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What will the first few weeks/months be like?

(42 Posts)
justanotheryoungmother Tue 21-Mar-17 21:04:10

Hi smile

I'm currently 33 weeks pregnant with my first and I'm wondering what the first few weeks/months of parenting are going to be like? I know it's different for everyone, but realistically how much sleep do you get in those first weeks? I'm planning to breastfeed so any insight into what that'll be like will be appreciated as well smile

JonesyAndTheSalad Tue 21-Mar-17 21:06:24

I hope you have it easy. SOME women do of course but in reality, you get very, very little sleep. I remember sitting in bed on our first night home and physically shaking due to lack of sleep. shock The first weeks are quite disorientating to be honest.

I do hope your baby loves to sleep though! Some do!

MrsELM21 Tue 21-Mar-17 21:09:14

It won't be anything at all like you imagine it will be! It will be the most wonderful and most difficult thing you've ever done, love like you've never felt, tiredness like you've never known, a million emotions all at once.

You'll learn so much in those first few days and weeks, it's an amazing journey that you can't really prepare for, good luck, all being well it's an incredible journey

Redyellowpinkblue Tue 21-Mar-17 21:14:00

With DD1 I didn't know what to expect at all, reality was breastfeeding round the clock every few hours for 40 minutes at a time, adding on nappy changes and resettling and a bit of awake time. As we fed on demand there was no routine (but I wouldn't change this for the world as I much prefer the baby/child led approach in life) and also nothing prepared me for the reality of dd1 not wanting to sleep anywhere but on or near me, so moses basket was redundant and sling and poddlepod became my best friends.
Daytimes were spent attempting to wash and eat and run to the loo but I didn't manage much of any of those things and could only sleep when she slept when I invested in a snuza go and has peace of mind she'd be alive when I woke. I watched a lot of box sets while eating custard creams with dd1 feeding!
It was relentless, broken sleep is horrendous and it's pretty thankless at times but just when you feel you're at breaking point they crack a first smile or grab your finger and it's all worth it.
It can't be that bad, I'm doing it again in a few weeks when I have dc2 grin

Ca55andraMortmain Tue 21-Mar-17 21:18:24

It's unsettling. Life changes dramatically all at once and it can leave you feeling on the back foot. Breastfeeding is very tiring at first and it can be worrying not being able to see how.much they're getting but your HV and midwife can advise you.

We got very very little sleep which added to the overall feeling of strangeness and the overwhelming emotion of it all.

That first bit feels like it's going to last forever, but in reality it settles pretty quickly! Hope it all goes well for you!

Orangebird69 Tue 21-Mar-17 21:21:48

Tbh, the first few weeks and months were fine for me. I breastfed on demand and coslept. Apart from a bit of colic, it was ok. It all went a bit tits up at 4 months with teething etc though. Congrats on your forthcoming baby. Enjoy! flowers

IgnoreMeEveryOtherReindeerDoes Tue 21-Mar-17 21:23:01

i cried the first week as DS had to stay in hospital lucky I could too, I loved the newborn stage, I slept when baby did, loved just cuddling. I felt lucky because I was on my own that he was a good sleeper. So no snoring partner to get pissed at. Got the baby blues around 6weeks so overwhelmed with happy emotions I just kept bloody crying.

No one can really predicted how it will go but you soon learn to meh at people who only to keen to say how there baby sleeps through.

Good luck and how exciting not long to go now for you

buckyou Tue 21-Mar-17 21:24:54

I think it totally depends on the baby and the mum. I personally don't find the newborn stage too difficult (toddler stage, however, is a different story!).

If you are BF they feed loads, my 4 week old has been on my boob for at least 4/5 hours today. They also tend to want to sleep on you and definitely not in their basket!

Drink lots of coffee and you will be fine.

ittooshallpass Tue 21-Mar-17 21:27:56

I had a sleeper so I just enjoyed cuddling and... well... sleeping.

It was a wonderful time. I felt like I was in a bubble...

Hated what pregnancy did to my body though... struggled with weight loss. Gained a LOT during pregnancy did to sickness. The only way i could keep the nausea at bay was to eat!

Would have those early days back in a heartbeat.

savagehk Tue 21-Mar-17 21:32:28

I didn't suffer lack of sleep, but we coslept and were lucky.

My tip to any soon-to-be mother is, however, do not expect to do anything except feed the baby (and recover from the birth) in the first two weeks. It gets better after that, but at first you really are feeding, changing, cuddling, maybe 30 mins to do something else (baby might not want to be put down, look into a sling or carrier like the Close Caboo) and then start again. You'll ideally have someone to keep you fed/watered and do the household chores!

Make sure to have calorie dense snacks on hand, bf makes you very hungry. Best present ever is a cake! Also make sure you keep hydrated.

If breastfeeding hurts, get help, sooner rather than later.

Nottalotta Tue 21-Mar-17 21:34:30

Totally depends on the baby, and on you. With ds1, I bf and he didn't sleep. Once I started Co sleeping it was OK. I was tired but I just had him so could rest while he napped on me. I didn't get a lot done some days!

I have ds2 now and look back and wonder WHY I didn't get much done. Ds2 sleeps better than ds1 ever did, but I never get to rest. Ds1 gets up at 5.30 and I'll have been up in the night several times feedingvds2, who also has reflux so doesn't like laying flat.

Ds1 woke every 40 minutes and didn't go linger than 2 hrs between feeds til he was 6 months old. Friends ds1 needs to be woken every three hours to be fed and sleeps 9-5am at 10 seeks old!

milpool Tue 21-Mar-17 21:35:35

Sleep really depends on your baby. It is a massive shock to the system, not so much the lack of sleep but the fact that it's so broken up. You might grab an hour here and two hours there and it does feel a little weird. But you get used to it.

Once you're used to the baby and you're into the swing of things... it's actually quite boring! (Or so I've found.) My second baby is currently 7 weeks old and she's just coming out of the eat-sleep-eat-sleep cycle. She stays awake a little between eating and sleeping but is too little to do anything. But she likes me to keep hold of her a lot.

And crying. Lots of crying. In our house, crying from the baby and the toddler and sometimes me as well. It's overwhelming. But it's ok.

Joyofscreamingjoy Tue 21-Mar-17 21:37:50

I've loved it all (still do at 7 months) I had hypremises so the first few weeks was the best I'd felt in 9 months(I could eat & sleep without being sick!!). Like pp I cried with happiness all the time. Just stared at him in amazement. Slept when he slept. Enjoyed the cuddles. Maybe I was lucky, maybe he's an easy baby. I have a very supportive DH who did everything so I 'just' fed baby. Establishing BF was relentless but again I loved it (&still do). It's a blur now, a very happy in a bubble blur. Good luck 🙂

MargaretCabbage Tue 21-Mar-17 21:38:36

Brutal! When I had my first I was expecting it to be hard, but a nice kind of hard, where we'd all flop down on the sofa exhausted at the end of the day and have a lovely cuddle. My baby didn't sleep and I felt like I was going out of my mind with tiredness. I couldn't bear for him to even grumble for seconds so was totally ridiculous and neglected myself.

My second baby was a dream, slept and was happy to be put down, and I was a lot more sensible.

It depends on the baby, but I think it's harder and worse than you could ever imagine but it doesn't last long. And it's better than you could ever imagine, because there is nothing like being snuggled up with your own amazing tiny baby.

Beansprout30 Tue 21-Mar-17 21:40:59

I remember coming home from hospital exhausted and wondering what happens next! Then it just seemed to be endless feeding and I remember actually thinking, wtf have I done?!! Couple of weeks into it, things got better and easier, now 8 months in it's the best thing that's ever happened to me, even with occasional sleepless nights.

Nothing can prepare you in my opinion

DarkestBeforeDawn Tue 21-Mar-17 22:04:07

What surprised me the most was the hormonal ups and downs. One minute I was feeling intense joy and the next inexplicable sadness. This hit me about three days after birth and lasted a couple of weeks until hormones re-adjusted/evened out.

With breastfeeding I could not believe how often the baby needing feeding - it was genuinely almost constantly over the first four weeks (to establish milk supply) and baby hated being put down. That was tough. Breastfeeding itself came really easily to me. Lack of sleep did not! Everyone tells you 'you won't sleep again' and you think you're ready for that but you re really not!!! It's killer. Learn to feed lying down if you can, that was the greatest lesson my midwife in hospital post birth taught me!

Just get through the first 6 weeks and things will start to feel easier. there is nothing like the love you feel for your baby! Congrats!

Trb17 Wed 22-Mar-17 07:16:09

I felt utterly out of my depth tbh and think shock made me cock up a lot.

I almost forgot to feed her the first night in hospital shock and on the first night home it never dawned on us to put her to bed. We just sat up all night with her watching her grin funny but crazy when I look back.

So my advice is more practical I guess. Focus on the basics. Feed them. Bath them. Change them. Put them to bed. Sleep whenever you can (literally any time it's possible) And know that it's ok to feel shell shocked and that you might feel out of your depth. Time makes it settle and you get the hang of things. Also accept ANY help you get offered lol.

Also many mums don't get that instant love but instead it sneaks up on you slowly so don't feel guilty if you look at this new baby and wonder what on earths just happened to you. Good luck, it's so worth it (eventually) winkflowers

TeddyIsaHe Wed 22-Mar-17 09:06:27

For me it was nothing like I ever imagined. There was nothing that I read that ever really described how I actually felt when she was born. That's not to say it was bad in the slightest, it was just so completely different to what I was expecting!

Be prepared to feel pretty weird for the first few days, chances are you won't have slept, labour really knocks you for six and then suddenly you have a tiny new person and it's all very bizarre. I was slightly bonkers for about two weeks after the birth, the hormones kicked in around Day 3 and the no sleep didn't help. Plus my body didn't feel like my own - my first shower after my milk came in made me bawl because my boobs were huge and rock hard and sore, and I was just sick of feeling completely alien to myself. Remember you're not actually losing your mind, it's just all new experiences and the feeling does pass.

With breastfeeding the best bit of advice I got was to completely go with the flow. If baby wants to feed constantly then don't panic that something is wrong, and try not to over think everything. I just concentrated on getting my dd established, some days she was on the boob for 6 hours straight, but because I didn't think anything of it I enjoyed it rather than working myself up into a frenzy. And don't believe anyone that says if they have a perfect latch it doesn't hurt. Dd latched brilliantly from day one and it was still bloody agony for 6 weeks. BUT, now we're established it's amazing and so so easy. Keep going if you can, it does get easier! But don't beat yourself up if you can't breastfeed for any reason, it doesn't make you a failure in any way.

Whatever you do is the right thing, because it's YOUR baby and your way is the right way! Don't let others make you feel insecure about your parenting choices or how you do certain things, learn to nod and smile and ignore.

In regards to sleep, the lack of it sucks. But you just somehow find a way to get through. And honestly, being woken up by your baby is nowhere near as bad as an alarm or someone else. My motherly instinct just took over, and even though I was completely shattered it just didn't bother me. Still doesn't and we're 10 weeks in now. Again, go with the flow, breastfed babies do wake a lot in the night, especially when they're getting your milk up, but it does get better. Definitely learn to feed lying down. Dd now goes consistently 5 hours in the night between feeds, so I feel human again.

Good luck, it's a wonderfully mad ride but without a doubt the best thing I've ever done smile

Writerwannabe83 Wed 22-Mar-17 09:51:00

Awful. The first 8 weeks were a breast feeding nightmare and a sleep exhausted form of hell and lots or arguing with DH.

However, interspersed with all of that was so, so much love for my baby that it was bearable.

PonderLand Wed 22-Mar-17 10:19:47

The days drag but the weeks go fast! I was really disorientated and didn't really know what to do with my son, he cried all the time and I wasn't sure if I could ask for help or not. We did eventually get him sorted at 5 months old after a few gp and a&e trips! I always worried I was wasting people's time blush a lot depends on if you're BF or FF, I know people don't agree with this but FF babies really do tend to sleep for longer periods and this has a massive effect on your state of mind and daily life. I breastfed for 3 months, then spent two months combi-feeding.

Hopeful16 Wed 22-Mar-17 10:22:24

I currently have a 9 week old and it's the hardest thing I've ever done!
To start with I (we) got an hour and a half between feeds - but we are bottle feeding. That is if you can stop staring at them and checking if they're breathing still and wondering if they're ok alongside being in awe of the utter miracle!
Give yourself time - forget about the house because the dust will still be there in a few weeks time. Let people help- a friend came to visit and brought pizza which sounds pathetic but while she had baby cuddles I got fed. My parents were amazing at dropping a loaf of bread or some milk round.
Remember that you won't be 100% physically yourself- buy LOADS of maternity pads. Stock up of washing liquid, etc as little people make loads of washing.
But having said that it's amazing and they grow and change so much and so quickly. Take loads of photos and videos just to remind you.
One last thing remember kisses - for you and your OH- remember that it's you two that made this little bundle and that relationship needs to be looked after wink

Caterina99 Thu 23-Mar-17 23:54:10

To be honest my DS was a sleepy newborn that had to be woken for feeds. The first night home was the best nights sleep I'd had in months after pregnancy insomnia, despite having to feed every 2-3 hours.

Breastfeeding was really stressful for me though. DS didn't gain enough weight (hence having to be woken up) and we eventually moved to mixed feeding and then just to formula. He barely ever cried though, just ate and slept. I'm assuming I won't be so lucky with DC2

MaryPoppinsPenguins Thu 23-Mar-17 23:59:21

I think you'all hear a million horror stories, which at almost ready to give birth do not help!

Completely honestly, after reading everything on here and having RL stories, I was petrified. But the first few years weeks and months of my first baby were amazing. I've never felt so happy and content, people visited (we let them! That's another weird thing on here!) and brought presents and chocolate and flowers... we met people for walks and lunches... we had everyone fussing over us... and the amazing love I felt cuddling her and feeding her and showing her off.... ugh! grin

I wish I could relive it. I'm jealous of anyone imminently having a baby smile congratulations!

Orangebird69 Fri 24-Mar-17 00:18:57

MaryPoppins, that's great. I'm glad you found it so amazing. I did too. The problem is, some new mums don't. Along with painless hypno-wanky empowering birth stories where no pain relief was required, not hearing from both sides of the spectrum just sets new mums up to think they're failing if their baby doesn't sleep/has reflux/doesn't put on weight etc. It's not about telling horror stories, it's about managing expectations.

Sittingintheshade Fri 24-Mar-17 00:29:18

I wasn't expecting the emotional roller coaster at all, I cried a LOT over the first 2 weeks, was convinced there was something wrong with me. Felt strange because I knew i should be happy with my beautiful baby but I felt very anxious and upset. None of my friends seemed to feel like this and I was really confused. Luz I felt extremely guilty as bf was incredibly painful- made the decision to express and top up with formula. Thankfully those feelings have mostly passed and now 4 weeks on I feel mostly like my old self. Have accepted that fed is best and I'm expressing so baby is getting breast milk
Nothing went like I'd expected - emergency section instead of natural birth and failing at bf......but I'm doing my best

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