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Worried I won’t know what I’m doing

28 replies

Laurr · 12/07/2020 14:35

I’m due in less than 2 weeks. First baby.
I feel like I don’t know anything about looking after a baby.
This is a recent worry, did anyone else experience this?
People keep saying ‘you’ll just know what to do’
I’m planning to try and BF but then I worry if I can’t I don’t know anything about it formula feeding, how much, how often etc.
I’m worried I’ll panic when he cries and not know what to do, worried incase I sleep too heavily and don’t hear him wake, worried that I haven’t got the right things he will need or the right amount of clothes.
Don’t know what I’m looking for here really but maybe some reassurance that others have felt the same?

OP posts:
lockdownpregnancy · 12/07/2020 14:40

OP I think we all feel like that at some point. I think it's perfectly natural to feel like that. I'm a FTM to be too and whilst very excited to meet my lil man I'm also like aaaaagggghhhh!!!
I'm really good with kids and babies as I have a large family so know what to do with general stuff, but it's a whole different ball game when it's your own.
Speak to your midwife about your concerns as they will be there after the birth (or whatever support worker it is) and they will give you the help and advice that you need.if you have a Mom, sister, close family or friend that have kids I'm sure they will be on hand for the emergency calls when you just don't know what to do!
You're not alone with how you feel. It's the only thing I can say to reassure you! 💐💐💐

Blackbelt · 12/07/2020 14:41

It's probably very normal (I'm only 9 weeks so not feeling that yet)
Been watching a ton of YouTube videos and maybe download an App to help with feeds. I always find when I'm anxious, if I'm well prepared then it feels better. Even if it doesn't go to plan, at least I tried :)
I'm sure you will be wonderful

clo1992 · 12/07/2020 14:43

I'm feeling the same. Iv got just over 2 weeks.
I did watch an online antenatal class the other day. I'm hoping they will help in hospital with the feeding questions.
You could always phone your health visitor with any questions now to.
But does seem to be we are all being thrown in the deep end at the moment with limited help due to covid.

SqidgeBum · 12/07/2020 14:55

Its 100% normal to feel like this. I definitely did. But you do just muddle through, and friends or the internet will always have answers if you need them. Most of the time us parents just guess things and wing it. It always works out ok. Babies are sturdier than you think. Even now, I still dont knw why my 19 month old cries, despite people telling me 'you will know their different cries'. Nope, I always guessed, and I always figured it out, or I didnt and she stopped eventually 🤷‍♀️.

Just take it one day at a time, ask for help if you need it, but know that there is no perfect way of doing things, and if anyone says there is, they are just trying to cover how equally clueless they are.

For feeding worries, there is a feeding information line which I think is run by the nhs, but I used formula and just followed the instructions on the packet.

Umberta · 12/07/2020 15:39

Ftm here and I feel the exact same as you!
Just one of the things you mentioned, about sleeping too heavily...I read that in the first week or two you can actually set an alarm for the feeding schedule as hungry babies don't always wake up. That reassured me a lot as I had the same worry as you! Even though I'm the lightest sleeper ever haha

mistletoeprickles · 12/07/2020 15:50

How your feeling is perfectly normal. I'm 2 children in and pregnant with number 3, each time I've learnt something new and each day I learn something about the older ones.

When if comes to sleeping i think you naturally change how you sleep. I can sleep through an earth quake on the sofa when DH is home but when I'm on my own or on night duty I know I sleep lighter. DS is still in with us and I wake when he rolls over!!
Don't panic, you will get to know your baby and what they need and want.

It's a tiring first few weeks but enjoy it too, it goes far too quickly.

I can't help with breast feeding because I haven't feed any of mine but formula has the instructions on the tin and your midwife will know everything there is too know too. Always talk to them, they really help and have lots of experience.

Clothes however I can help with, baby grows and vests! There comfy, quick drying and easy to tackle. No2 had a few outfits other people brought but he was in grows and vests until 3 months. No3 has no outfits.

You will honestly be fine Flowers

Teacaketotty · 12/07/2020 15:51

Honestly OP totally normal to feel this way! I had never even held a baby before having DD - you do just figure it out along the way! It’s an unspoken secret we are all just winging it.

You’ll be absolutely fine, best of luck x

icedaisy · 12/07/2020 15:59

Absolutely normal.

One kind midwife in the middle of the night said to me, it doesn't matter that you don't know what your doing, neither does she. Nobody in the world before has ever had to look after THIS baby. They are all different.

Sure there is advice and guidance and safety but ultimately a lot is instinct and doing what works best for you.

If BF doesn't work out there is plenty of help for formula.

And of course any questions, even in the middle of the night, hundreds of people here to help.

Good luck. You will be fine.

Bobolly · 12/07/2020 16:00

@Laurr highly recommend online classes by Louise - class 1 is free, classes 2-8 are £10 each ( although you can pick and choose which ones you feel would benefit) I felt exactly the same as you but after doing these classes it has put my mind at ease! Good luck!

IsItGinOclock1 · 12/07/2020 16:09

Everyone starts out clueless, you learn on the job. I do remember after having my first and my husband had gone home, it was the middle of the night and there was a baby in a cot at the side of me and I had no idea what I was doing! I was messaging my husband at 5am with “shall I try feeding her?” “how do I know she needs changing?”. We soon found our way with trial and error and if in doubt there’s always google! Goodness knows how my mum managed without google lol.

Redcrayons · 12/07/2020 16:15

Nobody knows. We’re all winging it first time round.
I had never changed a nappy in my life till the day after my DTs were born. By the end I could do it one handed, without looking.

Natasha9511 · 12/07/2020 16:25

OP I’m the same FTM due in less than 2 weeks and not got a bloody clue what I’m meant to do

SingingWren · 12/07/2020 16:30

I'm having a csection in a week and currently having a mini meltdown! Suddenly realised what's going to happen and that I'll be responsible for a little life. Absolutely terrified.
I can't breastfeed so will be formula feeding. But I'm so scared of not lnowing how to make the bottles right that I've spent a small fortune on the ready made formula bottles Shock

Laurr · 12/07/2020 17:25

Thanks everyone it's good to know it's normal, I think it's just getting a bit close now and I'm overthinking. Hmm

OP posts:
BeMorePacific · 12/07/2020 18:02

I’m expecting my 2nd baby and I’m feeling like that.
I found when I had my 1st that worries melted away, and you realise that you do know your baby’s needs. No one will know better than you and your partner. Good luck with everything xx

orangejuicer · 12/07/2020 18:12

Very normal feeling!

The NHS website is fantastic and has info on everything.

Just focus on you and baby. Get help and support. Enjoy the cuddles. Learn to enjoy cold tea Grin

indecisivewoman81 · 12/07/2020 18:22

I think what you are feeling is very normal. Try not to panic too much because looking after babies is really quite simple and after a couple of day's winging it you will feel much better.

The formula milk I used when my DC were small told you how much was needed and how to make it up on the side of the tin. Your midwife will help you with the breastfeeding and how to know if the baby is actually getting a drink.

You will be fine honestly xx

Rachael321 · 12/07/2020 19:56

I could have written your post myself, I feel exactly the same.
It suddenly hit home that as I'm possibly being induced baby may be here in less than 3 weeks. I'm not ready and I don't know what I'm doing!!

ShowOfHands · 12/07/2020 20:02

It's just like starting a new job, taking a course, navigating a journey, starting a hobby etc.

You'll have instincts, a wealth of information online and in books, people to ask and time to practise.

You'll be fine. You don't need to know it all on day one. Assuming you're in hospital, ask each question as it arises and you'll leave with the basics done. Those basics will take you a LONG way with a newborn. Fed, clothed, clean and warm. Crack those first and let everything else come when it needs to. You'll even enjoy it.

emma911030 · 12/07/2020 20:33

@Laurr I know it's easy for us who have already done it to say it will honestly be fine.
I hadn't a clue didn't have any baby experience what so ever, the day I had my little boy after my spinal had worn off and I had the energy to get out of bed. I checked my boys nappy and it was wet, so I went about changing a nappy for the first time in my life.. just as I was done one of the midwives pokes their hair around my curtain and asked if I was ok.. with a massive smile I turned to her and said 'yes thank you, I've just changed a nappy for the very first time and I actually did it right'
This might sound so stupid to many but I was so bloody proud of myself I could cry thinking about it now (I'm pregnant again now and feeling overly emotional and hormonal haha)
Every day I was learning. I had a checklist in my head for crying, does his nappy need changing? Is he windy? Is he hungry? Is he cold/hot? I'm sure there was more on the list but can't think right now. And I just worked through the list every time he cried and eventually you just pick up on different sorts of cry's.. although now he is 16 months and when he cries now sometimes I just say to him I don't know what you want. And go through nappy? Thursty? Hungry? Bored? Tired? And still do the same. You will be fine I promise and if your stuck ask for help, I didn't ask for enough help, and when it was offered I refused it. It made me borderline ill, I was falling asleep at the drop of a hat through the day randomly no matter what I was doing I was so exhausted my eyes closed and my head dropped and it was my head dropping that woke me up again. I will 100% be asking for help when I need it this time for sure!
Just remember your not on your own and you will get there even if it doesn't seem like it some days. Take care of yourself too! Xx

2155User · 12/07/2020 21:53

DS is 2.

I still don't know what the hell im doing.

But luckily, babies do. And they let you know if they need anything and then you just work through a little mental checklist (nappy/feed/burp/cuddle) until they're settled.

Remember, this isn't a job that is going on your CV. No one is going to mark you out of 10 at the end of the day.

So just do what feels right for you, in that moment, and change what you're doing whenever you feel like it.

jdy123 · 12/07/2020 22:42

Awww I feel the same and I'm glad someone else has wrote this. I feel I don't have a clue what to expect and I've started to feel quite anxious one minute and then excited the next. Got 3 weeks (hopefully) to try get my head around it all 😆

Footlooseandfancy · 12/07/2020 22:58

Yeah, no one really knows what they're doing. And when you start to get the hang of it, baby decides that's they want to do something different so it's back to square one all over again. Best things you can do are to go with the flow as much as you are comfortable to do so, use all the help and support you've got and remember that vests have those little flaps at the top so they can be pulled down in case of poonamis!

LH1987 · 12/07/2020 23:28

6 weeks in now and still have no idea what we are doing. Only advice I have (hopefully helpful)

  • you will definitely wake up when the baby cries, something in nature makes it so you will wake if you hear a whimper.
  • you will have a health visitor, so you can call them with any concerns.
  • you can always ask Mumsnet anything, the majority of women on it are lovely and helpful (with a few trolls lurking about)
  • babies are much more resilient than we have been led to believe and wont break easily!
Dollywilde · 12/07/2020 23:36

My mum told me the other day (I’m due in 4 weeks) that she was so jealous that I was the first woman in my line of defendants who can google a picture of a rash at 4am if I need to.

It made me feel weirdly quite privileged to think that we have the ability to consult an expert (or at least the NHS website) in seconds. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing either but antenatal classes have helped and I know I can look up anything I need.

We’ll be fine OP Smile

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