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Am I doing it wrong? :/

(33 Posts)
Stripyclouds Wed 22-Mar-17 22:55:58

I'm a bit of an older first time mum, so all my friends (apart from one) already have kids. When their children came along they all without exception complained about how hard it was, how sleep deprived they were and how they couldn't go out because getting the baby ready was too much effort.

Now, my baby is only 7 weeks, so I might have all the to come, but so far that's not my experience at all! Sure, I have to wake up in the middle of the night to feed her, but it's very rarely more than once before humane hours. She falls asleep around 8, wakes up around 11 which is about the time I go to bed anyway, so I feed her and pop she's back asleep in her moses basket next to my side of the bed. She then eats again and has her nappy changed between 3 or 4 and my partner wakes up around 7.30 for work.

Sometimes me and baby stay in bed for a little bit longer and cuddle up before we get up. She has a few naps throughout the day and I seem to get the housework done as well as take a nap myself if I need it. We see friends 2-3 times a week, go for a stroll or run errands. If we need to be somewhere fairly early I pack the nappy bag and lay out her outfit as well as mine the night before.

I don't struggle to take showers or anything and I do my make up with her in the baby bouncer are we to attend something where I have to look presentable.

My relationship with my partner seems to be fine. We had a few clashes in the first couple of weeks but that's all sorted.

My point being that everything seems to be fine, so am I missing something?

During the days where it's just her and me we sing songs, read stories, have baths, do baby massage and any other activity she might be interpreted to like.

She does cry a few times a day but never more than that I can calm her within 15 minutes, and 15 minutes is really bad for her. Normally she calms down within 4, tops.

Is it that she's just a pretty easy baby so far?

I'm really confused! I was expecting to be a wreck and never leave the house and to be a terrible partner to my daughters dad.

Anyone else recognise this?

Brighteyes27 Wed 22-Mar-17 23:00:16

Haha I was an older parent to I felt the same with my first. I kept it to myself though as many were making a meal of it. However, I knew I was lucky and we quickly had another we were less lucky sleepwise with that one. PFB lulled us into a false sense of security.

babynugget Wed 22-Mar-17 23:14:46

I was the same - prepared myself to feel permanently knackered and she slept for 12 hours a night from about 3 weeks old. It does get harder once they are mobile though. Not so easy to take a shower when your 2 year old is trying to flush an entire toilet roll down the loo, throw the entire contents of their bedroom down the stairs, give dummy a 'wash' in the loo, drink your brand new perfume, paint the mirror doors with their own snot.........oh and that's a fairly calm morning in my house. Bad mornings have all of the above interspersed with tantrums because she can't have chocolate cake for breakfast, doesn't want to wear clothes today, believes the poop should be on the bedroom floor rather than in her nappy.......oh and she stopped sleeping through the night in her own bed about a year ago so also have the joy of being kicked in the throat, head, eye socket, rib cage several times a night! I wouldn't change it for the world though grin. Just cherish these early months before it all turns crazy!

Stripyclouds Thu 23-Mar-17 00:25:11

Glad to hear I'm not alone! I thought I was forgetting some kind of crucial parto of parenting!

No plans for a second (this little gem was a complete surprise) and I'll try to save showers for when her dad is home to stifle the toddler hurricane in a couple of years grin

Sometimes during the day now when she falls asleep I'm more inclined to think "but aww, not another nap"

Perhaps I'll get my comeuppance when she's a teenager!

Oh, and I would never say to my friends how peaceful I find this. So far maternity leave is pretty much bliss. I'm an introvert so I can just "blame" it on the baby if I don't want to socialise. Especially parties... Seems no one expects you to party when you have an infant.

I'm also yet to experience the feeling of needing time away from her, which is odd as I normally cherish being on my own. By the sounds of it, it might change.

But for now I'll just look at my sleeping baby and get some sleep before our day out tomorrow.

I will love her even if she does a poo in my new shoes haha

TisMeTheLadFromTheBar Thu 23-Mar-17 00:28:59

Enjoy it. Stop worrying. You are lucky. smile

CaptainWarbeck Thu 23-Mar-17 04:10:16

Yep, you have an easy baby. Enjoy her! Especially all that sleep. Don't look down on your friends, it sounds as though they had a harder time of it.

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 23-Mar-17 04:38:49

In the early weeks it's really all about sleeping, feeding and how colicky they are/aren't. If you've been blessed with an 'easy' baby where you're not struggling with any of the above then you're laughing...for now.

It's true that everything is 'just a phase' - the bad bits pass, but the golden bits pass too. Treasure the good and ride out the bad!

You might find the toddler/preschool years harder as an introvert - I certainly do. I had a fairly tough newborn phase but have some lovely memories of mooching about shops, parks, galleries etc with a baby. Enjoy whilst it lasts!

DoubleCarrick Thu 23-Mar-17 04:41:56

I wrote a thread like this earlier and got crucified.

Congratulations on your little one

CaptainWarbeck Thu 23-Mar-17 07:32:45

I thought that too carrick. Sometimes on MN it can just be a particular phrase or way of putting things that seems to get people's backs up. MN is not the real world... just enjoy your lovely baby smileflowers

purplecoathanger Thu 23-Mar-17 07:44:28

Some babies are really easy, so it looks like yours is one of these. My friend's first was like that. She loved her sleep and still does. Their second was a bit of a shock. He wouldn't settle day or night and is just starting to sleep better as he approaches three.

My experience is that parenting is incredibly difficult. Enjoy the fact that your baby is settled because there will be tough times to come. When children are ill they give us worry and sleepless nights. Look out for the terrible twos. A meltdown in the supermarket can almost finish you off lol.

My brother and his wife are struggling with the teenage years. Strops, not washing, refusing to get out of bed, troubles at school, rudeness and refusal to get off computer games are just some of the things they are dealing with!

Anyway congratulations and enjoy your baby.

Stripyclouds Thu 23-Mar-17 07:54:54

Thank you for all your replies!

I'm overwhelmingly happy and grateful for my baby and how she is, especially considering that all my adult life I've been told I can't have kids. (We used, or rather didn't use, protection with this in mind and it still took over 5 years for me to get pregnant)

And just to be clear, I would never look down on anyone for finding it harder than I currently do, especially not my friends. Instead I'm immensely proud of them for making it through what was for them a rough time. That's what friends do I would say. That's why I haven't spoken to any of them about this, because I wouldn't want it to make it awkward. Especially for one of my very best friends whose marriage ended due to them drifting apart after the baby while me and my partner are getting on much better than I thought we would at this point.

And I'm aware of that everything is a phase. Up until a couple of weeks ago baby had what we referred to as fuss pot o'clock every evening where the only thing that would make her be quiet was me carrying her while moving. I put music on and danced with her, seeing it as low impact cardio which is supposed to be great after pregnancy and childbirth.

I also think that perhaps I find this to be so peaceful is that I absolutely detested being pregnant.

I'm sure every parent have a different experience of these first few months, and I'm certain that we all love our children equally and do what we can for them, may they be easy or not.

How she is during toddlerhood, tomorrow or as a teenager I don't know, but I will love her and do my best through those times as well.

I just wanted to make sure my baby isn't abnormal as no one had ever mentioned to me that this period of a baby's life can actually be quite nice smile

BertieBotts Thu 23-Mar-17 07:59:17

I loved the newborn bit. Absolutely wonderful. Just adored it.

PolarBearGoingSomewhere Thu 23-Mar-17 08:08:46

Cogratulations on your lovely new baby! She does sound like a dream baby. I struggled with the loss of identity, I was the first of my friends to have a baby, but like you loved the day to day with tiny DD1. I was elated for a good 3 months so never felt tired or fed up.

I have seen a few threads recently about finding parenthood easy or hard. I don't find it hard - it's a joy - but I wasn't prepared for the relentlessness of it. I have a 3 year old who doesn't usually sleep through (I'm fine with it, but it is tiring), a 13 month old who has never slept through (we have a similar overnight pattern to you) and a worry-wart of a 5 year old who is so exhausted by school that she sometimes needs carrying home. It's the headspace, too.

RainDancer Thu 23-Mar-17 08:10:17

I was the opposite. I'm an older Mum. I was in the "how hard can this really be?" camp. I soon found out. Difficult birth with emergency c-section. Never realised how much pain I would be in for so long after that. Found breastfeeding very hard, got mastitis and really struggled, and my baby hadn't read the books that said she would probably sleep for 16 hours a day at first. She almost never slept, constantly cried and had terrible colic so was pretty miserable for her first 6 months, at which point she got a lot happier but I was an emotional and physical wreck. She is a fabulous 4 year old now and I found the toddler years so much easier, but I will never forget those newborn days. You got lucky so far. That might change. Try not to be too smug about it. It might come and bite you in the backside. You might continue to be lucky, good for you. Not everyone has it so easy. It's not a question of doing it right or wrong. Just down to luck.

Okite Thu 23-Mar-17 08:12:54

Haha, my first baby was just like that, so we had another quite quickly. Wow, did that shock us!!!! Babies are all different and unfortunately having an easy ride is not really down to how you're doing anything and much more down to your baby's personality and temperament.
Also the other thing you will learn further down the line is that everything - good or bad - is a phase and just when you get used to it, it will change!

Spiralblanket Thu 23-Mar-17 08:18:52

Mine was like that up until about 11 weeks!

BertieBotts Thu 23-Mar-17 08:19:08

Yes, I think a big part of whether the newborn bit is easy or hard is how easy you find it to establish breastfeeding, and whether they have reflux. I think there can be a bit of a shock factor if you're expecting something quite different to the reality but the main difference is probably down to luck.

CaptainWarbeck Thu 23-Mar-17 08:22:16

Your baby definitely isn't abnormal OP, I loved the early days too. There's something so gorgeous about those tiny newborn snuggles and just spending the day the two of you.

I remember saying to DH that he definitely didn't need to worry about postnatal depression because it was so lovely.

Playitagainsam Thu 23-Mar-17 08:26:30

It's 100% luck of the draw from what I can tell. The difference in your parenting experience if you have an easy baby versus a hard baby is like night and day. In my opinion it's very little to do with how you are as a parent/how much you can cope, and all to do with what the baby throws at you. My 2nd was horrific, silent reflux meant he screamed for about 3-4 hours a day, nothing could console him (nothing quite like that to make you feel like a crap Mum!) and then would wake up 4-5 times a night screaming inconsolably again for about an hour each time. Didn't properly sleep through until he was 16 months. Very nearly broke me and I distinctly remember, on a particularly screamy day, telling my DH that I hated my life...and actually meaning it shock. Whereas my first? A sleepless few months but then she was good as gold after that. Luck of the draw OP, enjoy the fact that you got a lucky draw, but know that plenty of your friends probably didn't!

ems137 Thu 23-Mar-17 08:53:36

I thought that with my 1st baby, I just couldn't understand how people couldn't manage to even get dressed.

Then I had DD and oh my word, what a nightmare! She has only just started (mostly) sleeping through at 18 months, some nights I was up every hour. She was an awful baby for the first 6 months and would scream the majority of the time from waking until sleeping. Every nap time was a fight, she only wanted me (still does), wouldn't be put down for more than 5 minutes etc etc

corythatwas Thu 23-Mar-17 08:58:37

Another thing to remember is that if you were able to dance with a newborn baby for beneficial cardio exercise, then you probably came out of labour in rather better physical shape than many other mums. I could still feel twinges from my scars a year later (bad tear and episiotomy). In the first few days, just having to walk to the loo nearly made me faint. Dancing was not on the agenda.

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

DD1 was a dream baby too, I actually worked from home on mat leave! She slept through from 6 weeks, loved her routine and apart from a nasty bout of colic/reflux which was solved by weaning was the perfect baby, even as a toddler she was very good.

I think it's partly down to luck and partly down to routine. I'm currently expecting DC2 and am thoroughly prepared to be punished this time round grin!

Writerwannabe83 Thu 23-Mar-17 16:36:26

The first 12 weeks or so of DS's life were awful. It took 8 weeks to full get breast feeding worked out in that time I was an exhausted, sleep deprived crazy lady with shredded nipples, it was awful. I'd also had a c-section which made things that little bit harder and DS had awful colic and reflux too.

I'm currently pregnant with DC2 and I'm praying it will be easier this time round.

I'm glad things are going well OP but it's not because you're doing something right where the rest of us all did something wrong - you're just lucky. Enjoy it whilst it lasts!!!

Stripyclouds Thu 23-Mar-17 16:52:49

Once more, thank you for all your replies and you sharing your different experiences smile

I'll respond to a couple of things, will probably miss a few.

About the dancing, it's more been a waddle in the beginning, but baby seems to still like it. I had a vaginal birth, second degree tears and 8 stitches, so yes, it did hurt and it still doesn't like a twitch sometimes, but her crying hurt me more than any physical pain would if that makes sense. Half my pregnancy I also had serious pain from 2 slipped discs which kept me immobile from time to time as I didn't feel confident taking the pain medication I was prescribed. I also gave birth without any pain relief. Not by choice, but I wanted to stay home as long as possible when my contractions started. Looking back I should have gone to hospital much sooner, I almost gave birth in the taxi, by thread time they got me on the bed the head was showing. So to me the pain was relative. I was also so happy about not being pregnant anymore that I can't really describe it... We all react differently to the trauma that childbirth essentially is. I never thought I would survive a birth without pain relief, but somehow I did, even though there were moments when I thought I would die haha. But it was still a familiar pain somehow. Again hard to describe, but my body seemed to know what it was doing and I rolled with it.

I have tried to have a routine, more for me than for her at this stage. The first few weeks I wrote down when she naturally wanted to sleep and eat and I tried to fit things around that. If you have more than one child I'm sure that is much, much harder! Without set routines I early stay up all night and wake up way too late I the day and I really didn't want that to happen during mat leave, so I try to stick to it and aattempt nastiness for baby slightly before she wants to sleep. So far I find her fairly easy to read, which helps. That's probably also down to me not having much else to pay attention to! I hope to be able to improve the routines more when she's older and more with it I general.

I've had spells of depression previously so i have been really worried about that coming back, but with all the things I feel, I don't feel depressed. Thoughtful perhaps, with the new role and how it changes me as a person. And all the things I want for her when she's older and how do I give her the best start to try to ensure she enjoys her life as an adult.

After all babyhood and childhood are portionally very short if you look at a lifespan, yet they're so important.

I'm in no way smug about it, and I have already had to adjust how I do things compared to what I thought I would do. One example is that I haven't been able to get breastfeeding to work. I gave up after about 3 weeks and surrendered to bottle feeding. This felt like a great failure to me, but despite extra help, classes and clinics I was unsuccessful. This is apparently also the explanation for me bleeding for close to 6 weeks. But that didn't feel like such a chore, I thought of it as the periods I missed when I was pregnant.

I think that possibly I set my expectations very low as I didn't think I would ever have children and with that it was difficult to imagine it being something so positive. I'm quite looking forward to the next phases as I'm both curious and excited to see how she unfolds.

At least if/when she turns into a little nightmare I have this lovely time to look back upon.

And kudos to all of you who have had tricky babies, I'm sure they will all turn out to be lovely people thanks to your love and care smile

Stripyclouds Thu 23-Mar-17 16:55:50

Please ignore all the odd auto corrects my previous post...

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