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to think the newborn phase might actually be quite fun?!

216 replies

takethatlady · 23/05/2011 14:24


I'm 35+1 with DC1 (a DD) and everyone I talk to keeps telling me how 'awful' the first few weeks are - how you don't know what you're doing, how your baby barely responds to you and 'gives nothing back', how you are filled with perpetual fear that something bad will happen, how terrible bfing will be, and how you'll feel nothing but physically and emotionally drained and stressed and all your other relationships will suffer.

I know these people mean well and I'm really glad they're not lying to me and pretending it will all be a bed of roses, but having seen a few similar threads on MN I am just wondering if anybody out there had a really positive experience of the first few weeks? I'm lucky because my DH is a teacher and what with paternity leave and the summer holidays he's likely to be around full time for 8 of the first 10 weeks. We're both really really excited about spending the summer getting to know our new baby, however sleep deprived we're going to be, and I'd love to hear more from people who enjoyed this time despite its difficulties ...

OP posts:

CareyFakes · 23/05/2011 14:26

I didn't like the Newborn stage, far prefer the toddler stage and I wouldn't want to have another child BUT I've friends who adored the newborn stage and find the toddler and other stages harder. Depends on the folk I guess.

Enjoy what you want, and good luck


WishIWasRimaHorton · 23/05/2011 14:26

no - the first few weeks were awful. both times. first time breastfeeding was hideous and painful and i cried non-stop. second time, DD had reflux and screamed non-stop (and i had 2 yr old vying for attention)

but then i unashamedly say i am not much of a fan of babies. mine or anyone else's.

good luck tho - some people DO love it.


supadupapupascupa · 23/05/2011 14:26

ahhh yes it is all true....

BUT it is more than compensated for Grin

When someone comments on how gorgeous your little one is, you melt. When your baby is quiet in your arms, you melt. Lots and lots of melting. It is wonderful.


annbenoli · 23/05/2011 14:27

I have three children. The eldest is 8 the youngest is nearly 3. The first few weeks are mind blowing. They are hard and they are stressful. However, they are also fabulous. As you get to know this little person it is incredible and in the future you will long to relive it. Enjoy and savour every moment.


kickingking · 23/05/2011 14:28

Well, I really enjoyed the new baby stage.

I was always puzzled when people asked 'How are you?' in a tone more approriate to someone who has a terminal illness than someone who has just had a baby! My maternity leave was like 6 months holiday to me. Mind you, I was blessed with a good sleeper so I'm sure that helped!

My baby is now four, and in my opinion it gets harder as they get older.

Enjoy the new baby stage!


WhatGoodIsThis · 23/05/2011 14:29

I do know parents who seem very 'natural' and who take to parenthood really easily and calmly. So you could well be in that camp. Like you said, it will help a lot that you will have your DH around for the first few weeks.

Personally, the first few weeks of my first child's life were the hardest of my life, but... everyone is different. Wishing you all the best!


Listmaker · 23/05/2011 14:29

My dds weren't too bad and tbh I sailed through it. I got to grips with breastfeeding OK and they slept a fair bit during the day. I read books and even washed my curtains so it can be OK!

I was awake a lot at night but I was expecting it and I felt OK really. I never missed my morning shower and always had at least some mascara on! And my ex dp was no help whatsoever.

I think you should try and enjoy it because they are that tiny for such a short time. I used to sit there gazing at them as they slept and I would give anything to go back just for a few hours; to be able to hold them in the crook of your arm is so wonderful!

Good luck and hope you do enjoy it!


frakyouveryverymuch · 23/05/2011 14:30

I figure for 10 minutes of hell, 40 minutes of feeding and 5 minutes of changing I get 5 minutes that makes it worth it.

I do, however, find it very difficult to relax normally in any case!


Owlingate · 23/05/2011 14:30

WishIWas I sympathise - I have had two babies with severe reflux, one premature, and the crying was so bad I used to break out in hives when DC2 started crying. Now when I hear newborn babies crying I feel physically sick. Sorry OP :)

PS I love toddlers too.
PPS Both mine were born in winter so I'm sure its LOADS better getting up for feeds in warm summer nights.


bedlambeast · 23/05/2011 14:30

This reply has been deleted

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sprinkles77 · 23/05/2011 14:30

Newborn weeks were hard work, but I was on a bit of a high having had no labour and a good recovery from an EMCS. I FF which was easy enough and meant I could have lots of help. I ate a lot of cake and takeaways (that's when I put the weight on!), and slept when the baby slept. Which was lots. DS was very portable and after about 4 weeks when I started driving again, I was out all the time meeting people. Yeah, I was tired. Still am 14 months later with a DS who has slept 11-7 from 8 weeks and 7.30 til 7.30 since 6 months. Your reality might be much harsher than mine. Though everyone warned us "...just you wait til...." and none of the horrors materialised! Enjoy it!


takethatlady · 23/05/2011 14:31

Aaaarrrrgggh wishful thinking I see :)

I have no idea what I will find difficult or what I won't - any survival tips?

OP posts:

WhatGoodIsThis · 23/05/2011 14:31

kickingking ... see for me things have got increasingly easier...


jamaisjedors · 23/05/2011 14:31

It's all true. But it's also true that with number one baby you will spend inordinate amounts of time staring at them and being overwhelmed by their amazingness and cuteness (that and taking 3 billion pictures).

Make the most of it, usually for number 2 you are too blasé busy to do any of this.


SophieLeGiraffe · 23/05/2011 14:32

My firstborn (DS) is only 13 weeks old and I already can't remember with much clarity the first few weeks but I do remember DH and I commenting that it wasn't nearly as bad as we had been led to believe it would be. However we had the slightly odd position of a very very sleepy baby who always had to be woken to be fed - thus no screaming, screaming, screaming in the middle of the night as I was able to wake self up, then the baby all ready to feed him.

Regardless - and I know you won't believe this as I didn't until I had him, it truly won't matter to you. You will love your baby so much, with every part of you that the pain, the screaming, the black poos - none of it will make as much of an impact as when you get that first gorgeous smile.


worldgonecrazy · 23/05/2011 14:32

I loved the newborn stage but I did have a lot of support around me thanks to a couple of Asian friends mentioning that in Asian culture a new mum spends the first 40 days with her mother so she can concentrate on looking after the baby. After DH returned to work I spent nearly every day at my mother's house, being chauffered to breastfeeding support groups, having meals cooked for me, drinks bought when I was feeding, etc. If you can crack breastfeeding (which is hard but worthwhile once you've mastered it) and are happy to have a moses basket next to your bed so you don't have to get up in the night, then it's not that hard at all.
Our DD was not put down at all for the first three days of her life and I am sure that has contributed to her outgoing but calm nature.
As someone else has said, savour every moment.


2littlegreenmonkeys · 23/05/2011 14:33

Oooooooh I love the newborn stage I found it very easy but then I can live with next to no sleep and I find waking in the night easy anyway. I can honestly say that I would love to do the newborn stage over and over and over, but then they grow into mardy 3 year olds who I can do no right for apparently.


CharlotteBronteSaurus · 23/05/2011 14:33

i think it depends more on the baby than the parent.
at a toddler group i go to, i am always shocked at the little tiny babies who gaze around beatifically and then gently nod off in a bouncy chair. i think i might have enjoyed the newborn stage a little more had either of mine been like this.

instead i got two irritable, colicky screamers. it's a good job they're cute Grin.


DaisyLovesMetronidazole · 23/05/2011 14:33

I love love love the newborn stage.


CMOTdibbler · 23/05/2011 14:33

I think that if you expect it to all be lovely and bonding, you will be sore disappointed tbh. Its not that I found bfing hard, or that I was desperatly tired, just that suddenly there is someone with no sense of timing, totally dependant on you. Its just a real shock, and you need to totally let go of expectations of getting out of the house when you intend to, reheating meals/drinks etc


kickingking · 23/05/2011 14:33

The four year old demands attention all. day. long, the baby just laid still and slept or smiled!

I realise my baby was the exception, rather than the norm though. I couldn't possibly be that lucky twice!


WhatGoodIsThis · 23/05/2011 14:33

survival tips?

don't forget to eat (I did!)


WishIWasRimaHorton · 23/05/2011 14:34

OP - the most difficult thing for me was 'I. HAVE. TRIED. EVERYTHING. WHY. THE. FUCK. ARE. YOU. STILL. CRYING????' you won't feed, you won't sleep, your nappy is dry, you have burped, i am holding you and bouncing you up and down. JUST. STOP. THE. CRYING. NOW. PLEEEEEEASE.


AngryFeet · 23/05/2011 14:34

I loved the baby stage! I recovered from the birth very quickly and the first year of my maternity leave was stress free :) The first few weeks she just slept lots and I lay around watching TV. I breastfed and coslept so I never suffered the exhaustion as I just slept topless and she latched on in her sleep. If she had a bad night I could sleep in with her. Days were spent lazing around, meeting friends and doing a little bit of housework (we lived in a tiny flat now).

The stage I really struggled with was a toddler and a newborn - hell on earth!


EdithWeston · 23/05/2011 14:35

It depends on how you are with sleep deprivation! If you can nap during the day it really helps, but interrupted sleep does tend to bring on crabbiness, so the difficulties can be there.

But new babies are lovely and cuddly and their demands, though urgent, are usually fairly simple, and they stay put when you put them down. And they smell wonderful!

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