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Newborn baby - feeling very overwhelmed

(31 Posts)
DaphneMoon1 Tue 03-Feb-15 13:50:32

My little girl is only a week and a half old, and I'm already feeling completely overwhelmed and useless.

She's a little star and I love her so much it actually hurts. I just feel completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of looking after her. I'm so tired and I feel like she thinks I'm just useless. My husband is absolutely amazing with her - she'll cry on me for ages and then will calm down/fall asleep on him instantly. He goes back to work next week and I'm bloody terrified, to be honest.

DD hasn't been a great sleeper the past few days - kind of dozes fitfully for an hour at a time then she's squawking and crying to be picked up. Through the night she'll have her bottle and will be very awake and alert, no interest in going back to sleep (and when she does again it's just an hour at a time) but I understand this is quite normal. Difficult to cope with sometimes though. The house is a mess, I can't get anything done because the baby is awake and looking to be held all the time (she won't lie on her playmat awake, she just gets upset, but we're going to try a bouncy chair later today - husband going out to buy it this afternoon).

She's eating really well and the midwife and HV are really pleased with how she's doing but I think she has an issue with wind (we spend ages winding her after every feed, using infacol and dr browns bottles but we seem to be unable to get it all up - I dunno what else to do) so her tummy hurts and I think this is what is causing her to be so wakeful. She's formula fed and is quite constipated. Trying the water thing but finding it so hard to stay on top of sterilising bottles and then she won't take the water, she stops sucking (and pulls the cutest little disgusted face) as soon as she realises it isn't milk.

Sorry I know this is a bit of a senseless rant but I'm so teary and I just feel like she hates me and I'm so crap at this. I know logically that everything is ok and we're just new at this. I feel so guilty for feeling like his because she's awesome and we're so lucky to have her.

Any advice..?

Pandapickle100 Tue 03-Feb-15 14:00:36

I could have written this 3 weeks ago! Our Dd is 4 weeks today and was exactly the same, she is now much more settled and sleeping between midnight to 6am most nights.... It just takes time for them to settle and for you both to get to know each other. We also moved to Aptimel Comfort milk abd Tommee Tippee Veri Flow teats with Infocol before each feed which is making a huge difference! Hang in there, sleep deprivation has a lot to answer for and she adores you, maybe just picking up on your anxieties!? It gets better xxx

FlossieTreadlight Tue 03-Feb-15 14:02:22

I promise, hand on heart promise, that it will get easier. It is such a massive shock to have a child for the first time and it takes a long while to get used to it for a lot of people.

Your daughter will cry a lot over the next few weeks as she gets over the shock of birth and the loud, smelly world that she's entered. It's nothing you're doing, it's honestly a phase.

One suggestion re bottle feeding and wind is to stop her drinking and wind her during each feed - a few times. Sadly though little babies hate burping and farting so it will be a loud stressful performance which will get loads easier at around the 12 ish week point.

Your daughter thinks the sun, moon and stars shine out of your bum. Fuck the housework, stick box sets on and snuggle down. You've had a baby - be kind to yourself

FlossieTreadlight Tue 03-Feb-15 14:05:01

Ps I was teary for about 4-6 weeks after both my kids were born. Hormones were raging/changing plus I didn't know my arse from my elbow. Keep talking to your HV and discuss with your GP at your 6 week check.

CultureSucksDownWords Tue 03-Feb-15 14:09:42

It's a huge adjustment becoming a new parent, so no wonder you're feeling a bit all over the place. Plus you're still dealing with post pregnancy hormones as well.

You are not useless at all, and your baby doesn't have any negative opinions about you! She's too little to know anything about anything. For some reasons babies often seem to calm when held by their dads, but it isn't a reflection on anyone else.

At this age, they will be very unsettled at night and sleeps may be short. This does improve as they get older. It doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong or that you need to change anything, unless it suits you to.

Housework is also completely unimportant at the moment. It really doesn't matter if things get left because the most important job at the moment is the baby.

One of the benefits to you of formula feeding is that your DH can do the feeds too, so seize the opportunity now and make sure you get a fair share of sleep whilst he's still on leave.

ch1134 Tue 03-Feb-15 14:42:44

She's a bit little for a bouncy chair. If she cries on you anyway, could you put her in a moses basket for a few minutes while you run around doing a quick bit of housework so you feel like you're coping?

Topseyt Tue 03-Feb-15 15:29:06

Moses basket or pram would be better, or a rocking car seat for newborns. I think at that age you will find she slumps to a fairly bad angle in a bouncy chair. She might still be about three or four weeks off being strong enough to sit in one for a short time.

I wouldn't bother with housework at the moment. Perhaps your family or your husband would be willing to do some for you, but at the moment you need to concentrate on yourself and your baby.

Having a baby is a complete culture shock, especially the first one. Believe me, it really does get easier. In a few weeks it is a whole different ball game.

Night feeds can be a problem because any issues do seem a million times worse in the small hours of the morning and sleep-deprivation is torture. I used to make sure I provided absolutely NO unnecessary stimulation at night. Voice low, saying little (or nothing if possible), just a feed only and try to wind them (my eldest was hard to wind too). Then I would put them down whether they were asleep or not. When they cried a few minutes later I would pick them up and wind them again (often worked this time) and then put them down, asleep or not. I just kept on like that and they seemed to get the message that night feeds were business only, not playtime. Well, it worked for me anyway, though some may not agree with some of it.

Everything you describe feeling now is totally normal. Most of us have been where you are now, and it is hard. Very hard indeed. In fact, I think my eldest (now 20 and at uni) was about the age your baby is when I felt as though I had made a huge mistake, wrecked our lives and that clearly motherhood was not for me. It was baby-blues really. Keep talking to your Health Visitor/midwife/GP. They have heard it all before and are usually good supports. Don't suffer in silence.

DilysDerwent Tue 03-Feb-15 16:10:13

If you are getting stressed about not getting stuff done (which you don't need to because it isn't important at the moment smile) try putting her in a sling. I do washing up, hang laundry, non-dangerous cooking all with DS on my front.
See if you have a local sling library - I just discovered mine and it is brilliant. You get excellent advice and you can try lots out before you decide which to buy. Wish I'd done this before spending £100 on a BabyBjorn that hurts my shoulders.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 03-Feb-15 16:15:14

Everything you've said is entirely normal. It certainly is overwhelmingly. It does get better. New babies are designed to cry to ensure they stay near a caregiver, as they're too. vulnerable to be alone.

Lower your standards. Eating and showering are a good base to start from. Anything else is a bonus.

Huge congratulations.

TheOriginalWinkly Tue 03-Feb-15 16:21:29

I agree, get a sling. A close caboo is 40 quid in Argos and perfect for little ones. The upright position will help her wind, the closeness will calm her, and you'll be able to do some housework don't bother with housework!

Congratulations, its unbelievably overwhelming but it will fly by smile

DaphneMoon1 Tue 03-Feb-15 19:35:16

A huge thank you for all your replies - much appreciated and they genuinely do make me feel better. I know rationally that it will get better. I just feel like time is passing slowly so far and it seems to be getting harder as she seems to be crying more and more. I guess she's maybe just waking up now.

She is currently crying (not full on bawling but she's grumpy!) for an undisclosed reason. Do they do that?? Or is she sick? She is fed, warm and dry. She is straining to poo but having no luck so must be that or wind (although I've winded her to within an inch of her life and nothing is happening). I dunno how to help her sad.

It isn't really a bouncy chair we bought, it's a vibrating chair from the Mothercare Loved So Much range (suitable from birth apparently). So far no joy with it but only tried it when she had a sore tummy so will try again later when she's calm. I'll try anything...

Taking the sling idea on board, I'll see if I can get one in the next few days. Thanks for that. I will relax on the housework front (hard to do when visitors keep turning up! But I'm going to start saying no to visitors until I feel better. Tired of being pressured into allowing visits). My husband for the record is doing about everything for us both just now. I cannot ask him to do any more than he's doing. He's knackered and stressed out too.

I had a fairly traumatic labour and an emergency c section. In all honesty I think this has affected me a little more than I had appreciated. I still feel pretty ropey. I feel a bit shell shocked by the whole process to be honest.

sunnybobs Tue 03-Feb-15 19:41:12

Every day gets a tiny bit easier honestly - my baby is 5 weeks now and I think I spent the first 3 crying irrationally about everything and this is my third! Still floored with exhaustion. Lower your standards massively, I love my house to be neath& clean but have had to close eyes to some of the mess just to get through. Never linked to anything before but if it works the article above helped me feel more normal too smile

CultureSucksDownWords Tue 03-Feb-15 19:45:44

Oh blimey. I had a EMCS after a lengthy induction and no progress in labour. For the first few weeks I felt like I'd been hit by a truck, and I was very wobbly for the first 2 weeks or so. Take it easy and do whatever you need to cope, if that means no visitors for a while then that's fine.

Babies do just cry for no reason, especially little ones. They've only been in the world for a matter of days and everything can be a bit much for them. Some babies do just like to be held close for a while until they get used to the world. That's where a sling can be a brilliant thing.

TheOriginalWinkly Tue 03-Feb-15 19:54:00

Sometimes it seems like they cry for no reason at all sad Try the tiger in the tree hold , it can help grumpy and colicky babies.

I hafa shocking labour too, I booked an appointment with the hospital's 'birth reflections' midwife. We went through my notes, I found it helped me feel a lot better about the whole thing (I felt like I'd failed as a mother before I'd even started, which was tosh obviously!)

saltnpepa Tue 03-Feb-15 19:54:15

At 10 weeks they have a massive growth spurt and become demonic, constantly starving and unsettled, I'd bet that's what's going on. Your baby loves you in the same way you love her and she has no idea if either of you are doing it 'right' or 'wrong'. Babies just are unsettled sometimes and you might never get to the bottom of it, wind, constipation, who knows. She's gaining weight and sleeping some of the time, you are getting a bit of sleep and managing to keep the house just about ticking over - this in itself is a major success! Congratulations and chill.

Nolim Tue 03-Feb-15 20:04:15

It is overwhelming to care for a newborn. It is a huge responsibility and sleep deprivation is a bitch. So be kind to yourself, you are doing great! the midwife and HV have said so!

A few practical suggestions, that worked for me (most of them mentioned by other posters already):
1) Lower your standards. Who cares that your home is messy. Use your time to sleep, eat and look after your baby. Order takeout if you can.
2) Since you are ff i suggest the one that is already made. I hated all the boiling and mixing.
3) get all the help you can get from your DP and family if they are supportive. Even an hour for yourself can make a lot of difference and it doesn't really matters who cooks, does the laundry, etc.
4 ) yes, babies cry for no reason. accept it and count to ten.
5) It will get better. For me it got a lot better when the baby started smiling. Finally, some positive reaction!
6) Once things get easier i suggest to go to playgroups at children's centre, solftplay, etc. Being able to interact with other mums is invaluable.
7) talk to your DP. it is not easy for either of you, but it is easier together.

And feel free to come back to MN and rant away anytime!!

HerewardTheTired Tue 03-Feb-15 20:04:30

I underestimated the impact my shocker of a birth had on my confidence and ability to cope with the baby. I was a shambles.

A good friend then told me that she counted a day with a newborn productive if she was dressed, showered, had fed and changed the baby adequately and had eaten two meals by the time her DH got home from work.

That cheered me up. She also reminded me that babies just cry a lot and if in doubt, feed them. They're almost certainly hungry, even if they've only just finished the last feed. Bloody growth spurts.

Good luck!

FoxyMcFox Tue 03-Feb-15 20:06:32

Change the brand of formula is she is constipated. Her poo should come out like toothpaste without straining. SMA had my ds pooing little pebbles. Aptimil made him fart like a trooper. We finally settled on Cow and Gate and he was a different baby.

Not suggesting any brand in particular but it might be worth (gradually) switching.

amy83firsttimer Tue 03-Feb-15 20:13:25

10 day growth spurt I'd say.
Oh, and definitely get a sling!!!

Congratulations and good luck recovering from your surgery (please don't forget you've had an operation and need to get sleep when possible and eat well) flowers

tenwrigglywigglycaterpillars Tue 03-Feb-15 20:13:36

It does get easier, honestly. By 6 weeks everything has settled down a bit and by 6 months things are so so so much easier! I know it's overwhelming but I agree with a pp who said lower your expectations. Just concentrate on cuddling and feeding dd and keeping yourself fed and watered. That's all that matters. It's bloody tough - keep trucking flowers

Enjoy your beautiful new DD.

EternalBeauPlate Tue 03-Feb-15 20:14:48

Don't let visitors in!
Say you are tired now, do it next week instead. Lie and say you have a health visitor due or hide if people insist on coming over.
It's nice everyone wants to see you but the baby will still be there in a week or two and you need rest and quiet NOW.

FlossieTreadlight Tue 03-Feb-15 20:15:46

Daphne, I'd highly recommend Birth Stories - ask your MW. It was great for me after a traumatic delivery winebrewthanksfor you

Genevieve1976 Tue 03-Feb-15 20:16:23

As above with it all, mine 24 days old but feels like 24 years ago. I'm exhausted and when my other half went bk to wk (he goes away 2 wks in a row, bk for a wkend then off again) I nearly fell apart. It is only this week starting to see a bit of light at end of the tunnel, had c section too so def turning a corner in that area. My friend told me about the wonder weeks book off amazon, it explains a lot and reassures you. You have done something awesome, made a baby, got through major surgery, and have a bundle of newborn baby to care for, and your doing a grand job my lovely. We will all look back on this time in disbelief this time next year!!!!! �� xx be kind to yourself xxx

Ilovenannyplum Tue 03-Feb-15 20:24:23

My DS has exactly that chair, he was a teeny 6lb-er and I stuck him in it from birth, he was fine in it. The vibrate bit kept him nice and quiet! He still goes in it now, he tries to escape but he gets put in it none the less!

It gets easier, you'll get to know each other and you'll understand what she needs. DS is 5 months and only now do I feel like I know what I'm doing! When I left the hospital with him, I was so shock that I am now responsible for this tiny helpless but very cute little person.

Im sure your a lovely mum, don't stress over it and sod the housework smile

Luxme Wed 04-Feb-15 00:19:47

Awww don't worry, you can't see it now but it gets better!

I used Colief because infacol didn't work for mine. The Tiger in the tree pose worked for us as did swaddling, white noise and a vibrating chair.

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