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Struggling with 5 month old(16 Posts)
My DS is almost 5 months old. He's lovely most of the time and a good sleeper, napping 2-3 times during the day (sometimes for 2 hours at a time!), going to bed at 7/7.30 and usually waking just once in the night.
He will happily play with his toys alone for about 5 or 10 minutes before he gets frustrated and starts crying, at which point I have to step in. I've booked a couple of classes that we're doing regularly, which take up about two hours a week - so nothing too taxing.
The issue is, I'm just exhausted with looking after him. Even though he's a good baby overall (I know I'm very lucky with his sleeping in particular!) I just find it all so draining sometimes, especially playtime, keeping him entertained and just trying to keep him happy and smiling rather than crying!
Plus going out just feels like such a big task - I'm meeting some friends for coffee this afternoon and getting him ready and leaving the house is tiring me just thinking about it.
At the moment my body just aches from tiredness. I've had my iron levels checked and they're fine, though I think my diet could be healthier and I could also do more exercise.
I don't know what the point of this post is really - I just needed a bit of a vent. Thanks for reading if you got this far!
How you are feeling is quite normal. You will feel better when you go back to work.
You will feel better when you go back to work.
I might not be going back to work - not for a few years anyway
That's all very normal. At 5 months old, my DD used to scream if I got off the floor and become hysterical if I left the room. It was draining, and unfortunately it went on until she could follow me when she crawled at 13 months.
All I can say is the one thing I have learned over the past 21 months is things pass. It's all phases. It gets easier and then it gets harder again in different ways, but it's always kind of tiring. You just sort of get used to it. But know all mums feel like this at some point, and if they haven't, they are either about to get a massive shock, or they are lying.
I can really relate to feeling like its a massive chore to get ready to go out. And thats where I think its been really hard with no baby/toddler groups as I think it's so much easier to get ready when it's at a specific time each week and you know where you're going and what to look forward to.
If there aren't any groups in your area yet can you set a day and time for you to get out for a walk? As you also mentioned maybe needing more exercise.
There’s a really lovely page on Facebook called play hooray which has lots of ideas for playing with (killing time with) small children so that you can get a brew and sit down in peace for a little bit.
I remember feeling like this with my baby. The early few months became quite a lonely time. Mine went on like this till DD was about 9 months. You regain some energy and you do find the will power to get ready and go out again meet friends. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just take one day at a time.
I found it was a very different lifestyle to adapt to, I really missed my work/social/evening life.
Just pace yourself, do something fun and enjoyable for yourself even with the baby. I liked to walk in the park. I think you need 'Me time'. I found the the stuff I did for 'me time' before baby just weren't possible anymore. I eventually took solace in nature, outdoors, and gentle exercise. (Fun for both of us!)
Totally agree with you! My baby is 19 months now and it's really been a rollercoaster. The baby classes broke up my week and gave me something to look forwards to. And great place to have a moan, and realise your not alone!
One tip I can give, have a small prepacked bag (milk, nappy, spare clothes) that you can just grab and go out with for a little drive/walk/shop, just to get out!
I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old at first I went back to work after my first but left when she was 2. I honestly think you are in the most difficult age now. And certainly for me it was much easier not to be going back to work.
Everything is a phase and it’s gets better.
Do you get time without the baby?
I honestly think you are in the most difficult age now.
@Lockdownseperation In what way would you say it’s the most difficult and when does it get easier?
The only time I get without baby is when he’s napping or has gone to bed for the evening - which is quite a lot of time really. So I don’t know why I’m still finding it hard!
I imagine you are finding it hard because babies are all consuming and never ending. They control every aspect of your life and even when they are asleep you are controlled by them; getting a shower or lunch or a wash on before they wake up. I found the crying hard. I spent so much time saying 'what? Why are you crying?'. Even now she throws a strop for no reason, but now I just walk away and leave her to it. It's basically impossible to do that with a 5 month old.
Your life has probably changed completely, and it can be very lonely. Babies arent good conversationalists. I second the PPs suggestion of a constantly packed bag to grab on the way out the door. Just chuck your purse and phone in it. Also, try get out every day, even for a walk. It will break the day up.
Finally, the me time is important. I took up crochet when DD was about 10 months but I should have done it beforehand. I used to also walk with music or a podcast in my ears once DD was in bed and DH was home. Just 45 mins to myself, knowing I wasnt responsible for her, helped.
It gets easier/changes when they crawl. They stop crying and demanding your time, but then again they do get into the cabinets and up the stairs lol.
For me it gets easier because they get more interesting and interact more and just generally more fun to be around. Is gets easier to leave the house and be out about when they don’t need as much milk and your not having to time things around lots of naps and they become easier to work out if there is a problem.
Do you get time when your away from them and with friends not just time when you are waiting for them to wake up so you are always on call?
I also agree when they crawl and then walk they can entertain themselves for a few minutes - you may still need to be there but they don’t need you to entertain them all the time.
Definitely restock changing bag in the evening. When they need snack keep a few long life organix cereal bars in there too. With my first we bought a stroller for holidays so I kept that in the car and big pram in the porch so we were always ready to go.
DS is suddenly refusing to sleep tonight and I’m shattered. I think it’s hit me that there really is no off switch - it’s exhausting.
It is exhausting.
But it will get easier.
Your baby may be teething. They are more unsettled then. See if you can get a break from him. Can anyone watch him even for 30/60 mins. Go get a haircut or something else that's a nice treat for you but won't take too long. It'll refresh and recharge you. X
I've got a lot of sympathy OP. My baby is almost 5 months old. I don't mind the every day tasks - nappy changing, feeding, dressing, bathing etc. What drives me nuts is the entertaining. He naps for 3 hours a day so that leaves me with NINE hours of providing entertainment for him. It is exhausting both mentally and physically. If I leave him to his own devices for longer than 5 mins he will whinge and cry.
I cannot wait until he can roll/crawl/sit. I'm really hoping once he becomes self-powered he will be able to amuse himself for at least 6 mins before I have to intervene!
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