What do you actually do with a baby ?(77 Posts)
I am so clueless ! in terms of a newborn what do you do with them day to day ? I know they sleep a lot need feeding and changing but during the day do you put them in a bouncy chair or their crib ? I don't think I will be holding him all the time ! I have no close friends with children I can ask really. I am going to be terrible !
Sniff their heads and kiss their teeny toes
Rock, pace, walk, feed, wind, feed, rock, cuddle, feed.
You will get the hang of it very quickly
my experience was totally different to how I expected it to be.
I was looking forward to strolls to the park and lazy boxset days cuddled up with my tiny bundle but no - I got the baby who didn't like to sit cuddled in my lap or be pushed along in the pram.
I had to bounce him CONSTANTLY for the first 8 weeks at least. even now at 15 weeks he does not like to sit still - has to be on the move and still cries in the pram/car so tends to be carried.
its been hard work and I truly mean HARD.
but, hes my ds and I love him regardless-as will you, however your experience goes.x
I say enjoy the freedom and get out and about, nothing much changes you just have an etra person with you and a nappy in your handbag. It's a good time to do all the things you want to do whenever you want to do them before the baby wants constant entertaining or you can't take your eye off them for a second or finish a sentence before they've eaten an electric wire, or before you're tied down to home and bedtimes and all that stuff. For the first few months I try to make the most of that freedom and do lots of going out for dinner, nights out (baby friendly ones of course) cinema, events, lunch with friends, nights at friends houses etc, before you know it it'll be all CBeebies characters and you don't get a chance to go see a proper film or can't go to a nice restaurant because the 6 month old will throw ricecakes all over the floor. Or go see your friends because the baby is asleep in its cot. They're so portable when they are small don't waste the time sitting at home with some idea that your newborn has to go to bed at 7pm.
This is a great thread. I was wondering the same (due this week sometime).
I have spent ages planning the birth and decorating the nursery but working until now so hadn't really thought about what to do with a baby. Then realised I didn't have a clue and paniced!
My first too so can't advise from experience but I am trying to stock the freezer and have set up some online shopping orders to come in so at least we have the basic fresh stuff.
Really confused with the sleeping part. Are we just meant to let them sleep whenever they want to or do others actively try to get them to nap?
Just let them sleep whenever to begin with. Newborns often sleep for 18 hours a day during the first few weeks. Once they get a bit bigger, you can start introducing a routine if you like.
This thread is hugely helpful and has really made me excited about the early stages (with an underlying caveat that things may not be that lovely for everybody e.g. if baby has colic or you have PND).
I think I wanted to ask the same question as OP did but was too worried! I feel like I now know about childbirth inside out but about looking after a baby? No clue.
I have a 17 week old DS. And quite honestly, I did hold him an awful lot
You might want to think about a sling. It means you can continue doing things and baby still has the closeness.
They do sleep lots, so maybe have a Moses basket handy too.
I found he was just too tiny to put him in a chair until he was a little older.
Sniff their head
gaze at each other
marvel at what you've grown
Follow their lead in terms of feeding and sleeping
laugh when they fart
Talk to them
give them millions of cuddles
Eat cake for breakfast at 2pm if you have to
Aim to leave the house at least once a day, but it's also nice to put the heating on and stay on the sofa when it's freezing out
Oh and when you get home from hospital, enjoy opening all the lovely card and parcels that come through the door for the next three weeks!
A lot of babies, a lot, when newborns, cry in the early evening. Don't worry about it - it interferes with dinner time which is inconvenient - they grow out of it more quickly than you think.
I agree with the head sniffing, gazing, etc., etc. My DD was a "didn't want to be held" one though so that's ok too. She still doesn't like being manhandled when she's tired - just wants to be put down to sleep.
Like the others say, you may be holding him a lot! I fed for hours and hours and hours for the first few weeks.
It also used to take me about an hour to change a nappy, so that was another 8 hours of the day gone!
You'll be fine. Just enjoy it, because it's a completely different story with a newborn and number two/three etc.
I was constantly on the go. I wish I'd spent more time just snuggling - I was always zooming off with the pram to walk the dog or whizzing off to meet up with people. I wish I'd just stayed in bed with her and cuddled.
Many people have mentioned how much newborns sleep, and it is true they do need to sleep for the majority of the time. However, in some cases sleep is something that is hard to attain. My DD is 5 weeks and for the past three has not slept well at all. Every minute of sleep has to be coaxed out of her through hours of rocking and walking. I carry her in a sling all day every day as it is the only way that she will sleep and I can do anything essential such as eat. I personally get virtually no sleep as I obviously can't nap if I am carrying her and she is up with colic most of the night.
I'm not complaining, as I love every minute with her, but it is best to realistic as a model baby that wake for feeds then goes to sleep nicely in a moses basket shortly afterwards is not necessarily what you will get!
My DS was born in a blisteringly hot summer, so I used to take him for a walk at 5/6 a.m. as it was the only time it was cool enough.
Then I'd feed him, change him, talk to him...hold him while I watched every single episode of 6 Feet Under.
He had a low slung bouncy chair that he loved to sit in while I did things around the house.
DC2 will be here next month and it won't be nearly so relaxed because I'll be doing school runs, etc.
expect to hold them and feed them constantly and get little sleep.
LadyMC you made me laugh, that's exactly what I do all day!. Plus I sing a shitload of nursery rhymes and stick my tongue out at him 1000 times a day.
A newborn is classified as the first month only I think. If you are wondering about that, I would say one thing to be aware of is that they give nothing back at first except dirty nappies and often a lot of inconsolable roaring. Don't be shocked by this and it's not a reflection of your ability. Expect to still be very emotional at this time. I spent a lot of the first month very anxious and/or crying. I wish someone had told me of how tough the physical recovery was going to be, that was another surprise. But then suddenly he/she will smile around 6 weeks and then it starts to become more like 'looking after a baby' rather than just firefighting. You will start to see patterns in their eating, sleeping and even crying and you will know what to do with them when. They will respond more to you which is a huge relief and makes being a mum actually feel like being a mum.
My little fellow basically at from 6 weeks cried when he wanted fed or to sleep. I recommend you offer food first, quiet sleepy environment and arm rocking second. If the baby is content, chat to it and try it in a bouncy chair. The day will take care of itself.
Oh yes, you will cry and cry. I think it's just a way of getting rid of excess water or something!
Get a lovely box of tissues, or a muslin!
Book yourself a massage for those aching shoulders, and do some weight lifting now for your upper arms to strengthen them. I also had a baby who was happier in my arms, and I can remember the pain...... I got a lovely sling in the end and wore my babe all day every day- even went to the loo with her strapped to me.
Be prepared for massive arguments also with your partner- sleep deprivation is a torture method for a reason.... Don't try and out do each other with I'm more tired than you antics... Life's too short, just be kind to each other.
Yes yes to filling up the freezer, and yes yes to taxing all visitors with dinners and cups of tea.
If you can, get a dishwasher if you don't have one, and a tumble dryer is very useful too.
Even if you plan on breast feeding, get a few bottles and a steriliser... you never know if you'll need a bottle of formula now and then.
Most of all, slow down and cuddle your babe, and recover from the birth.
Agree with Drolove re looking after a baby vs firefighting. My DD is 6 weeks & the first month was hard with the lack of sleep and constant cycle of sleep/eat/nappy/cry/sleep etc. However, when she smiled at me at four weeks (rather than her pooing face) and seemed to recognise it was me smiling at her it changed everything. So expect the unexpected, go with whatever your DC wants. Don't even think about a routine as you will only be frustrated and disappointed when it goes out of the window. Listen to other people's experiences but don't expect yours to be the same. Yours might smile at three weeks or seven weeks it really doesn't matter. Keep them safe I.e. when changing or sleeping. Get help STRAIGHTAWAY if you're struggling with breastfeeding as it will not get better on its own. I went to a BF counsellor after 1 week and I wish I'd gone after 5 days. Always pull the ruffles out on the legs of the nappies or they leak (no one told me!) Huggies Pure wipes are better than the freebie Pampers ones you get in your Bounty pack. Wipe the creases at the top of their legs as poo hides in there. For the first month you cannot cuddle them too much but if you do want to get stuff done buy a sling. However, don't expect it to be the solution to all your problems as sometimes they won't want to go in it for absolutely no reason. Do take it VERY easy the first week esp after a c-section. If you take iron tablets get yourself some Lactulose and/or Fybogel before you get bunged up too much. Eat whenever you can as you'll need the energy esp if BFing. Your baby will feed as long as it wants 10/15/20/25/30 etc minutes. There's no "right" amount of time. Mine feeds for 20 mins in the main but it was 30 before bed tonight and just done an 8 minute feed (hence on MN waiting to see if she wants more!)
Here's my final piece of wisdom: listen to everyone else's advice...and then do what feels right to you. There is no 'right' way to do things (well within reason of course) but you'll get to know what works for you and your baby. Some love bouncing/rocking; some hate it. Some love being swaddled; some hate it. Yes it's trial and error and when you get it 'wrong' (note the inverted commas as it's not really 'wrong' just something that doesn't suit your baby) try something else till your baby starts doing what you think it should be doing e.g. Burping/sleeping/eating. Enjoy the magical first few weeks of being a Mummy and use MN to keep you sane!
I have to be honest and say that you should be prepared for the fact that you may feel overwhelmed - and not necessarily in a good way. With DS1 I was totally freaked out for about 12 weeks until I got into the swing of things. Never having had somebody totally reliant on me was a total shock to me.
So what I did was I surrounded myself with other mums (joined a group of 1st time mums) and got myself out and about.
A typical day would consist of housework/feeding/bathing/nappy changes, a long walk, listening to music (lots of different stuff, not all baby-ish), a visit to the library, a meet-up with post-natal group. If DS wasn't in my arms, he was in his rocker or on the playmat (from about 4/5 weeks of age).
I must confess my experience wasn't quite as blissful as others'. I really really was overwhelmed and found it all very difficult. My baby didn't sleep that well during the day and I found it quite difficult just to take them out and about because of nap times and trying to get him to nap in the cot etc. I really didn't enjoy my maternity leave at all. I also didn't expect the sheer relentless of it all. It's day in and day out, 7 days a week. Even now my son is 2.5 and it's still relentless. I am expecting DC2 in 6 weeks and must confess I am slightly dreading it, although hopefull this time I will be more relaxed and go with the flow a little.
Thank you for posting this OP, I'm 36+3 and the reality of having a proper real live baby has started to settle on me, oh my god, panic stations!!! Now when dd-to-be wakes me by turning/kicking in my tummy at 5am, I lie there thinking, 'maybe I need to wash her things again. Are they definitely soft enough? Did I use enough softener? They might still be scratchy. A baby's skin is 7 times thinner than an adults, you know. Oh god, what if I'm putting on a bodysuit and a corner of my nail rips her skin oh god oh god oh god quick file the things, do it now, no don't do it right now, it's five o'clock in the bloody morning, get back in bed...' aaaaargh roundthebenditis.
Purr my real life ds has never had his clothes washed in fabric conditioner, we minimise chemicals next to his skin and cotton Jersey (that he spends 99% of his time in) is soft anyway. Just wash in minimal amounts of non-bio powder
and stain remover spray
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