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Does it get better?(8 Posts)
I’m on ‘holiday’ but whilst everyone else is sitting in the sun with a glass of wine I’m just sat in a dark room, again, with the white noise blaring, dripping in sweat with a screaming baby attached to me. And I know I’ll be back here again in a few hours doing the same thing.
Baby is coming up to 5 months now, I found the newborn phase tough, but think I had the adrenaline pumping so got through it, but now it just feels like the same thing again and again, day after day - me in a dark room with a non-napping baby. Baby isn’t even particularly difficult, she doesn’t cry that much but it’s almost always before nap time and bedtime and I just find it so draining. Her dad is active and adores her, but I’m breastfeeding so it’s me up every night (at the moment every 90 minutes on average as we’ve just hit the sleep regression) with her ripping at my nipples and scraping me with her nails - and I’m just so exhausted, mentally and physically. I expected to be this knackered,but I’m just so worried I don’t get any joy out of this. I longed to be a mum for years, and tried so hard to be here but now I feel so flat.
I’ve never had that rush of love, delivery was long and hard so just felt weird acceptance when she was thrown on my chest. And since then I’ve just been a bit on autopilot, I don’t have time to process how I’m feeling as she just keeps me on the go constantly.
I don’t know why Im posting this, im not expecting anyone to solve all my problems and I absolutely know it will get better. I think I just need to get it off my chest. Did anyone else feel similar the first few months? How did you get through it?
Oh it's so tough at this point and it DOES get better. You are nearly at the point of weaning, which will help make her less dependent on you. And the sleep will get better. I've been there and come out the other side, and you will too
Make sure everything that doesn't involve feeding is delegated to others on holiday. They can do the nappies, bath, clearing up etc so you get some moments with a glass of wine.
On holiday pj's, feed, buggy. Dh can push it around...
It does get better OP. 5 months is also a growth spurt so they will be breastfeeding frequently. On holiday I had a push chair that had a reclining back so would lay flat and my babies napped in there quite often. I’d set up in the shade, with a lovely breeze and baby would sleep happily next to me as we sipped drinks and talked with our voices as white noise. Have you tried this? I can’t imagine a baby wanting to be alone in a dark and hot room for a nap.
This all sounds really familiar. While at 23 months I still don't have a good sleeper or easy napper, there is so much amazing interaction it more than makes up for it.
Watching him play, hearing him say new words... it's so magic. The first while can be really draining, especially when you're not getting much back.
If possible, see if DH can take over some sleep times with some expressed milk in a bottle. We never managed to do this but I wish we had.
I was just saying to my DH how much easier it is for us now. DD1 is 5 and I put her to bed the other night, normally DH does it, and now it’s cuddle chat about the day, 15 minutes of story, white noise on, kiss and see you in the morning. 7.30 and all done for the vast majority of the time until 6.45 the next day. DD2 is 2 and bf so not quiet so easy but when she is well it’s bf to sleep by 6.45 in her own bed and she down until 10ish and sometimes she accepts DH going in when she wakes. Very, very occasionally she has slept through!
Oh OP it does get easier. We had a catnapper who screamed hysterically before every nap (refused to be fed/cuddled/rocked to sleep) and it’s just awful. Your whole day is spent trying to get a baby to sleep. We went to the Algarve with DD1 at 5 months and DP spent 40 minutes four times a day walking her round and round in the buggy to get her to take her measly 28 minute naps.
It gets so much better. She gave up naps at 20 months, and we honestly haven’t given her daytime sleep a moment’s thought since then (though now we have DD2 to think about). Bedtime now takes 15 minutes including bath and story.
It’s crap, but there is an end in sight,
With my first I did the sitting in a dark room with a crying baby thing for naps, trying to work to a tight schedule etc. I hated it and still feel very upset now a few years later when the memories of it come into my head. I now have a 4 month old 2nd child and am taking a far more relaxed approach. She's napping in the sling, pram, bouncy chair and car seat as we're on the go, getting out and about and enjoying life! And she seems pretty content. Could you try some of those things for naps? Who knows maybe I'll need to start putting her in a dark room to nap at some point but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
I felt very down during my first maternity leave and took a long time to build the bond with my baby. But gradually as overnight sleep improved and naps were less frequent things felt easier and of course your baby will become so much more fun and interactive too. I did get diagnosed with PND at about 8 months postnatal. Took medication and did some CBT with perinatal team, both of which helped enormously. Stopping breastfeeding and switching to formula was the other thing that helped hugely, I was able to share everything with DP and it gave me the breathing space to enjoy my baby. But I realise that's not for everyone.
I guess what I'm saying is don't be afraid to try something different if it makes your life happier and easier. Your baby will be completely fine no matter how they are fed or where they have a nap. And if you continue to feel down please reach out to your GP or HV. I hope you can find a way to build in some time to relax a bit and enjoy your holiday.