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To ask for survival tips for newborn FTM
23

vinoelle · 01/08/2020 21:52

Due any time now and was hoping for any advice or tips especially for the first few weeks. Think I’ve covered the basics, sorted the nursery/ upstairs and down change stations, have all the necessary equipment, filled the freezer with batch cooking etc - but still feel clueless! What are your survival secrets?

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ureterr1blemuriel · 01/08/2020 22:24

Oooh how exciting!

Don’t feel scared to ask for help - do you have any close family members who can be on call if you need them? (eg for meals, cleaning, moral support, to watch the baby whilst you sleep).

Sleep when baby sleeps

Keep a diary of naps, feeds etc - you start to see patterns emerging which helps you settle into a routine after a few weeks.

Breast feeding (if you want to do it) can be difficult at the start - try to persevere (use lansinoh and air them lots) and once you’ve broken in your nips it’s a doddle.

Swaddling is great for helping babies feel secure.

Good luck!

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Mumshappy · 01/08/2020 22:30

Ive always made sure my second and third child knew the difference between day and night from day one I didnt talk to them during the night, dark room etc. Its really helped with their sleep patterns and were much better sleepers than my first dd. I was clueless and young and id have the tv on downstairs in the night whilst I fed her. She just got overstimulated.

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embolass · 01/08/2020 22:35

Awww I Remember feeling like that too. Just go with it, accept there will be no routine. Don’t feel guilty about anything, the house, yourself etc The first 6-8 weeks are tough, the lack of sleep is tough but it passes and each day starts to get little easier. Sleep patterns settle down a bit, you get rested better, and to know your baby and from there a routine and control of your life come back. Can you tell I’m control freakGrinTry and relax and enjoy it, it’s such a special time x

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vinoelle · 01/08/2020 22:36

Thanks for replying! No local family sadly and breast feeding is something I’m really worried about - I really want to do it and have done loads of reading about it - but think I’ve just over complicated it in my mind! Hopefully it will click into place once I start. I’ve read kellymom, joined FB groups, and LLL website and it just all seems full of problems! 🤞 it’s not as bad as it seems but I’ve got a small amount of formula just in case.

@Mumshappy That’s a good point about the tv.... we were planning on having baby in the Moses basket in the sitting room with us in the evening until we go up to bed. Would doing this until 9pm ish be too late? do you just go up to bed with baby at 7pm ?! Or do you just mean for when you wake for feeds overnight

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Bobbiepin · 01/08/2020 22:38

DH and I slept in shifts. Dd was combination fed so I would go to bed at 9, DH would give her a bottle at 12 then bring her up to me for the next feed at 3 when we'd swap and he'd go to bed. She didn't sleep much in the first few weeks, but we could doze off beside her (in the sleepyhead or moses basket). As a new mum, 6 straight hours sleep was a bloody miracle.

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Mumshappy · 01/08/2020 22:44

I meant for feeds but your right about tv in the evening. I put mine to bed at the same time as me until they were a few months old. I would give a last feed in the bedroom where its quiet.i breastfed my dd16 intially but i didnt really have any milk. My other two were formula fed. Its fantastic when a mum can breastfeed but sometimes its impossible. I wish you all the best for your mum journey.

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CloudPop · 01/08/2020 22:45

Take your own pillows to the hospital ! You'll be very grateful for them. Best wishes !

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vinoelle · 01/08/2020 22:46

@Bobbiepin I’d like to try combination feeding - how early did you introduce a bottle? I know official advice is not until supply is established at 6 weeks but then I know a lot of people find it too late to introduce a bottle then.

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Hardbackwriter · 01/08/2020 22:48

Take loads and loads of photos and - especially - videos of their little baby noises, movements, etc. People told me it flies by - it didn't feel at all like it at the time (I remember feeling like he'd been 5 weeks for about 10 years) but in hindsight it did, and I find I can barely remember what he was like when he was really tiny.

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Hardbackwriter · 01/08/2020 22:52

Also, just be really, really kind to yourself - whatever that looks like to you. There's no one size fits all - I remember being endlessly told to rest and made to feel almost bad for getting out and about really early on and a lot but for me that was a brilliant coping mechanism. Other people go to bed for six weeks, ban visitors and that's exactly the right thing for them. There's no right and wrong in this, even though there's a huge industry and a lot of social pressure to feel like you're doing it 'correctly' from day 1.

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Sunshine1235 · 01/08/2020 22:56

The best thing I did with my second was embrace the fact that I might not get much sleep. I’d take myself to bed with the baby, a load of chocolate biscuits and Netflix and feed baby until he fell asleep then sleep myself. I actually really enjoyed those times whereas with my first I was stressed with trying to give him to sleep by a certain time so I could have me time etc. I know pp said no tv but my second was my best sleeper so it’s hard to know how much these things make a difference and how much it’s luck.

I’m sure you’ve been given this advice before but just go with the flow, try not to compare your baby or what you’re doing to other people too much and remember that everything is a phase - whatever hard or easy phase you’re in it won’t last so enjoy the good moments and know the hard moments will pass

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Hardbackwriter · 01/08/2020 22:56

Finally - and then I'll shut up! - if you love the newborn phase then brilliant, good for you and ignore the idiots who always try and bring down women who feel like that by telling them 'it's all downhill from here'. Cherish that you're enjoying it but don't feel like it's the last good bit - it really isn't!

If you don't love the newborn phase then that just means your stage is yet to come! I beat myself up so much about not loving it and felt it must mean I was a bad, unnatural mother and that the whole thing would be disastrous since people kept telling me that this was the easy bit. Turns out I'm just a toddler person, not a baby one and they were wrong, it got massively easier.

Either way: ignore anyone who says 'just you wait until they're...'. There is no reason to say this - it is only ever negative, and what sort of person actively wants to bring down a new mother and make her worry for the future? - and so they have just revealed they have nothing of value to say.

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BridgeFarmKefir · 01/08/2020 23:01

Lower your expectations. You don't need to clean or make meals or anything. Feed, nap, watch TV, whatever you can do with a newborn on you. Order takeaway, ask people to bring you tea.

Slings are great - consider one. When baby is tiny look at a a stretchy wrap. My DD lived in one.

However you give birth, be easy on yourself. It might not go how you expect (most likely) but that's ok.

Lockdown/ COVID is in some ways a shit time to give birth but also gives you license or tell people not to visit. Exercise your right.

Good luck!

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BridgeFarmKefir · 01/08/2020 23:02

Ps. Everyone is winging it. No one has it sussed Wink

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2155User · 01/08/2020 23:02

Bin the baby books.

Go with the flow.

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kyles101 · 01/08/2020 23:04

I'd introduce a dummy early rather than a bottle to ensure being able to combi feed. Ds has a dummy to sleep only, and it's been a massive help to him for self settling - he sleeps through the night and has done since he was young. It takes some of the comfort suckling pressure off but means they are used to the shape and feel of an artificial teat - so we used mam teats and bottles for example.

I'd also invest in a next to me style crib if you haven't got one. Ds was a dream in his u til he was too heavy for it at around 6 months, then moved to a travel cot next to the bed for a couple of months then into his own room without issue.

Try to grab half an hour of alone time where you can it'll make all the difference.

The days are long but the years are short, enjoy them

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flissity · 01/08/2020 23:05

@vinoelle I am sitting up in bed with my 8week old! She is my third.

We seemed to have got into this evening routine:
I stay up til 10pm ish, baby is just with is both on sofa/in arms while we’re watching tv or whatever. At about 10 (or when programs finished) I take her up to bed with me. Dark room, a good feed, no talking etc.. so she knows it is different to day. She falls asleep and I transfer to Moses basket.
This pattern has kind of worked itself out.

You may find the breastfeeding a piece of cake! Don’t always assume things will be a nightmare.

In the early weeks I definitely took snacks up to bed with me! Also DH would keep her downstairs after I fed her at about 8pm, then I’d get 2 solid hours before he brought her up. Now she sleeps 10-4/5am! Which is decent.

Things will slip into place for you, main thing is to not put pressure on yourself in the early days.

I personally love the newborn phase :)

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Sally7645 · 02/08/2020 07:36

I'd second advice from PP about ignoring people determined to make you worry about how awful it's going to be. I had a friend who had been through a bit of PND and really hated the newborn phase, and was determined to tell me what hell I had in store.

I loved the newborn stage, some people don't and that's fine too, there's good days and bad. Whatever your new baby is like, everything is a phase- even the bad phases are short lived.

I'm now pregnant with my second, and the same friend is now constantly on about how hard it's going to be...she only has one so far so I just smile 😊

My husband and I had no experience with babies at all, we didn't do NCT or any antenatal classes. My DH got shown how to change a nappy by the midwife in hospital and then he showed me, and we turned out fine. It's nerve wracking but you will honestly just adapt and be a pro within days.

Also re BF, I couldn't get my head around the logistics of it before the birth. Once she was here I realised just don't over complicate it- when the baby starts fussing offer it a boob. Simple

I introduced a bottle at 6 weeks, and she took it fine but I ended up hardly using one as she was always with me anyway so much easier to use the boob. But with this baby I will make more effort so I can get away for a few hours easier

Good luck! X

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Emeeno1 · 02/08/2020 07:50

Congratulations on your forthcoming birth!

I would begin by trying to relax a little, each new born is different so please do not worry about too much. You will learn your baby and they will learn you.

Be confident that you and your baby will do together all the things you do now, eating, sleeping, toileting, soothing. Go gently.

Do not listen to tales of doom and gloom, this is your story not theirs.

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ChikiTIKI · 02/08/2020 07:54

I have my second baby now, 4 months old.

I've never written down when I fed her and have no idea how many times a day I feed her(did with first and it was a ballache and didn't really help me anyway). Hairbobble on wrist to tell you which side to start feeding on next. Obviously with covid she has only been weighed about 3 times. Was born a week in to lockdown.

I would say take a photo from above of the baby lying down in a sleepsuit that is a bit too big and then maybe each week or fortnight repeat this and it will assure you that the baby is definitely growing! I checked Nappies to see if she was feeding enough, if there's lots of wee and poo, they must be drinking lots of milk.

I actually preferred not to have the baby constantly weighed.. Was too much pressure the first time. Sometimes the more you know, the more there is to worry about.

I always have to gently massage my boobs as I breastfeed every time for the first month or so to prevent and lumps getting stuck. I have had mastitis once with each baby. I think sometimes it just happens... If it does, just get on antibiotics ASAP. This time the pain of mastitis wasn't bad at all but it came with awful awful flu symptoms (which went away after 24hrs on ABs) so just watch out, if you're not feeling quite right tell people and they can help you figure out exactly what's wrong.

Have a load of snacks ready for in the night and drinks too, as soon as you start feeding you feel thirsty usually.

Take loads of photos and just enjoy your sweet little baby!

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Bobbiepin · 02/08/2020 09:38

We introduced a bottle at 4 weeks under midwife advice as she hadn't regained her birth weight. We had established bf but I didn't produce much, couldn't express and never had milk shooting out everywhere! She had that one bottle at midnight then later as last feed before bed until 5 months when I started introducing more bottles and weaning off bf.

She had a dummy at 3 weeks I think, sleep time only from 18 months and just gave it up at 2.5. Basically IMO if you can breastfeed and have that established, slowly introducing one bottle at a time is fine no matter what age.

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BrieAndChilli · 02/08/2020 09:55

Don’t stress is my top tip!! First few weeks don’t give a thought to ‘routine’ just be led by you and the baby. There’s plenty of time for routine later. Your baby may be nocturnal for the first few days, it’s normal. Sleep when they sleep, eat when you want to, let your partner do the household stuff, the cooking and cleaning etc. Any visitors can make the cups of tea, just sit on the sofa, enjoy being close to your baby and getting feeding established. You will be emotional. It will feel like you are a milking cow and the baby constantly feeds, this is good for getting your supply established. You will be sore and bleeding, you may even pass some massive blood clots that will terrify you! You may need to see in the shower for the first few times!! Keep your energy up and your stress low. But mainly just enjoy the first few weeks. It doesn’t last long the newborn phase.

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BrieAndChilli · 02/08/2020 09:58

With my middle child who was a sucky baby and constantly wanted to be on the boob but I had shredded Nipples and mastitis So we ended up giving her some bottles of formula and a dummy for a couple of weeks. I still fed her as much as I could bear but from about week 1 to week 4 she had a combination. We then went back to exclusively breastfeeding and no dummy. I fed her until 1 year and she never had a dummy after those first weeks so it can be done

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