I have an 11 month old baby boy and I am sinking. I feel like I am doing everything wrong all the time and he will hate me and realise what a terrible mother I am. I feel like I am constantly searching for the right answer that doesn't exist and there is so much advice out there it is impossible to know what is the right stuff for us. DS sleeps in a sleepyhead and now can't sleep without it, he wakes for 2 hours screaming at night and we can't settle him, I still breastfeed him at night as he won't take a bottle and spits out formula, he wakes at 5am EVERY morning, he is becoming increasingly picky with food and spits out most vegetables, he constantly shouts and screams and is never content. I feel like I didn't tackle things early on and now it will be harder especially as he starts nursery next week and I go back to work. My DH is an amazing father and very hands on, he works long hours and there really isn't any more he can do.
I had PPD and took antidepressants for 6 months which helped a little but I had horrible side effects and a pretty tough time coming off them. I really don't want to go on them again. I know things will get better and I need to try and get things into perspective but at the minute it's hard to see outside this bubble and I feel like I have let DS down.
What do you think you are doing so wrong? I don't think waking at 5am is unusual and why don't you just buy the next size sleepyhead!
Don't beat yourself up - motherhood is hard but you're doing your best and that's all anyone can do
I don't really have much advice but I didn't want your post to go unanswered and maybe this'll bump it for the evening crowd. I found the first year really hard, even without PPD. My DS barely slept and was grouchy all the time. I co-slept as I just didn't have the energy to try gradual retreat or CIO. I'd go out for coffee with my NCT friends and their babies would sit peacefully or snooze whilst mine had to be constantly fed/entertained/jiggled etc. You've done nothing wrong, some babies are just harder work than others (my second is MUCH easier!) It will get better and I actually enjoyed having a bit of a break when I went back to work. Nursery helped DS get used to self settling for naps and his sleep did improve. Good luck and be kind to yourself.
11months is a tricky age. For you it can be exhausting, lonely and physically exhausting. You are doing nothing wrong.
11mo Spitting food out all over is pretty standard stuff but really is just a phase. Just ensure that your little one has lots of mouthfuls of food during the day.. A bit of bread roll here, a fruit pouch there, a nibble of chicken etc. it all adds up over a day.
Posted too soon!
You are certainly NOT a terrible mother. Sometimes putting lo back in nursery feels like a light being shone on all our bad parenting habits. It can make mums feel very self conscious and gives us a tendency to compare and doubt ourselves. Don't panic! Be kind to yourself! Generally nurseries are fab and do a great deal in supporting families to establish good routines.
You may find that the sleep improves with nursery too.
I have an 11 month old too. You have ALL my sympathy, it's really effing hard work.
What are the naps like? The behaviour you're describing sounds like my baby when she's overtired. She has a little nap in the morning, a big one early afternoon and is in bed by 6.45 every night.
I had PPD too and we spent a fortune on sleep consulting so that I could get some rest.
I'd say do some sleep training and you'll have 3 heinous nights then a much happier baby xx
Thank you everyone, I think I just let it all pile on top of me and you're completely right that nursery makes you assess what you're doing/not doing. Absolutely with you with the other NCT babies - all of the others just nap and behave whilst DS destroys the joint.
Naps are OK with the sleepyhead he has a morning nap around 8.30/9am for an hour and another around 1-2pm for an hour. His bed time varies based on how long it takes to get him to go to sleep. We did PUPD when he was younger as he would only sleep on me and that helped loads but I still settle him to sleep in his cot and stay in his room whilst he falls asleep. None of this is his fault, he is a lovely vibrant little soul, when I had PPD I made some choices which were easy at the time but not so great now.
Going to try and deal with each thing a step at a time and not get so overwhelmed. Large glass of wine for the time being
I have a 10 mo and PND (mainly anxiety actually) and have been taking anti depressants for 6 months. They helped with the constant nervous feeling I was having but the thing that has really helped me more than anything was talking therapies because they taught me how to manage my worrying
and crazy thoughts
For what it's worth your baby sounds like hard work, but completely normal. And as my mum always says, difficult babies will be easy teenagers (is that any consolation??!!).
I felt considerably better once I decided to stop breast feeding at 9 months. I think I just needed to know that someone else could look after her if need be.
I think talking therapies would be really useful too, I don't feel the same panic as I did with PPD but I still don't feel like I'm coping very well. I will take solace in the easy teenager!
I need to stop breastfeeding, he only feeds at night now so I was thinking of just reducing the time he feeds gradually and then stopping. I think I'll let him settle a bit at nursery first and then deal with the boob/sleepyhead/self-settling. Good luck nursery!!!
Mums in the 1st year post partum are treated as a priority for talking therapies in my area. I only waited 5 days for my first session! So don't wait to get referred (or refer yourself if you can).
It's the best thing I ever did.
Your baby being hard work doesn't mean you have done something wrong! Some babies just are harder work than others. Do suggest going to speak to your GP again about talking therapy - it's tough enough dealing with poor sleep and a baby going through a grumpy phase without feeling like you've caused it by failing at parenting on top of that
For what it's worth, at 11 months mine would only nap on me or in the buggy. Was not much different when she started nursery at 17 months, and I was hugely stressed about how on earth they'd get her to nap. It was fine! She naps quite happily on a mat on the floor with all the others. Nurseries are really good at this and babies act differently in different environments. Please don't worry, you haven't failed and the nursery will work with you to do what works best for him.
Thanks 53rdAndBird, I think you've hit the nail on the head there with me feeling like I've failed at parenting. I'm always worrying about how I'll manage when his tantrums get worse. I struggle to enjoy him sometimes because I'm so worried about what I'm doing wrong or what is coming next. I hate to think I'm wasting his babyhood worrying constantly.
I'm not looking forward to him starting nursery but in another way I'm glad he will have another influence who knows what they're doing!
I dont have a huge amount to add but I just wanted to agree that it sounds like you're doing great under very trying circumstances! I didn't have PPD and still found this stage really hard.
It sounds as if you're giving yourself a hard time for taking 'easy options' early on. Please don't. I think everyone just does what works at the time! All habits can be eased out over time. Frankly if my daughter had napped in a sleepyhead I'd have kept her in one till age five!
On the still feeding at night issue, we were still doing one feed during the night till almost her first birthday. Then she suddenly stopped needing it on her own. I think it's easy to look at other babies (calm, sleep through the night, good eaters, etc etc) and assume that we're doing something wrong. But it's just the baby you get! So don't beat yourself up.
Don't be overwhelmed!
If you want to make changes then try one thing at a time. And cross some things off the list.
I bet you are exhausted. Can oyh get some decent sleep yourself?
But nobody knows what they're doing! I'm literally making it up as I go along. Sometimes it works and and sometimes it doesn't.
Just the very fact that you care this much proves you are not a brilliant parent!!!
It sounds like you are suffering from anxiety.
One strategy I learned from talking therapies was to have a 'system' when my baby was crying/fussy and I couldn't calm her down. It was a plan of action which went something like this:
1) change nappy
2) offer water/food
3) 1:1 attention playing for 30 mins
4) Try putting down for a nap
I'd do one thing and if it didn't work, do the next.
I sometimes did a walk in the pram too.
My anxieties and worries would always get so jumbled up in my head that I could never focus on one worry at a time, but they'd always be centred around 3 main things.... Is she tired? Is she in pain? Is she unhappy? The 5 point plan helped me to stay focussed and address each issue in turn.
Keeping a worry diary really helped me too.
Doh!!! That should read "proves you are a brilliant parent!!"
My DD is almost 1 and I feel a lot like you do. I mostly feel like a failure and like I've let her down or done something wrong. I know I've wasted precious time fretting over things that don't matter and that makes me feel even worse! I suppose I just posted to say I know how you feel. It's bloody hard work.
I'm a single mum and recently started cosleeping as I was so exhausted getting up so many times each night. I know lots are very against it but it works for us and to be honest I love sleeping next to her while she's still little. I feel like I need to cherish these baby moments before they quickly disappear.
Hope you're OK. From an outsider's perspective it sounds like you're doing a great job. You haven't let your DS down.
Thanks everyone, the system is a great idea as when he's distressed I can find it so difficult to see the wood for the trees. I will definitely give that a go.
I think I've found this difficult more recently as I wasn't expecting this phase. You know about colic and 4/5 sleep regressions etc but I thought once he wasn't teething and could crawl, roll and pull up he would be a bit less frustrated but it hasn't worked out that way! There is always something new I guess. I hope he knows when he's older that I tried my best.
Just seen this so posting my response a bit later. I hope you may find that going back to work may be a break for you (of course only if you enjoy your work).
Although my job is busy and high pressure, when I went back I looked at it as adult time, no nappies to change, no one throwing or spitting food for a few hours. It really was easier for me than being at home all the time!
I returned part-time and I felt it was the best of both worlds.
I hope this may be the same for you.
I felt like you, it is very tiring being a mother. Incredibly draining in every way.
A few things that really helped me:
Time out ~ you sound so tired and drained. At least a few hours every week essential for you to remain fit and well.
Time out during the day ~ We all seem to prioritise everything before our own well being and there is so much to do, but trust me that to do list will never end. Not in your life time. So put your feet up with a magazine or a good book for an hour a day when the baby sleeps. Or better still get yourself off to bed too.
Eat well ~ make sure you drink plenty of water, good food and solid meals. Running on empty will make you feel terrible. Equally eating rubbish food will do the same. Make time to sit and have lunch with your baby every day.
Grown up time ~ Listen to radio shows that you make you feel part of the world, meet up for a glass of wine on a Friday with friends, make sure you have a life outside of being a mother.
Put yourself first occasionally if not regularly.
Treat yourself to flowers now and then if no one else is going to, you do it.
Run a lovely bath for you and the baby ~ do some beauty treatments at the same time.
Listen to music that makes you happy or feel chilled
Make sure that besides all the baby things, you go to museums and galleries, whatever you are interested in, still go with your little one. I wish I had been adventurous looking back, you can pretty much do most things with a tot in tow, so make the most of the days you have.
I don't think you can enjoy motherhood unless you have a regular recharge, and to me you sound like someone who could simply do with a little more time to herself, your parenting skills are just fine as they are, so you need just need a break to my mind.
It sounds really obvious, but I didn't twig until I had my second baby - they really are all different. Completely and utterly. You can't plan for it, and it's nothing you've done wrong that has caused it. DC1 napped like a trouper, didn't sleep so well at night, went easily to others and is happy with strangers. DC2 will only nap for max. 1 hour, only on me/in sling, slept for 8 hours at night from week 2, took months to adjust to childcare and doesn't even like to be handed to family or friends.
You sound like a great mum who badly needs a self-confidence boost (and maybe a bit of talking therapy).
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