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How would you handle a mate not coping with a newborn, if you are (and find it really easy?)

(59 Posts)
WhatsupDoc Thu 17-Jul-08 21:01:40

Dilemma for you ladies!

My friend and I both have toddlers the same age and have recently both had our second child.

Hers sounds like a nightmare baby. If she's not feeding or sleeping, she's screaming. A really miserable baby! She's really struggling and is totally worn out and fed up.

I on the other hand, seem to have landed the baby from heaven. Through no engineering of my own, I have ended up with a totally chilled and placid newborn, who sleeps alot and gurgles contentedly when awake. I was petrified about coping with 2, but instead feel like I'm walking on air most days because it's SO much easier than I expected (for now at least - I'm not that deluded that I think it'll last forever).

We were sat having coffee today (there's a big group of us, but we're the only ones to have 2 DC) and she's clearly fed up, and asks me how I 'do it' (i.e have a contented and settled baby). Of cousre it's nothing I've done, it's sheer luck. But I don't know what to say to her to make her feel better without sounding completely smug and patronising.

Any ideas?

margoandjerry Thu 17-Jul-08 21:04:37

Just tell her you've been really lucky (which you have smile) and tell her it all evens out in the end. I had a lovely sleepy calm easy peasy newborn but paid for it with a very demanding nightmare 6 months at around 9 months onwards when everyone else was swanning around enjoying their smiley, gurgly babies.

myredcardigan Thu 17-Jul-08 21:06:15

Well even your posting sounds smug and patronising so I guess you'll find it difficult!

Habbibu Thu 17-Jul-08 21:07:47

Luck, luck, luck, and point out that your placid baby may "turn" at any time (not that I'm wishing that on you) - and then listen sympathetically and avoid that natural urge to compare.

Habbibu Thu 17-Jul-08 21:08:29

myred - where do you see smug and patronising? It doesn't read at all like that to me.

MrsSylar Thu 17-Jul-08 21:09:36

I don't think the OP sounded smug at all. Just concerned for her friend

lou031205 Thu 17-Jul-08 21:10:24

Ouch myredcardigan - the OP sounds completely aware that she is not the cause of this chilled out baby!

I think that you need to be honest, and say that your baby just seems quite placid. But, I would also make your humanness clear - let her know when you are having a bad day.

How old are your DC?

RubySlippers Thu 17-Jul-08 21:10:37

i don't think the OP is smug at all

Margo and Habbibu are right - it does even out

beansprout Thu 17-Jul-08 21:10:55

Doesn't read like that to me either, don't be so harsh.

The most chilled babies I ever did see, turned into some of the hardest toddlers so swings and roundabouts. Just be supportive, listen to her, hold her baby for a bit (if you can), buy her coffee etc. We don't have magic wands and we don't have to make things better, just be there and just help where you can. smile

Jojay Thu 17-Jul-08 21:11:11

I don't think you sound smug or partonising smile

I was in a similar situation when my friend and I had our first babies within a few weeks of each other.

As Habbibu says, emphasise how LUCKY you are, what a fluke it is that your LO is so good etc. Sympathise like mad and remind her that these days will pass...........

RubySlippers Thu 17-Jul-08 21:11:30

oh, recommend her a sling as well

this was a godsend for my refluxy, non stop crying baby

constancereader Thu 17-Jul-08 21:12:23

I don't see smug or patronising either.
I thought as I read the post just say it to her like you have said it here!

Nothing is more irritating when you have a challenging baby than someone assuming their non-challenging baby is the result of their superior parenting skills. To state that you have been lucky is def the way to go imo.

You sound very nice and supportive to me.

IHadABetterNameButYouStoleIt Thu 17-Jul-08 21:12:46

ah lovely placid newborns!! i had a one of those 13 months ago!! i miss her! the banshee that i have screams everytime she is not on the floor destroying the house, chasing the dog or eating!!

my sister had a nightmare baby about the same time, she now has a lovely boy who likes cuddles and happily sits and plays with his toys, as opposed to the living room fire envy

theSuburbanDryad Thu 17-Jul-08 21:14:58

I think you sound like a lovely friend, and not smug or patronising at all! I was in a similar position with my friend when we had our first babies - hers was the nightmare baby from hell and mine was easy peasy. Now, however, my child is the "spirited" demon spawn toddler and hers in chilled out and calm! It definitely evens out later on. We are both pg with our 2nd dc now as well!

Can you invite them over to yours for coffee? Or go over there and just ask if there's anything you can do to help? I know if someone had offered to do my washing up (actually, several people did, before they made tea! blush) then it made all the difference. Difficult not to do it without being patronising though.

Tinasan Thu 17-Jul-08 21:15:09

I don't think you were smug and patronising at all! Your poor friend - as others have said, it will all even out in the end but that's not much comfort for her at the moment. At least it's your second babies, if it was the first she would be sure that she's doing something wrong, and you would probably be thinking along the same lines!

Fennel Thu 17-Jul-08 21:15:22

I had a very easy first baby. Tolerant of everything, slept brilliantly, fed well. I knew it was luck. She slept through the night at 1 day old, our first night back from hospital. That was hardly due to anything I did. My friends still hated me grin but you don't have to be smug or patronising, just admit it's nothing you are doing right and them doing wrong.

my third was the same. easy and undemanding. People really used to quiz me then to see what I was doing right. Actually dd1 and dd3 are still both pretty easy, so it doesn't necessarily even out in the end. But I still don't think it's anything I did.

The only "evening out" is that my unchilled demanding one, dd2, is the only one of my children who bothers. who competes. who achieves. My laid back babies are gorgeous now but it's my stressy one who is the high achiever, in various ways. the others can't be bothered. They just drift through life.

theSuburbanDryad Thu 17-Jul-08 21:16:42

How well do you know the mother? Is she the sort of friend you can offer to help without her getting offended?

lou031205 Thu 17-Jul-08 21:16:58

I also had a lovely, placid, sleep-through-the-night-at-6-weeks-despite-being-4-weeks-prem, contented DC2. But then she hit 4 months, and it all went wrong. Couldn't sleep in her crib. Couldn't go to bed in the evening - had to be BF on me. Woke 7-8 times in the night, despite the 'night' only being 8 hours.

I remember going to a friend's house one evening, and saying "So that is 168 out of 168 hours I have spent with DD2 this week." She has been completely attached to Mummy, no one else would do.

Now, 7 months on, she is finally growing into herself, and sleeping in the evening, sleeping through the night again, going to other people willingly. In fact, at the grand old age of 11 months, DH managed to settle her for the first time two weeks ago, and she went on her first ride with Nanny & Grandad in the car yesterday. DD1 was going in the car with Nanny & Grandad alone at 5 months!!

WhatsupDoc Thu 17-Jul-08 21:19:49

I'm only a teeny bit smug in private wink

But hopefully not patronising. Obviously that's the last thing I want to be, hence my post, RedShoes grin

Thanks everyone. That's kinda what I'm doing. Talked about some concerns I had about my DD who doesn't seem nearly as advanced as her DS with certain things.

I remember my DD was placid too in the early days. It was around 3 months when the colic kicked in and I nearly turned to drink lol (she is now 2 and very whingy!!)

lisad123 Thu 17-Jul-08 21:19:59

my first DD was a terrible baby, she was always crying, wanting holding, wouldnt be left with anyone else.
My other DD2 is a breeze, she is lovely, calm, happy and easy. DD1 is now a beutiful, happy easy girl.
I would just point out that its just luck, and that your LO isnt always like that. Just be there for her and offer to help.

WhatsupDoc Thu 17-Jul-08 21:20:49

Oops, Redcardigan even!

myredcardigan Thu 17-Jul-08 21:21:14

Ok, I was your friend but with my first. Difference was my good friend kept giving me tips as she obviously felt it was down to parenting. In my other ear MIL was doing the same. I wanted to commit mass murder! Not helped by the fact that DC2 was a dream baby so I got all the comments about having got so much better at the mothering thing!

You just seemed like you were saying you didn't think it was parenting but maybe did really. Buy hey, I'll hold up my hands if I'm wrong. grin

Bettymamma Thu 17-Jul-08 21:21:49

My dd1 was an absolute nightmare baby bless her and my best mates ds1 was a darling angel.

However, my dd2 is a placid little thing, slept throught the night from day 3 and has only woken once in the night for the past 6 months (I'm waiting for the teeth to arrive wink. Best mates ds2 is up all night making her life hell and enjoys being held ALL day.

Just pure luck! Nothing to do with parenting skills or anything we did. Reassure your mate and tell her that.

myredcardigan Thu 17-Jul-08 21:23:06

Ah, you see, I knew it! wink grin

Bettymamma Thu 17-Jul-08 21:25:00

Myred - I keep getting told its cos I'm more relaxed with dd2. GGGGRRRRR

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