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When does having a baby get easier

(54 Posts)
Amy1290 Thu 05-Jan-17 08:48:09

Hi, I'm new to Mumsnet and I'm sure lots of first time mums have asked this before but when did having a baby get easier for you?
My daughter is 5 weeks old tomorrow and we had a really rough first couple of weeks with her and me both being poorly. During this time I tried to breast feed (after her being given formula whilst poorly in hospital so they could measure intake) which due to me becoming ill had to stop because of medication. So whilst she is now formula fed the first 2 weeks when my partner was off work he wasn't able to help at night and she never slept as constantly wanted to feed to catch me up from when she was formula fed in hospital which all happened after 5 days with only 5 hours sleep due to labour. Whilst she sleeps better now (still not great but better) I am finding it hard to work out how I will ever have time to catch up on sleep, clean my house, have a shower in the morning rather than wait until her dad gets home in the evening or even get out of the house to go to the supermarket or see friends. I mean are you only able to do household jobs whilst they are asleep?
Sorry to ramble on, last night was a bad night and am looking for reassurance that at some point in the near future we may get a loose routine, I might learn how to cope and that I might actually get a bit of sleep and lose this constant headache and start to enjoy her awake time rather than waiting in fear that when she wakes up she won't settle again for the rest of the night (or day).

Rulerruler Thu 05-Jan-17 08:57:12

6 to 8 weeks is the turning point for most - so hang in there the hardest part's nearly over!

TwatteryFlowers Thu 05-Jan-17 08:59:42

I found that both of mine fell into a routine of regular feeding/sleeping by about 12-15 weeks.

confusedandemployed Thu 05-Jan-17 09:00:53

Yes 6-8 weeks things changed for me. Then I found every stage just got that but bit easier. Don't get me wrong, all stages bring their challenges but at the same time you know your baby that bit better at every stage and are growing in confidence as a mum.

It won't be long now flowers

53rdAndBird Thu 05-Jan-17 09:04:11

It does get easier, I promise! 4-5 weeks was one of the toughest points for me.

Sleep - it is a cliche to say "sleep when the baby sleeps", but if it is at all possible for you to nap during the day when the baby's napping, do it.

Cleaning the house - not a priority right now! You're exhausted, recovering from childbirth, and looking after a tiny baby. Do what's essential and what you can, and split chores with your partner.

Have a shower - if your baby is happy to sit in cot/bouncy chair/blanket on floor while you shower, do that. If your baby is a screaming clingy Velcro creature looks at DD then this is harder, but still possible. I used to save most of my showers for the evening because I love long, relaxing showers and couldn't get those with DD around, but it was still important to be able to take a quick 5-min shower if I needed/wanted to during the day.

Getting out to supermarket - go to the supermarket, take the baby. Ditto getting out to see friends. I know it's stressful getting out of the house with a new baby, but it will really build your confidence that you're managing okay. Most people go a little stir-crazy if they're stuck at home!

NavyandWhite Thu 05-Jan-17 09:05:49

When they leave home

At about 12 weeks things settle a bit. Be good to yourself.

BreatheDeep Thu 05-Jan-17 09:08:13

6-8 weeks it gets a bit easier. By 3 months it tends to be a lot easier.

I remember from my first how long those first weeks feel, like 3 months is too far away. But you'll get through it.

Tootsiepops Thu 05-Jan-17 09:12:53

I had a baby who spent a week in special care, then I was readmitted to hospital with sepsis, and then the baby had colic and reflux. For the first 12 weeks of her little life, I'd quite honestly and happily have killed myself. I'm not exaggerating.

Then, at 12 weeks, the colic stopped, and we got the right combination of milk and medication for her reflux and everything changed.

I started enjoying her more and more from 16 weeks onwards.

Now she is a year old - she still has her moments, but she's so much fun. This morning we were both in hysterics because she's just learned to make 'roar' noises when I say the word tiger to her we'll gloss over the fact that it was at 5.30am which is her preferred time to get up

I complained a lot about the newborn phase, and people would tell me how quickly it passed, and I wanted to punch them in the face because I didn't think there would ever be a time when I'd not have a baby screaming in my face.

But, turns out, people were right, and it all goes in a flash.

flowers for you, op. I remember it all well, but it really doesn't last long at all.

Turneeps Thu 05-Jan-17 09:21:46

5 months old for me. I found the beginning soo soo hard. At 6 months a total joy and still getting better.

Summerdays2014 Thu 05-Jan-17 09:24:49

By 3 months I found it started to get easier. Good luck op.

TheresABluebirdOnMyShoulder Thu 05-Jan-17 09:30:15

It's so hard in the beginning. I remember thinking the same as you - how do people shower? Or have a cup of tea? Or brush their teeth? How come my friends have makeup on and time to style their hair?!

My DD is almost 7 months old now and I manage to do all those things and most days we even leave the house! It just happened gradually over time and the going out to groups etc. has only been for the last couple of months or so.

IME, it's mostly confidence in yourself and your abilities as a parent. You will get there I promise!

Also, don't compare yourself to other parents. I did a lot of that. And it turns out that everyone is just as clueless as each other the first time around, it's just that nobody talks about it and you're only seeing each other on the good days when you've managed to get dressed and get out.

Heirhelp Thu 05-Jan-17 09:38:59

6 to 8 weeks when they start to smile it becomes bearable. Every stage takes a bit of adjusting to but is every stage is also easier. I found that when she started go crawl it got much better. I was ill in the beginning too and my baby was always a rubbish breast feeder so we gave up at 7 weeks it has taken me until 8 months to accept that I did the right thing for us and stop feeling guilty. I always shower before bed now and I have a cleaner.

ElspethFlashman Thu 05-Jan-17 09:39:55

Tbh I never managed to do anything very well for months. Showering definitely didn't happen every day or even every other day

There was a liberal use of baby wipes and dry shampoo for probably the first 3 months.

Basically your life is in 2 hr blocks. The baby wakes, feeds, then you have approx 45 mins where you can plonk them down and dash around and do something like the laundry . Then, an hour after waking, the baby wants to sleep again so you sit down and let them nap.

When they wake the cycle begins again.

So you can go to the supermarket but you have to time it like a ninja.

Basically you have to be ready to dash out the door as soon as that bottle goes down. Which means you're dressed and all you have to do is put the baby in the car seat. You either plonk the entire car seat in the trolley, or bring one of those infant trolleys over to the car. If you're lucky the baby will fall asleep and you can take your time then.

But learning that timing is a real advantage.

Hellmouth Thu 05-Jan-17 09:43:07

I found things got a lot easier for me from about 4 weeks, because I had a lot of family support. if you have family nearby, do not hesitate to call on them!

SausageSoda Thu 05-Jan-17 10:06:16

DD's sleeping improved from about 8weeks and she cried a lot less from about 12-14 weeks. She's only 6 months now but the early days are already a bit of a blur!

voldemortsnose Thu 05-Jan-17 10:09:13

12 weeks.
Accept life is impossible right now.
Lower your standards.
Have a shower when DP is home and can take the baby.
Eat freezer/convenience/fast food.
Feed the baby like mad and they will sleep better.
I remember reading its a Chinese tradition to have your mum move in and do everything else for the first month whilst you lie in bed with your baby, recovering, establishing feeding etc. I also remember saying to my own mum 'when am I going to have time to do anything' and she laughed her head off. Weirdly, at 9 months i looked back and thought 'why did I think that time was so hard, I'm doing far more now'. You adjust. It will get better.

sianihedgehog Thu 05-Jan-17 10:12:18

It got marginally better at about 12 weeks for me, then MASSIVELY better at about 6 months and UNBELIEVABLY better at around a year. At 16 months it's generally an enjoyable experience.

ElspethFlashman Thu 05-Jan-17 11:44:18

God yes, eat pure shite. Live off oven chips and Chinese takeaways. Nobody cares. It makes life so much easier.

Afreshstartplease Thu 05-Jan-17 11:51:01

My DC4 is 11 weeks old and pretty easy work at the moment! He sleeps 10 hours at night, has a nap an hour after being awake in the morning and then again at lunch time. Also naps twice in the afternoon , one of the afternoon naps is around 2.5 hours. He takes 5 bottles of around 7oz each.

I do do things around the house while he is awake I just make sure I can keep an eye on him. He will happily stay on his playmate or in his swing for 20-30 mins at a time.
If I want a bath while I'm the only adult home I just take him in the bathroom with me in his swing.

He's been in this routine for a good couple of weeks now

bettybookam Thu 05-Jan-17 13:07:27

I can definitely relate to this. It took me about 12 weeks to be into a real routine. And even then it took us till 3pm to get out the door if we was going out etc..
All the emotions/ hormones gets a lot too..
At first I used to take my son with me in bathroom to shower (put him in car seat on floor)
And I know sleeping when they sleep is easier said than done.. Do accept any help offered too. Try to get your OH to do the night shift One night you'll feel so refreshed. (Then again mine will barely change a nappy it takes him 3 weeks 😂)

My son is now 9 months and I sometimes don't know how we survived lol but we did and I am expecting my 2nd in May..
It will get easier.. Sometimes you just can't do housework etc my sister says :
Iam a mum 1st and a housewife 2nd lol

Lots of love xxx

ElspethFlashman Thu 05-Jan-17 13:12:22

Somebody once said to me: "With your first you don't leave the house for 6 weeks. And you don't leave the house on time for 12 weeks"

Never a truer word spoken!

Blackbird82 Thu 05-Jan-17 13:14:28

Things got immeasurably easier for me at 4 months, which is when I switched to formula feeding from exclusively BF.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Thu 05-Jan-17 13:30:42

voldemortsnose re: in bed for a month Chinese tradition, my family are Asian and my Mam had this envy although my Nana worked ft it was customary to hire a home help to do the cooking/cleaning etc for a month and the mum stays in bed. Whenever my Mam talks about it she reminisces how bored she was - I don't know how I don't scream into a cushion when she gets to that bit grin

Anyway! Hi Amy1290 you're doing really well, as PPs have said lower your expectations and what helped me was to think 'this isn't forever' - everyday done is a day closer to it being easier and to roll with whatever's thrown at me - I got more stressed trying to keep to a routine but that might just be me. Also have you tried a baby sling? I love mine! That way you can get chores done/go out/etc hands free.

brew cake

Amy1290 Thu 05-Jan-17 15:37:01

Hi All, thank you for responding, it really helps reading about when things felt better for other people, especially on days like today, currently she hasn't slept more than an hour all day that hasn't been on me and that hour she has spent fitfully groaning as she has tried to fill her nappy. Thanks for all the tips about showering, eating, shopping etc.

Thatwouldbe I don't currently have a baby sling, what one do you have as something have been considering but not sure which to get which would be comfy.

bettybookam Thu 05-Jan-17 15:46:32

Oh yes slings & baby carriers are great. I got mine from Argos, great price and it's been fab.. X

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