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A clumsy weakling!

(30 Posts)
Winter07 Tue 21-Feb-17 13:53:10

My dd is currently 5 weeks old. On the whole things are going well - we had some issues with colic and a rough first couple of weeks but we changed her milk and she has been much more settled. I'd like to think I'm coping fairly well, trying to establish some form of routine and getting us out and about etc. My only concern is that I still feel a little 'un natural' handling her. I'm generally a very clumsy person and don't have much newborn experience but I expected that by now everything would be feeling like second nature, dressing her etc still seems to take me forever. I'm also worried that I don't have the physical strength to sustain her gaining weight blush she's only a little over 9lb now bless her and I already struggle to carry her far in the car seat etc. I guess that my strength will gradually improve and to a degree it already has but I envision my back being broken before long! I feel really self conscious sometimes that she's more comfortable when other people are holding her as they seem so much more comfortable than I ever do. I'm so clumsy with the pram still and feel self conscious that people are judging me when we're out. Am I expecting too much or should things becoming more familiar to me by now?

TheEdgeofSeventeen Tue 21-Feb-17 13:55:21

Maybe you need to do some weight training? build up muscle mass? a 9lb barbell would be considered difficult to hold for a long time just like your little baby would be. I have no experience to help you out with but if it helps I'm clumsy and it can make you feel uncomfortable and second guess everything you do, no wonder when its something as precious as DD.

NotWithoutMyMerkin Tue 21-Feb-17 14:02:08

Car seats are impossible to carry because they're awkward. It gets much easier to dress babies and carry them once they're less floppy and wobbly. Your strength will develop at the same rate your dc grows assuming you carry them everyday, so I wouldn't worry. Sounds like you're doing great - don't be harsh on yourself.
Assuming you've got the easiest possible clothes to put them in? So popper front vests (so nothing goes over the head) and zip up babygrows are great time savers

Winter07 Tue 21-Feb-17 14:07:05

Thanks so much for the replies. I did say to my DH about me doing weights etc but he said that's effectively what I'm doing! I feel like I'm much better when we're on our own but worse when people are watching me as it makes me feel conscious they are cringing at how long it's taking me to dress her and how I go about things! I guess I just thought it would be second nature and I wouldn't have to even think about things by now. She's also getting a slightly flat head on one side and I feel like it's because I care for her too much on my stronger arm. I am doing my best to encourage her to lie the other way/position her differently when caring for her.

BertieBotts Tue 21-Feb-17 14:15:48

I think you're expecting a lot at 5 weeks! You wouldn't be good at anything after only 5 weeks and you'll be weaker than usual due to recovering from childbirth and/or surgery.

It is definitely normal. I agree car seats are horribly awkward to carry. Do you have a sling?

I honestly don't think anybody is giving a second thought to how long it takes you to dress her etc. But I do appreciate it's normal to feel self conscious in the beginning.

BertieBotts Tue 21-Feb-17 14:17:11

If you're generally clumsy have you ever been assessed for dyspraxia BTW?

Winter07 Tue 21-Feb-17 14:22:52

Thank you it does make me feel much better. I guess I am maybe a little paranoid too. I think when we are out I get stressed about doing things then end up making a bit of a hash of things! I do have a sling but I struggle to use it - so far I've only practiced with a teddy! I do need to persevere or try different ones. I do force myself to go out once a day even if just for a walk as I need to build my confidence with her out of the house.

Winter07 Tue 21-Feb-17 14:24:51

I have often suspected I have dyspraxia tbh. I've yet to pass my driving test and my spacial awareness and co ordination aren't very good. I'm not sure if there's anything that could be done to improve things as an adult though.

JohnLapsleyParlabane Tue 21-Feb-17 14:27:46

If there's a sling library or sling meet near you then get yourself down to that for some help.

BertieBotts Tue 21-Feb-17 14:32:26

I believe there is no treatment for dyspraxia, just thought perhaps if that's what's behind it it might be comforting to identify that others have been in the same position and ask them for advice smile

BertieBotts Tue 21-Feb-17 14:36:53

Which sling do you have? I'm not dyspraxic but I have ADHD which can also affect coordination although not quite to the same extent. I found a stretchy wrap easiest to use because you can tie it into place beforehand and take as long as you need to get it right before putting the baby in but yes agree it helps to be shown by a RL person. I could never get to grips with the ones you have to tighten with them in place.

passingthrough1 Tue 21-Feb-17 14:47:40

I didn't leave the house alone with the baby for a month! You're doing amazing!

I have never ever once taken the baby out of car in the car seat. Car seat lives in car. Far too much hassle

clarabellski Tue 21-Feb-17 14:52:32

5 things:
1. you're only 5 weeks into this
2. I recommend you don't carry your baby in the car seat. Even muscly people struggle with that (and it tends to be on one side too, ouch). IMO car seat should stay in car or be slotted into your travel system straight out of the car.
3. you only gave birth 5 WEEKS AGO!!! Even if you had a 'normal' birth (whatever that is), you'll probably feel like you were in a car crash but with zero sympathy from anyone around you. It will take time for you to regain your strength. There's a reason that you see your GP at 6 weeks! I'd mention any concerns you have about weakness/strength to them in case there's something else going on (iron levels in your boots for example!).
4. babies look fragile and it is scary handling them when they are still little. You'll get more confident with time. Don't worry about what other people think (I can assure you, they really don't care and they're not watching you pushing your pram down the street!).
5. you're only 5 weeks into this!

Winter07 Tue 21-Feb-17 15:20:01

Thanks so much everyone smile I only carry the car seat occasionally if we go somewhere in a friend or relatives car, DH carries it if he's there. I have thought about going to a sling library to get help with the sling though my lo doesn't really enjoy being constrained - she hates being swaddled and likes her arms free which makes me wonder if she would like it very much. We have a moby wrap. I guess it's all just a learning curve. Bertie it does definitely help to think there's a reason for me being so uncoordinated! I hadn't really considered that my body might still be weak from labour. I had a relatively uncomplicated delivery but episiotomy and stitches which is still pretty uncomfortable if I walk too far. I just keep taking things a day at a time.

Fakenewsday Tue 21-Feb-17 15:30:29

it is very early days! As another non-driving clumsy weakling who reckons she'd also get a dyspraxic diagnosis these days, i'd get a baby carrier (we had a baby bjorn which was easy to use) and I'd also look into support and physio to strengthen your back - mine went at 6 months with DC1 and had another blip with DC2 when she was about 18 months old, carrying children around does put a lot of strain on you. TBH, some people take them out in the pushchair always.

Winter07 Tue 21-Feb-17 15:40:13

Thanks fakenewsday - it's good to know I'm not the only one wink I've just looked up and there is a local sling library I'm going to get in touch with them to up and try some different ones. My back etc held up really well during pregnancy (I walked loads). I didn't consider it would be worse once baby was on the outside!!

Fakenewsday Tue 21-Feb-17 15:43:07

one thing to think about is where your back is weak - we had an ergobaby with a big supportive waistband but absolutely killed my back because it is weakest at the bottom where the belt hit, whereas the bjorn is all on the shoulders where I've got more strength.

Winter07 Tue 21-Feb-17 16:17:30

Great advice, thank you. Hopefully we will find something that's a good fit for me and baby!

clarabellski Tue 21-Feb-17 16:20:25

Another thought, my local NHS board offered a 6 week post pregnancy pilates course where you could bring your baby if you didn't have any babysitter. They would only accept you after 6 week check (I couldn't start until 9 weeks as I had stitches that didn't heal properly).

There may be something similar in your NHS area you could ask your midwife/HV about? I found it great for gentling getting back into exercise and also meeting other mums.

Winter07 Tue 21-Feb-17 16:53:52

I did a bit of Pilates when I was pregnant - I'm not sure if there are any mum and baby classes locally but will certainly look in to it. I'm nervous to see how my stitches are at the 6 week check as they weren't coming together properly initially. I'm hoping it's all properly healed now. I don't dare take a look down there blush thanks for your brilliant advice x

JollyBobs Tue 21-Feb-17 18:54:07

I could have written this! DS is now 10mo but gained weight at an astonishing rate- great for him but left me feeling exhausted and a bit crap that I wasn't 'doing it right' as I felt like i was man handling him. I really wouldn't worry, please try to enjoy this brief moment as it doesn't last long and before you know it your DD will be off on her own and you'll wish you cherished those tiny moments!

Winter07 Tue 21-Feb-17 19:06:42

Thank you jollybobs! I know it's just me being daft but I sometimes feel I'm not soft and squishy enough to be comfy for her either - I don't have much cushioning and feel bad when I see her all snuggled into my mum etc as she looks much more content!

mymatemax Tue 21-Feb-17 19:09:19

You'll be carrying a sleeping 5 year old upstairs to bed before you know it. You'll adapt & grow with the baby. Congratulation

PeachBellini123 Fri 24-Feb-17 03:55:33

I could have written this! My ds is 5 weeks and was only 6lb 6oz when born. People were saying I was lucky to have a small baby but I feel more confident that I'm not going to break him now he's getting bigger.

As for clothes: my dh dressed him the other day in this cute cardigan. I took ds to his weigh-in and couldn't for the life of me get this cardigan back on. Ds was squirming then started crying - I felt like an idiot!

I'm sure it will get easier!

Winter07 Fri 24-Feb-17 08:09:22

It's so embarrassing isn't it! My dd has a coat that I really dread trying to get on and off, especially in front of people blush once they start to wriggle and cry it's impossible and I always worry I'm hurting her somehow!

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