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How nervous are (or were) you around babies before having your first?

(19 Posts)
lilyb84 Wed 08-Jul-15 10:31:50

Just wondering as I haven't seen this discussed on here!

I'm nearly 12 weeks with DC1 and all my experience with small babies is in my distant past now (younger siblings, babysitting). I'm fairly confident around children once they reach about 9 months but when it comes to small babies I feel totally clueless about things like how to hold them, feed them, change and swaddle them correctly and feel quite awkward when I'm put in charge of one.

Just wondering how other first timers feel around other people's babies, or if those of you who've already done it can offer any reassurance / stories about how you felt before you were experts?!

TattieHowkerz Wed 08-Jul-15 10:34:55

I was clueless before having DD. Had never changed a nappy. Had never looked after a small baby. The first couple of times I took her out in her pram I felt like a fraud, and really self conscious!

But the thing about having your own baby is that you are so busy looking after him or her that you don't have time to ponder things for long! You just get on with it, and make a few mistakes along the way..

Junosmum Wed 08-Jul-15 10:40:54

I've had loads of experience with small babies - I'm the eldest of 5 and there's 15 and 17 years difference between me and my siblings. I also have a niece who stayed with us a lot when she was very young as my sister didn't cope well. I've also been very confident with friends babies and even shown them how to do things when they were unsure.

However, I have never seen myself as a mum, I'm not at all maternal and my experience is entirely practical. I have no idea how I'll cope emotionally. I don't even like kids. I never wanted them. And although I entered in to baby making willingly I'm now terrified.

Mulligrubs Wed 08-Jul-15 10:42:25

I was clueless and terrified before DS - didn't even like holding babies to be honest. Once your baby is here you learn verrrrrrrry quickly and gain confidence! I am confident with my son now he is 20 months, still not keen on even holding anyone else's baby. I agree with Tattie the first few times you take the baby out or whatever I felt like a fraud! When they handed me the baby in hospital I thought tO myself "oh, they are just giving me this baby and they are going to let me keep it!" it just feLt surreal.

Got baby 2 on the way now and feeling more confident this time aroundsmile

SaulGood Wed 08-Jul-15 10:43:43

I wasn't nervous. I wasn't remotely interested in them though. I didn't and don't find babies or other people's children particularly enchanting as a matter of course.

I had little to no experience when I had mine but it doesn't and didn't matter. You don't have other people's dc to deal with, you have your own and though the learning curve might be steep, you're sort of propelled up it by sheer devotion.

When you have your own, they aren't children or babies or any of the objective things you worry about during pregnancy. They're yours and they're family and you respond to who they are not what they are iyswim.

I do like other children btw. The ones I know and love as extensions of my friends or as the dc's friends. I don't automatically know how to be around or make friends with all adults, same as I am not automatically comfortable with other people's offspring. Some children I know and love for who they are.

Did any of that make sense?

SaulGood Wed 08-Jul-15 10:45:34

Juno, don't worry at all. I am not maternal, I don't like children in general and DH was the massively broody one. I wasn't fussed either way.

I don't have to like children or be maternal it turns out. I just have to love my own children and I do that because they're inexorably, mine.

Nottalotta Wed 08-Jul-15 10:50:02

I am not at all confident. I have no younger siblings/cousins etc and Dsis lived away when she had her two. I have never changed a nappy or fed a baby. I have held the odd one but not when they were tiny!

Shitting myself! (36 + 4.....)

AmyLouKin Wed 08-Jul-15 11:16:59

I've been around my friends child (who is now 5) and my sisters two, who I helped out with a lot, so that doesn't scare me at all! I agree with SaulGood I don't think you have to be a super broody, child focused person. You love/like children who are close to you, friends or family and most people when they have their own kid just sort of get on with it! I don't love all kids but I know I will love my own cos my partner and I created it. I'm pretty scared about giving birth if I'm honest, though I'm trying not to think about that at this early stage, but have no doubts about the changing nappies caring side of things! Oh and breast feeding is a little scary too as I know lots of people who struggled with it! Still, gonna try damn hard and hope for the best! Sorry....rambling a bit. Kinda tired today!

AbbeyRoadCrossing Wed 08-Jul-15 11:24:47

Both DH and i are the youngest in our families and had never looked after a baby, changed a nappy or anything before DS arrived. I didnt even make it to the NHS parenting course because he was early.
It all worked out somehow though!

Nottalotta Wed 08-Jul-15 11:44:19

I'm still not really interested in other peoples babies either. My mum keeps cooing and 'oh look at that baby, its very new' etc and i remain pretty unmoved. Apparently i'm odd.

I love my sisters two who are 6 & 7 now and can interact well with friends children, but am not really a baby person. I'm sure I'll like my own!

lilyb84 Wed 08-Jul-15 15:43:05

Thanks all for your comments, it's really interesting to hear everyone's different feelings and experiences.

I know with my own it'll be different so it's not that that I'm worried about. As ridiculous as it sounds, I'm more concerned with other people seeing me with their babies and judging me for not being very confident with them, or getting things wrong - and by inference, judging my potential parenting skills! As I said, totally ridiculous and not an active concern (as in, I'm not losing sleep) but it made me wonder how others feel or felt before becoming parents themselves.

Merlin333 Wed 08-Jul-15 16:41:46

I'm the same, fine with them once their bigger but my experience with newborns is me sitting there while friends have placed their newborn in my arms and then i cant move until they take them off me again lol !! Think i'm gonna have to work on that one smile

sianihedgehog Wed 08-Jul-15 17:19:33

I find newborns terrifying. Fine once they are bigger, but straight up scared by them being tiny and fragile.
I think toddlers are fucking brilliant, though, so at least I'm excited about that bit!

GoooRooo Wed 08-Jul-15 19:05:40

I hadn't a clue before I had DS. Very rarely had held a baby, had never changed a nappy or put clothes on one (that's terrifying the first time you do it).

Now having DD and much more confident about it.

I have a friend who refuses to hold children until they are at least 3 months because she's terrified their head will fall off :D

AbbeyRoadCrossing Wed 08-Jul-15 21:48:28

I find the waggley head terrifying too, even with my own baby. I much prefers it when they become more robust.

As for people judging you on doing things wrong, that'll happen whatever you do and however experienced you are. A thick skin is needed, although I'm still working on that one.
A lot of the advice is well intentioned though, such as the grandparents trying to give DS a digestive biscuit twice as big as his head before starting solids. I've just learnt to be firm with them and remind that advice has changed since they had me

Bigbird69 Wed 08-Jul-15 22:53:57

First baby I ever held was mine!! grin He's ten now and I haven't held one since!

CoffeeAndOranges Thu 09-Jul-15 08:31:47

The wobbly head, that little pulsating bit on the top of the skull, the way they breathe all shallow & sound clogged up, the poo, the feeding.. Yes I am terrified! Excited but terrified. Never feel all that comfortable holding other people's very small babies, much prefer them when they get past about 6 months and can sit up etc.

I am quite proud of having dodged changing any nappies before now. If I'm gonna wipe up any shit, it's going to be from my own offspring!

Skeppers Thu 09-Jul-15 08:48:02

This thread has made my day. It's SO reassuring to hear from other mums or mums to be (I'm currently 35+4 with #1) that they're not naturally maternal, don't like babies, etc. etc. I was starting to think I was the odd one out!

Like Junosmum I entered into having a baby completely out of choice, but I've never felt the 'need' to have children or any kind of strong maternal urge. I just somehow knew that I'd regret not having a baby more than having one, if you see what I mean? But yeah, people show me pictures of babies of daughters, cousins and friends and I think because I'm pregnant they expect me to go all soppy and coo over them, but frankly I think a) all newborn babies look the same and b) they are mostly hideous. I'll gladly go all gaga over a lovely squidgy puppy, but babies just don't do it for me.

The majority of my experience with babies also stems from looking after younger siblings: I was 14 when my youngest sister was born so I was involved with helping out with feeding (formula, obviously!), nappy changing, etc. as mum had 3 other kids to deal with too. But I've TOTALLY FORGOTTEN about that all now.

I am the person who will refuse to hold other people's babies when they visit or bring them into work to do that annoying 'show and tell' thing (which I have absolutely NO DOUBT that I will also do with my pfb).

I think it's different when it's your own because you don't have to worry about breaking someone else's 'stuff'. Not that a baby is 'stuff', but you know what I mean? Like if you borrowed someone else's car you'd freak out about getting the slightest dink or dent in it and drive everywhere at 20mph, but you'll quite happily drive your own car at 60mph and reverse into a shopping trolley if it meant getting the last parking space?

DH has never even held a baby. To be honest, having thought about it, I can't see why he ever would have done (has no younger siblings) but it still surprised me for some reason, especially as he's 42. I'm sure that the midwives will tell him what to do! We're attending NCT classes too which are helping with the basics.

Suzietwo Thu 09-Jul-15 09:44:18

ive had 3 babies and from when they are around 6 mnths until the next one is born i dont feel like i have a clue what to do with little ones!

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