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Overwhelmed, is this normal?(7 Posts)
Bit of background, dd is 12 weeks old. Had bad anxiety in pregnancy and struggled a bit with being a mum the first couple of weeks after she was born, esp with feeding and lack of sleep. Very supportive and involved dh.
The last couple of days I've just been feeling overwhelmed again.. Worried I'm not doing things right, worried about what I should be doing and feeling I don't know anything..
For example, things like.. not knowing if she should be having 2 naps a day or shorter more frequent sleeps, how to get her to fall asleep on her own (should she be, is it more important to leave her on her own or to get her to sleep as I can't manage both!), how much playing we should be doing, how much tummy time, how to help her sleep more at night (last week has been bad), how to help her with the discomfort of teething (she's started early)..
And then I just feel panicky about everything coming up.. How il manage with work and her (also have health condition making life more complex), weaning, potty training.. Just how I'll ever know what's best and if I'm doing anything right :-(
Is this normal?
I think feeling worried you're doing it right is normal, but if you can trust in your instincts you'll be doing her proud. If you're reading or hearing a lot of advice it can be overwhelming, but at the base of it all it's more simple I think... Is your baby content, are you spending time just enjoying each other, are you feeling ok I'm yourself, questions like that. You're right in that there's heaps to come, but you and your baby (and partner) will find your way there without external input. Mainly your baby well prompt you Comparing to other babies or advice is tricky at the best of times, it's never worked well for me
Yes, it's normal. At some point soon, you'll learn to out the worry to one side, accept it'll always be there but know it's not helping you or her.
Your post is exactly why being a second time mum is so great. You just don't care about that stuff!
Worried I'm not doing things right - very normal, going back to work is the best thing for me as at least I know that's something I can do. There's an outcome I can see and if I work hard and use my knowledge I get results. Babies - Ha! Follow the rules and work as hard as you like, you'll still have days they can't be put down, won't feed and think sleep is for wimps...
Worried about what I should be doing - fed, warm, loved. Job done.
Feel like I don't know anything = motherhood
Number of naps - all babies are different. Dd is 11m and managed 10mins this am and 30 mins this afternoon. Watch for sleepy signs and go with the flow.
Fall asleep on their own - IME you can't teach this. They all reach it at a different time, just like any other milestone. Dd still needs me sat next to her to fall asleep but will sleep through about 50% of the time.
Playing - watching you potter about and singing or chatting to her is fine. She may just be starting to bother with toys.
Tummy time - mine hated this and so I rarely bothered. Still crawled/walked early.
Sleeping - the no cry sleep solution is a good read but again, some sleep, some don't. Stop thinking of it as something you have to fix. DS woke every 45 mins for 5 months. There wasn't anything I didn't try. Slept through from 8m after I'd given up.
Teething - calpol, Ashton and parsons, cold teethers.
The panicky feelings are the only worrying thing in your post. No one knows how to parent. We all just make it up from books/advice/our own childhoods or trying to do the opposite. Don't try to be super mum. Good enough is more than fine.
Just try to enjoy being a mum as much as you can. The rest will fall into place in its own time.
It's normal to feel like you haven't a clue what you're doing - I'd like to say you start to gain more idea in time, but the reality is that most of us continue to muddle on through and just do the best we can! Babies constantly re-write the manual anyway - you might decide your lo does better with 2 naps a day currently, only to find that she then won't sleep for one of them and sleeps longer for the other. With ds1 I was much more anxious about what to do when, but with dd2 I have just let her dictate what she wants her own routine to be - it will start to become apparent as your lo will start dozing off at a similar time each day, and try putting her down then. Dd2 largely had to fit in with school runs and clubs and nursery pick ups so many of her naps were in the car and it hasn't done her any harm. At 17mo now she has 1 nap around 11am every day. Try to remember that so long as you keep your baby fed and clean, and have places she can sleep such as her cot and carseat if you're out and about, you are doing absolutely fine. It can be easy to get hung up on 'what should I be doing' but there isn't really a right or wrong. Is it really a problem if you settle her to sleep? It is perhaps harder for you time-wise, but in the long-term the reality is she won't be wanting you to cuddle her to sleep when she's 16. I hate the term 'rod for your on back' which is often said and can put pressure on you to do things a certain way. What you're doing is fine! You are a loving caring mum and that is the main thing.
If you find these feelings are getting overwhelming and becoming quite debilitating, have a chat to your GP and or HV as you might have PND. Don't battle on feeling alone and at sea if it is becoming a struggle. All the best x
In the moments when I panicked as a new mum and didn't know what I was doing I would stop everything and spend lots of time cuddling ds and just connecting with him. That answered all my questions because if you listen to your baby they will tell you what they need and that's all you need to know. Don't bother worrying about next week or even tomorrow, just do this afternoon.
Thank you lovely ladies, you have reassured me a bit..
I hope so! Cos I feel exactly like that sometimes, my DD is 17 weeks and I'm constantly over thinking and trying to make sure I'm doing right by her. It's really hard, if you need to chat ever then feel free to PM me x
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