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What advice would have helped when you had a newborn and were feeling down?

(81 Posts)
StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Tue 20-Jan-09 12:06:29

Just spoke to a friend who has a 2 week old and she sounds really down. I said I'd go over and see her tomorrow but she said she'd rather come to me as she wants to get out.

She said her DS isn't sleeping much and she's knackered.

I just want to be able to cheer her up a bit but not sure what I can say apart from telling her that it does get better.

BabyBaby123 Tue 20-Jan-09 12:14:02

maybe suggest going to her again but taking a meal with you and offering to tidy round for her while you are there? She might not have shopping in or been able to the do cleaning and might feel embarassed. I know when I had newborns I just wanted to stay at home! If she is insistant she wants to come to you, I would cook her a nice meal and just see how it goes. She may want to talk about things non baby related or she might be desperate for advice on getting baby into a routine - take her lead.

TotalChaos Tue 20-Jan-09 12:16:00

sleep when the baby sleeps, f*ck the housework, and nearly everyone finds it difficult and feels overwhelmed by the responsibility of this new person. She might be keen to come to you if she's embarassed her house isn't tiday.

AmIOdetteOrOdile Tue 20-Jan-09 12:16:50

When she gets to your house, spoil her. make her sit down, and wait on her hand and foot. Take the baby from her. Change nappies. Being able to sit for 45 minutes without having to move would be blissful.

And she's lucky to have a friend like you.

PerArduaAdNauseum Tue 20-Jan-09 12:17:47

For me, knowing that it's perfectly normal and everyone feels that way would've helped. Not the 'oh you must be feeling marvellous how's the routine going' that some people thought was appropriate... And does she know about MN yet? That would've helped me a lot smile

Gateau Tue 20-Jan-09 12:17:56

Advise her that although it is hard to believe at the moment, she will often yearn for this time when she has a toddler, ie a baby stays in one place!
Not that I would swap the toddler years - they're such fun, if a bit chaotic!!

AmIOdetteOrOdile Tue 20-Jan-09 12:18:30

You see I have never been able to "sleep when the baby sleeps" - usually because it takes me a while to drop off, and when I do youcan be damned sure the baby will stir 10 minutes later.

Just thought of something else - settle her on the couch, with a blanket and encourage her to nod off......... <wonder if I could do that myself>

chloejessmeg Tue 20-Jan-09 12:19:31

Would have loved somebody to say "I will come and clean your house, I love cleaning!"

I too wanted to visit others and always said it was because I wanted to get out, it wasn't - it was because of the mess of my house

Gateau Tue 20-Jan-09 12:20:28

Oh, and tell her she's not abnormal to feel like this. Not everyone gets the overwhelmong rush of love thing with newborns.

Doozle Tue 20-Jan-09 12:20:49

Agree with Amiodette. Can you mind the baby while she has a nap? This would have been the best thing anyone could have done for me.

nailpolish Tue 20-Jan-09 12:21:54

id insist on going to hers
ssettle her down on the couch with the baby and a blanket (i disagree about takingthe baby off her - let her sit all day with the baby)
do her housework and make lunch
make extra lunch so she has some for her freezer

remind her that she musnt worry about her ds sleeping much - its normal and he is perfectly healthy
tell her it gets better and that you are only a phone call away

run her a bath

claraquistmas Tue 20-Jan-09 12:22:46

tell her not to even try to be "perfect" - just do what she needs to to survive these early months, things will fall into place eventually.

it's always just a phase.

get sky plus if she doesn't already and find the subtitle button.

tell her her baby is beautiful even if it isn't!

nailpolish Tue 20-Jan-09 12:22:58

folks used to come round and take my bby off me so i could 'nap'

i was so anxious about baby getting hungry or whatever i used to pretend i was sleeping but instead lie and fret blush

let her nap with the baby at her side

sobloodystupid Tue 20-Jan-09 12:25:32

tell her how fantastic she is, how beautiful the baby is. Agree with going round to hers, do some ironing or cleaning or washing, whatever you can face!
Bring lovely cake or buns,INSIST that she does not move and relaxes on sofa. In a few weeks time and totally out of the blue send her some flowers. My sister did this for me, it was fantastic! You will win Friend of the Year for sure...

missingtheaction Tue 20-Jan-09 12:29:36

Send her to bed and take the baby for a walk. When you get back tell her the baby slept the whole time and was admired by every passing pram peeper (especially if it didn't/wasn't).

and ALL the above posts.

chloejessmeg Tue 20-Jan-09 12:33:13

Don't lie to her about if the baby sleeps or not - if I found out somebody lied like that, even if just being nice, I wouldn't trust them anymore and that would mean they wouldn't take them out again.

Joolyjoolyjoo Tue 20-Jan-09 12:34:05

I think I would have been relieved just to have someone say "I know what you mean" while I moaned about how parenthood wasn't living up the huge expectations I had of it. Nothing made me more miserable than other mums looking radiant and telling me how deliriously happy they were, while I was constantly worried about either feeding or sleeping- or, more usually, crying, which made me feel I was a crap mum!

My friend had her first last year, and she said I made her feel better by telling her stories of how awful I felt at first with no 1, and trying to make her laugh at my ineptitude, while promising her that it does get better

Gateau Tue 20-Jan-09 12:35:48

A bit of a tangent here, but anyone who has had more DCs, did you get the same crappy feelings with them that you did with no 1?

HensMum Tue 20-Jan-09 12:35:49

Tell her it gets better. One of the things that kept me going was remembering how I went to stay with a friend when her daughter was 7 months old and we went out for dinner while her husband stayed in with a film - helped me realise that life can get back to "normal" at some point.
Tell her that everyone finds it hard. My SIL told me that she cried every day for 2 weeks after my niece was born. You'd never think it to look at her as she looked so together.
Tell her not to worry about routines yet and do everything she can to get her baby to sleep - she is not going to make a rod for her back!

cornedbeefpasty Tue 20-Jan-09 12:40:31

i was really low after having my first baby...i hated people taking the baby from me.... i also hated people taking over my house because it made me feel like they were doing it because it was messy, not to help me out....

i would have love to have gone to someone elses house for a chat, to be hosted, made lunch and just sat....

i would however, ask your friend how things are, and insist on being with her one day next week where you can do what she wants, whether it be helping with housework, going out for a walk, going for a bath or a kip...

you are a lovely friend!

cornedbeefpasty Tue 20-Jan-09 12:43:21

gateau...number one was sheer hell, lol, number 2 was fantastic...i was on a real high for weeks, and number 3 was lovely...much more relaxed and together...i was tired, yes, and anxious a bit too, but nothing at all like my first time...honestly. it was a very grim time, with very few happy memories at all. sad

Bramshott Tue 20-Jan-09 12:46:01

open wine!

MarlaSinger Tue 20-Jan-09 12:47:21

Tell her to log onto mumsnet!

Agree with stuff like change nappies make tea while you are there - no one did anything for me really, it would have meant the world... if she seems up to the idea, could you take the baby for a walk while she naps/has a bath? If not then maybe arrange to do that at a fixed time in a few days, in case doing it 'now' is intimidating IYSWIM.

DustyTv Tue 20-Jan-09 12:48:02

I would have loved someone to have told me that it is completely normal to feel down and that it does pass. TBH I would have loved it if someone actually recognized that I felt that way. I hid it well, and said to myself many times 'what the hell have you gotten yourself into woman' blush

Just having you their to listen to her will be a big help to your friend, and do tell her that it does pass and get better.

francagoestohollywood Tue 20-Jan-09 12:50:15

Take her lead, let her rant/giggle/sob/laugh at her will.

All I needed when I was feeling down after my first was company. Someone to chat with, while I was feeding the baby. Someone I could leave the baby with, while I took a shower.

Gateau, no, I didn't get the same crappy feelings when I had my second. I was more energetic, optimistic and content (though I found the toddlers years harder the second time around)

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