it normal to feel like this and this anxious and stressed? Everyone keeps telling me to enjoy the precious first weeks but I'm just finding them exhausting and un-precious! Feel shit

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Thu 01-Aug-13 15:33:05

No, everyone else can't make a routine work!

I'm sat cuddling dd 14wks and the only routine I have for her is the time we get up and the bedtime routine. We're doing fine and she's very content with feeding/sleeping wherever. She hasn't spent anytime in the Moses basket, hated it!, sleeps in her cot til 4am ish then in bed with me, but at 7 weeks she just slept with me. She still wakes every 2-3 hrs but has the odd 4/5 hour spell. She goes to bed at 8 now, slowly worked back from 1030 ish at 7 weeks.

She falls asleep feeding most of the time and likes to be held a lot still. She's slept mostly in the sling during the day since she was born.

The difference between you and me is this is my dc2, so I know all this is NORMAL.

If you just go with the flow your baby will show you her routine over the next month or 2.

I'm reading the no cry sleep solution at the moment which suggests 2 helpful things you can do at this age. Try to get them used to not falling asleep on the breast or with a bottle in the mouth, and do this by gently removing when they're v sleepy, and then keep trying till it works. Also, once this is going well, put them down sleepy, again resettling if they don't fall asleep even with feeding if necessary, and trying again. The book explains it v much better!

So for now, please please ditch the routines, cosleep to your hearts content, skip the housework and just cuddle your baby. You will not make a rod for your back, you will not end up with a 5 year old still sleeping in our bed (unless you want to). Start bedtime when it suits your baby an slowly bring it earlier, get up at the same time everyday, and try to get out of the house every day too.

You never get this time back. Make it as easy for you both as you can. Baby's that fit into a routine chosen by someone other than them are rare. Try to let go and be happy.

lollipoppi Thu 01-Aug-13 16:46:28


DD didn't have a routine, she just settled into one by herself at around 12 weeks. She is now 6 months.
the first few months are the hardest, nobody prepares you for having a baby!

I have a DS who is 2.9 and I still question my decisions every day!

Your doing a great job, just relax x

StuntNun Thu 01-Aug-13 16:54:00

Calm down Willow it sounds perfectly normal. Some babies suit routines, others don't. Give yourself time to learn your lo's personality and find your way together. When my youngest was that age I followed his lead then tried to adjust it to suit family life better over time. At 8 months he's still running the show!

MrsHelsBels74 Thu 01-Aug-13 18:51:34

Never got into a routine with either of mine. Anyone who enjoys the first few weeks is a liar, it's bloody hard work, exhausting and you are terrified that everything you're doing is somehow going to screw your baby up for life.

All your baby needs right now is to be fed, clean and loved, you're obviously doing that. Please don't fret about what you 'ought' to be doing, babies aren't machines and what works for one won't work for another.

Good luck and remember it's still very early days.

badguider Thu 01-Aug-13 18:56:31

I strongly believe that the best routines don't come out of a book but follow the baby's natural rhythms or routines... the friends I know who mastered 'routine' watched their babies for a few weeks going with the flow and wrote down what they did when then just reinforced that natural routine rather than trying to impose one from a book.

gamerchick Thu 01-Aug-13 18:59:16

Little babys are a law into themselves and all that matters is surviving.

As long as their basic needs are met, you can't screw it up. It's impossible.

The first few months is like the forth trimester of pregnancy... you just have to get them out early because of our large heads. So it's normal that they don't want to be parted from us.. I mean, would you? You've been carried about for 40 weeks, you've never known hunger, changes in temperature, strange sensations in the shorts area and then you're shoved out into the loud and the bright and the only familiar thing is your mother. Of course you're not going to want to go anywhere near a routine that means sleeping alone away from your only familiar thing are you?

Give yourself a break.. this is normal and it passes.

TheOldestCat Thu 01-Aug-13 19:03:08

Neither of mine (now 6 and 3) were in anything approaching a routine at that age.

Your baby is still very little and you are doing a great job. Please don't let how other people parent their babies make you worry.

The first few weeks are often not the joyous time many lead you to believe - I felt knackered and overwhelmed. But slowly things adjusted and we fell into something approaching a routine around three months or so. I was led by them and it worked. And I co-slept for the first few months and BF them to sleep until they were 18 months - both go to sleep themselves in their own beds and have done for years!

Please be kinder to yourself.

QTPie Thu 01-Aug-13 19:12:20

You are not a failure! You are like most new mums... just finding your way.

Agree that it is very hard to make a strict routine work. I started encouraging natural patterns that I saw from when DS was 3 weeks old and we made up our own routine (used to take him out for a walk every morning too - break for both of us).

To be completely honest, naps didn't get sorted out out 6 months old and that is VERY common.

Take care, be easy on yourself (and your baby) and try to relax x

MrsMummyP Thu 01-Aug-13 19:14:48

We have no routine in the day and my DD is 16weeks. we have a bedtime routine which just means that we do the same thing each evening, but it hasn't produced a baby that sleeps through the night. Yet. <crossing fingers>

As long as the baby is fed you are doing great. My parents, and grandparents were surprised that the baby needed to sleep so often, just wanted to be cuddled, I got lots of 'oh she needs feeding again?' remarks. Ignore them and anyone else who says they have a routine.

At 12 weeks a pattern might begin to emerge and then you can maybe start to reclaim a bit if structure, but even then it can vary wildly day to day.

No-one told me how hard the first 12 weeks were. It's still hard, but I think I was in shock for a lot of it- also had a nasty tear after delivery to contend with- what was your delivery like? Not being able to sit down, being sore, being constantly milk spattered (either formula or breast milk), tired, weepy is all normal, just no one tells you. Apart from those on mumsnet smile

Don't be so hard on yourself. Make a cup of tea and relax because once your baby can smile properly and starts rolling over, you'll wonder where your tiny baby of just a few week ago has gone! xx

CailinDana Thu 01-Aug-13 19:20:11

I am currently bfing my 5month old to sleep. She'll sleep in the cot till about 11 when she'll wake and come into the bed with me. I love sleeping with her it's just lovely. I already have an independent 2.6 year old who wouldn't contemplate sleeping with me so i'm making the most of it!

Do what works. Looking after a small baby is a full time job don't worry about anything else.

MrsMummyP Thu 01-Aug-13 19:21:56

Also stay away from the books for a while and if someone asks you what parenting style/technique you are using say 'independent parenting' grin. Means you know your baby best and no one else. Dip into the books and take what you need from them when you need it. And relax. You have a lovely baby to cuddle/admire.

HandMini Thu 01-Aug-13 19:23:20

I promise you that ten minute naps, wanting to be held all the time, breastfeeding to sleep, bringing baby into bed with you are all totally normal and fine in a small baby. I would just try and change your pace a bit to accept the erratic hours and its very likely that by around 3 months your gorgeous baby will have settled into something of a pattern that you can follow. Good luck, it sounds like you're doing brilliantly and the first few weeks are such an overwhelming wave of newness!

nancerama Thu 01-Aug-13 19:29:21

It sounds like you're doing everything right. You are working out what your baby wants and needs and doing your best. That's all you can do.

What worked for me (although I didn't try it until DS was about 14 weeks, so I have no idea if it will work for you yet) was to apply the 2 hour rule. Every time DS woke from a nap, I took note of the time and made sure he was asleep again by the time 2 hours had passed. Any longer than 2 hours and he became angry and overstimulated and would yell for hours.

To get him to sleep I did whatever it took - feeding to sleep, walking with the pram, rocking him.

I also got in the habit of playing the same piece of music every time I was lulling him to sleep. He soon came to associate the music with feelings of sleepiness and he found it much easier to drop off.

CailinDana Thu 01-Aug-13 19:30:44

Oh and i should add that my dd naps randomly throughout the day in the pram or in my arms wherever we happen to be. My ds decided he wanted to nap in his cot at a certain time when he was about 1 and it was a pain in the buttocks. Routine is great in some ways but very limiting in others - having to be at home for naptime every day (when i could be out with friends!) isn't fun. Ime most children develop a routine even if you don't really want them to!

nancerama Thu 01-Aug-13 19:36:13

I remember feeling much the same as you at 7 weeks. 8 weeks really was a turning point. After his 8 week jabs, he just wasn't himself. That's when it dawned on me that if he wasn't himself I must have a better understanding of him than I thought I had!

SoYo Thu 01-Aug-13 19:39:22

Willow I thought the first 12 weeks were unspeakably shit but could only admit that after they were done and it was much better (DD is 5mo). I too thought I would prefer a routine etc but madam had none of it. In the end I just convinced myself (with the help of MN and good friends) to do what was easiest to get through each day. We never used a Moses basket (despite a few weeks of constant trying), she napped on us, co-slept, fed to sleep and all the other things that unhelpful people told me would make a rod for my own back. Now she's a happy, content 5mo. She sleeps in a travel cot in our room as she likes the space, still wakes up a lot but after a good feed I can put her down sleepy and she'll self settle (and its much less than it was), she's got herself into a nap routine during the day and now has the same bedtime routine at the same time every night. Every now and then it still fails and we get her up for a bit and try again later but usually we have success. I think I changed because after the initial crap 12 weeks time suddenly started to fly by and I realised that none of these stages would last for long so doing what was easiest wasn't a cop out but allowing me to enjoy it more. She's still hard work but now that I get more back from her it all seems so much better. Hang in there and do what's right for you in your heart of hearts, not what you think you should be doing or what others tell you.

HandMini Thu 01-Aug-13 19:47:13

Oh, whoever mentioned the two hour rule, yes, yes,yes! Didn't know about it with baby no 1, assumed she'd sleep when, no. Applied it to baby 2 as my only "regime" if you like, and found it was a really good method for us (for the first few months until she stopped being sleepy all the time).

bigkidsdidit Thu 01-Aug-13 19:50:36

I hae a 5 week old who will only contemplate napping in the stretchy sling. Also at night he will not go in his basket but I have found he loves his pram carry cot and will sleep in there, so I am sleeping on the sofa with him on the pram next to me.

Like a pp this is my second child so I am very relaxed. DS1 did this too, would only nap in the sling until je was 5 months ish? The phase passed and it will with this child too.

I won't say 'enjoy it' because I don't really, I hate the sleep deprivation and the stress of two children crying, but be reassured this tricky phase passes quickly and it all gets a lot easier smile

bigkidsdidit Thu 01-Aug-13 19:51:59

I do the two hour rule as my only routine too!

HandMini Thu 01-Aug-13 20:13:08

Sleep deprivation sucks. There are very very few people who can really be sunny and in control when you're getting three hour chunks of sleep (or worse). Again, hard as it is, just try to accept it. First time round I used to wail and gnash my teeth at how tired I was. Now i just sort of acknowledge that I feel really shit, but in a "oh well, have a cup of tea and a muffin and it won't be for ever" way.

Do you have any friends/siblings/mother/MIL who can come round and keep you company - makes the day go so much faster.

Don't invite anyone round who is going to be smug/patronising about their Gina routine.

waterrat Thu 01-Aug-13 20:20:44

Agree with everyone you should chuck the baby whisperer - enjoy cuddling and sleeping with your baby - one day this time will be long in the past - they all grow up and this time is so short ....

I used a sling for most day time sleep until about 3 months - it actually helped make my ds a reasonable napper although there was no routine ... But I also followed the 2 hour rule - without worrying about exact time of naps

I really would forget the idea of a routine until somewhere around 6 months ... When they sleep much less often but in longer chunks - at that point I do notice a routine ie morning sleep then after lunch sleep then a short late afternoon nap that thy drop at aroun 8 or 9 months

It should be casual not tied to specific times ... And for now you should trust your instinct and just let the baby sleep in your arms or a slings if that is what she wants

willowsmyname Thu 01-Aug-13 20:38:36

Thanks for your kind responses all. Its very encouraging to know others feel the same way. I keep feeling there's something wrong with me for not enjoying this time. I'm not a confident person anyway and sleep deprivation combined with cranky baby is a heady mixture for bringing out all my nurosies it seems! And if one more fucking health visitor tells me to sleep when they sleep I'll punch them!! Thank god for wine

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