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Finding it hard to adjust to life with a baby(55 Posts)
I'm a first time mum with a baby daughter who is now 10 weeks old. I love her very much - but I don't enjoy being a mum and I don't feel like I'm doing a good job. I'm finding it difficult to get through every day and as the weeks go on it seems to be getting harder. She likes to be held most of the time and gets very irate very quickly whe put down. She doesn't seem to like to sleep anywhere during the day and I feel constantly on edge waiting for her to start wailing. We tried baby yoga last week which she wailed her way through and I felt terrible, so judged, like I don't even know how to keep my daughter happy. It feels like she's only satisfied when she's feeding (I am ebf)
I'm in tears most days and I know my husband is starting to worry. It's always worst on Mondays when I think "how the hell am I going to fill this week?" I spend so much time googling for ways to keep her happy and reading parent books, but they just seem to bear no resemblance to my life. I'm starting to wish I could give my pre-pregnancy self a good talking to.
Oh tiny, try not to despair. You are normal. This bit is bloody hard work - or at least I found it hard - but it DOES get better, I promise.
Have you thought about an activity that you also enjoy, such as waterbabies / puddleducks? Normally they start when your baby is 12 weeks, and it's a good way to get out and enjoy something together.
Do you have family nearby who can lend a hand / watch DD for an hour while you pop out to the shop / hairdresser / gym / park bench?
When they scream bloody murder every time you put them down it is absolutely exhausting and you feel helpless. I remember some days I didn't even get dressed, let alone shower. It's hard. But you can do it.
If you feel you literally can't cope, put DD down in her cot, where she's safe, and call someone. Just removing yourself for a minute can defuse things a bit.
You're going to be fine, give yourself a break - this is a hard stage but you'll get through it together.
You don't 'need' to do any activities whatsoever with her. Just try and take the pressure off in terms of wondering how you're going to fill your week. Getting out and about should be only if it suits you and gives you a change of scene - your baby really want care
This is a tricky stage but it does pass
Most activities are pointless when they're that little. Instead can you look for an NOT bumps and babies group or coffee morning, or an under 1's group at your local children's centre? That way you can feed your baby and chat to other mums of tinies.
Also (and apologies for the go-to mums net solution for almost everything) do you have a sling? If not try to get to a local sling meet/sling library, that way your DD can be held and you can have two free hands to drink a coffee.
Oh bloody hell I meant an NCT bumps and babies. You don't need to be a member. Also when your DD is a few weeks older I do rate Baby Sensory - it's amazing even for very small babies and my nap refusing DD nodded off in the car afterwards every single week.
I have a 10 week old so am in a similar boat- mine doesn't really sleep or settle during the day unless in buggy or car (then wakes almost as soon as I stop).
I also have a 2yo though who was exactly the same. It does get better after the three monthish stage, promise. They start napping properly in the day meaning you can have a cup of tea and recharge and also become more interactive and interesting. Hang in there.
And yes if you can leave baby just here and there for an hour or so it will help a lot.
In the evenings I hand him over to dp with a bottle (either expressed or formula) so that I can get on with normal things like making dinner.
This helps my sanity too.
Colic or reflux?
I had a baby like that. I hated it and swore never to take a long mat leave again.
Don't panic, Tiny - this bit is absolutely awful for a lot of people. I went completely mad and was googling fostering services and saying I couldn't go on and we'd made an appalling mistake, and I just wanted to go back to my old life. DS was a restless, agitated baby who screamed when put in his pushchair and hated the sling, and BF didn't work, and I had to be careful because I'd had a CS etc etc.
It wasn't PND, it was just that life with a small baby was (for me) absolutely appalling - I felt as though I'd died and gone to hell. A good friend said 'It gets better, and the old self you are mourning hasn't died, it's just gone into stasis for a while - it'll be back.' And it's true, in my experience. The thing that you can't see and that I can, is that this gruesome bit is actually pretty short, though I'l never forget how grim it was when it was happening. Your baby will start becoming a person, respond to you, and become a lot easier, and you will feel like yourself again. What's panic-inducing about it is that you think this is it, forever, my life is now just this. If you knew that in a fortnight, things would have changed completely, it would be easier.
I wish now that I hadn't let myself get so frightened and gone running around desperately trying to fill my days with activities which were supposedly good for the baby - time enough for that sort of thing later, and my son used to scream through baby massage/NCT coffee mornings, after I'd sweated blood getting him there on public transport on no sleep. If I had that time again, I would just give myself up to it, install myself on the sofa, feed endlessly, and watch box sets. I would postpone any type of activities or social life outside the house until everything was easier. Just hold to the thought that anything that feels unbearable is strictly temporary.
Best wishes. Honestly, this is the worst part.
Oh and at this stage they really don't need entertaining. Mine is now beginning taking an interest in rattles and crinkly books and will sit on his bouncy chair with one for 20m or so while he watches me. A recent development though, last couple of weeks.
The first months are very hard but yes it does get better. Sleep drpravation makes you feel worst than what you really are iykwim.
I second going to a baby group at a childrens centre, more for you than for the baby. You dont need to fill the week, it is good to get out of the house if you enjoy getting fresh air but dont beat yourself out about classes and stuff, all babies have to do is being babies. No one is judging the mum of a 10 mo.
And bin the parenting books, all the say is "everything is normal and all babies are different". Do you get support from your oh, family, friends,
I agree with absolutely everything ButterDish has written - could have been writing about me.
Hang in there - it does get so so much easier very soon.
Agree that the early stages can just be utterly appalling. I hated it so, so much and felt like I'd been sold a lie! I did have PND and was prescribed a dose of antidepressants to take the edge off, which it did. Once I started them, it started getting easier.
You don't have to do activities, but I found it helped get me out and about. I couldn't give a shit about the benefits of baby massage; but I did it so some of the day was taken up and I didn't have to worry about it. The Sure Start Children's Centre's are fabulous and run all sorts of classes.
Finally; please take sanctuary in the fact that it gets so, so much nicer! When they sit up, then walk, use the potty, eat... It's so so lovely because if they want that toy; they can get up and go and do it! And it often makes for happier families all round because everyone can get around and amuse themselves that bit better.
It does get better. If it didn't, none of us would ever have more than one child
The first 3 months are so hard. Hang in there.
My friend described it as like being on a roller coaster and not being allowed to get off. Small babies are bloody hard work, and nobody can prepare you for just how much your life changes. It is very, very normal to be feeling how you feel. You will come out of the other end of the fog, I promise. Don't feel you have to be doing things unless you particularly want to. Looking back on my maternity leave, I wonder why I kept dragging my ass out of the house when I didn't really want to. I should have just stayed in bed with the baby and a box set. Having said that, if you do want to get out, baby groups are invaluable for meeting people who are just as tired and overwhelmed as you!
OP you are lovely and so very normal. There is no 'really good job' to be done at this stage.. You just need to get the job done. Every baby is different and every mother is different.
My son is 13 months and life is a joy now. Having been free and single for 38 years before he was born, and selling my 10 year old business just before he arrived, I found the adjustment the biggest miserable shock of my life. I fought it every step of the way because I couldn't control him (and his reflux) like I had always controlled everything else in my life to that point. The first 8 months were hideous, but I made it that way as I tried so hard to recreate my pre-baby perfect life. What a farcical impossibility.
I don't have any more babies planned, but regret this a little now as I often wish I could go back and do it again to fix so many of my mistakes I made. I wish I had given in to the whole thing, strapped him to my chest, fed on demand, napped on demand (both of us), ignored routine, stopped trying to be normal again. I wish I had walked around London, chatted to other new mums, and shoved a boob in his mouth every time he got upset.
You are doing FINE. Forget baby yoga...some mums and babies like it, some don't. Mine hated any of that old bollox. He also hated swimming, baths, massage, other people, vibrating chairs, being naked, being dressed, being in the car, and lying down. He was covered in baby acne, with a very angry little bird face. And I am very very nostalgic for that phase now. I wish I could do it again and CHILL OUT!!
You are so nearly into the 'more interesting' bit so hang in there. It won't be too long before she is rolling and babbling and crawling then pulling herself up etc and I found that tons better. She will be able to interact with you more too which I found made such a difference.
Also, give yourself time to get used to your new role! It's a big change, and most people don't just slip into it effortlessly, no matter how they appear.
I freely admit to hating the newborn bit and I survived it twice! You sound like you're doing just fine as a first time mum. I used to like wondering round with the baby in the pram just for something to do and maybe nip into a shop for a little treat.
If you really feel you're not coping, please talk to your GP who should totally understand (Mine did) Don't try and battle on needlessly (as I did). You might turn a corner soon though, fingers crossed for you.
Remember babies change all the time and bear in mind that if you're not enjoying one phase, you may feel completely different in a couple of weeks. And it's ok not to love all of it!
Everyone on his thread is so lovely, and I wish I could have met them when I was going through all this.
I feel quite teary reading all your lovely posts, as they are all SO ACCURATE, and so understanding of how much the newborn stage sucks (I mean REALLY sucks, not just coz you are tired).
I thought I was dying of regret. Now I want to gobble him and his fat thighs all up every day.
Your baby sounds like my DS at that age. It's awful when all the other babies seem to love yoga, massage, baby Sensory etc. I haven't read the other comments so these may have already been suggested. First Google the 4th trimester and you will realise your baby is completely normal. Second, go to a sling library and get yourself a good sling. Third go to the baby classes if you want for yourself and don't if you don't want to. Your baby doesn't need them at the moment as she will get all her stimulation from watching the world and listening to you talk/sing to her. At this stage they are for you not her. FWIW my nct pals with 'easy' newborns are finding the toddler stage hard whereas it's a breeze for me, even though I would say I still have a higher needs toddler than theirs. It gets so much easier!
OP, I've just been through what you are going through. My DS is 24 weeks. It's bloody awful isn't it? You have this lovely life, career, nice house, holidays then you want the cherry on top (a baby) and they arrive and you think "what the fuck I have done. I've ruined everything." Nobody blummin told me it would be that hellish. But it does get better. You find your own groove in the parenting world, you and your DC just sort of settle into getting to know each other, feeding, sleeping, coping becomes easier. You might find a nice baby group, you might not. I've been to them all round here and I like the 1 hour maximum sensory/sing ones. The endless tea and cake and playing style playgroups drive me bonkers. I had to try them to find out though! DS hated swimming at first but now loves it, he hated his bouncer, now he loves it, he just needed to grow a bit. He didn't start doing anything it at least 12 weeks and now he's come full circle. I've just spent the last hour saying firmly to him "go to sleep". Nightmare!
My point is that things change, they grow v quickly from 10 weeks and you also learn what you want to do/don't want to do.
Best of luck. Xxxx
Sorry for the Xxxx. Total Mumsnet faux pas I know. Shoot me now.
Well done Littlecaf, you have got yourself sorted WAY faster than I did...lovely post. xx
Wasn't meant to be a boast or anything! Hope it didn't sound like that.
I have a link to a Mumsnet thread on my phone which I saved when DS was about 6 weeks and I was still in hell. I look at it every now and then to remind myself that lots of other people felt the same as I did. It makes everyday feel more sane.
Also OP, I found some solace in mummy blogs. They sometimes get a bad press on Mumsnet, but who cares. Try the The Unmumsy Mum and Hurrah for Gin. Read when you are feeding at 3am.
It's very hard. I could sympathise with everything that you said.
I'm a mum of 3 and my first and third babies were like that. By the time I was a third time mum I had the confidence not to care what other people thought where as with my first I barely went out because of embarrassment when he even made a peep.When people look at you trying to soothe a grumpy child it's because they don't know children, have forgotten what they are like or are sympathising because they know how hard it can be.
With my high maintenance babies, I wore them in a stretchy sling so they could doze on and off and I had my arms free which helped a lot. They naturally outgrew what I think is colic when they were about 18 weeks ish.
When you have a grumpy baby it seems like every other baby is placid and happy but I really think that those babies aren't the norm and that those without a medical issue like allergies settle down at 4-6 months.
I used to worry that high maintenance baby = high maintenance older child but don't worry about that. My youngest is very laid back and didn't even go through terrible 2s/ threenager phases while my easy baby became a preschooler who wouldn't sleep.
Please don't be hard on yourself. It's so hard looking after a young baby but it does get easier.
This stage feels like it's going to last forever, but it doesn't, honestly. One day you'll look back on this time and it will seem to have flashed by. It gets easier, and most of us struggle at first! They don't come with instructions and rely on you for everything, it can seem seriously overwhelming. Stay strong and enjoy that baby!
Littlecaf, don't worry, no one would have thought of it as boast, just a lovely, thoughtful reassurance that it gets better. And OP, it really does, I promise. You're trapped in the first three months which, for so many of us, can be alternately hellish and heavenly. With my first, I spent the first couple of months fretting that I'd ruined everything, even though I adored him. All of sudden it turned into the best thing I'd ever done, and still is. So much so I had more of the little blighters.
Stay strong, reach out for support on here if you can't find it in real life and be assured that what you're feeling is far from unusual.
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