Need advice :-)
, May 03 2012 11:15 AM
13 replies to this topic
Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:15 AM
I have a beautiful DD who is almost three weeks old.
I have been really stressed as breastfeeding didn't work out and I have had to put her on formula which has been great (she lost 12% of her total body weight and wasn't putting on weight because she was a VERY sleepy baby!) I was in tears all day every day for about a week after coming home from hospital - bad times...
She has put on more weight and is doing really well and sticking to feeding her every 3 hours (she has started to wake herself up before feeds which has been lovely!)
I am normally a very stressed out person and am a creature of habit. I am also very picky about how I do things and this can be to my detriment.
I need advice as to how I can be a little more easy going with my DD. I don't want my stress to be felt by her - I hope she turns out like her laid back father!!
It's only early days but I am finding my parents and the in laws coming over all the time can be a little unnerving and of course - they each have their own 'ways' of doing things and basically - it's giving me the you know what's. They have been so supportive but I haven't had a day of just me and her time, there is always someone else around.
I know parenting can be mostly common sense etc, but how can I combat this? I am also suffering from paranoia about leaving the house. Packing the nappy bag and leaving the house with her has been traumatic - please tell me this gets better? I thought I could go by baby, but this whole 'feeding her every 3 hours' business during the day is doing my head in. If I let her go with an hour, the guilt seeps in.
And when can visitors coming over feel comfortable? Each time someone comes over they either razz up my DD so she doesn't sleep (and puts out our whole routine) or they put her to sleep so when it comes time to feed her - bang - she's not eating because she's too sleepy.
Aye, aye, aye...help me please. I want to be one of those cool easy going Mum's, not the stressed out type!! And I don't want to make it all about me, it's all about my DD now and I'm not enjoying her as much as I should. Before I know it, she'll be crawling!!!
Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:18 PM
Congratulations on your DD! It sounds like you're doing a great job - you're trying to do what's best for your baby and that's the best thing you can do! Having a baby is such a steep learning curve and it'll take a while to adjust.
I was a pretty calm and laid-back new mum. Three weeks is still very young and the best advice I have is to take one day at a time and don't do anything which is going to result in extra stress for you. Try to follow your baby as she tries to communicate her needs. I found having a newborn full-on, but not that stressful as I followed DS's patterns. I tried to sleep when he slept too, so ended up having around 6-7 hours within a 24 hour period.
I didn't have as many visitors as you! I was in hospital for the first week, then mum came and helped out for the second week (she lives 2 hours away) and then after that it was me, DH and DS. DH wasn't working, so I had him around nearly all the time, which was great. You need to let visitors know what DD needs and tell them you need to put her to sleep now, or you need to feed her, or she needs some playtime (and not sleeptime!). I'm not sure what else you can say to your family to stop having so many visitors - maybe someone else has some ideas!
I also didn't take DS out much until he'd had his first lot of injections, as I was worried about whooping cough. - I completely understand about everything you have to do to get organised to take a young baby out! You could have your nappy bag all packed and ready to go. I breastfed, so don't know much about the ins and outs of preparing formula, but I assume you'd have things set up ready to feed, so maybe you could have a separate bottle and formula measured out already for when you're going to go out..? Don't feel like you SHOULD be going out.
Anyway, hopefully some of what I've said helps! Listen to your baby, try to look after yourself and let visitors know what you and DD need. - They sound very supportive and hopefully if you communicate your needs, they'll respect that and help you.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:45 PM
Having a baby comes with so much information overload these days, and such a heightened sense of expectation. Forums like this, books, well-meaning advice from family members...you name it. Everyone has their own take on how this baby thing "should" be done.
The key is to not overthink it too much, not place too much pressure on yourself, forget about the "shoulds" and let those instincts guide you. Allow yourself the time and space to really get to know your baby and your confidence will grow as time passes.
And you don't have to be the perfect parent. You just have to be as good as you are able to be with the information and resources you have at the time. Your baby will still thrive and love you regardless.
Try not to get too caught up in strict routines because life always gets in the way and it will make things even more stressful and you will feel even less in control.
Watch your baby, not the clock and let her be your guide. The day I decided to go with the flow and be baby-led was a very liberating one indeed. Rather than trying to mould DS into the textbook version of what a baby "should" be , I started responding to the baby I had instead. We were both much happier for it
Edited by Shady Lane, 03 May 2012 - 12:46 PM.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:53 PM
Don't stress about being stressed, it's perfectly normal that you feel uptight she is only 3 weeks old! Give yourself a break. If possible arrange for visitors to come just on the weekend, it gives you a chance to get in a rhythm with bubs during the week. My third is 9 weeks old and I would say I am a pretty relaxed mum but I still feel uptight when I know she should be sleeping but because we have visitors they are holding her and mucking up our little routine.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:58 PM
First of all op take a deep breath, I am sure you are doing a great job. Re the visitors - personally I would 'cluster' them eg have set 'visiting hours' where it's ok for people to drop by, or let people know you don't want visitors for a few weeks so you can get settled, possibly wear bubs in a sling when napping so people can't 'poke the baby' or just be firm and say that you are putting the baby down for a nap.
Re going out. Not sure about formula because ds' food is in the boobies, but after every outing just restock your bag with what you used so you always have enough.
Leaving the house is great though, it will stop you clock watching. Seriously though I don't think being a relaxed mum can be taught though. But you will find that just given time you will stop freaking out so much.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:48 PM
Congratulations on birthing your beautiful DD
I was a nervous first time mum so I can understand that feeling. People always say it comes naturally but it didn't for me! I did lots of reading about how babies develop and why they do the things they do which I think helped me. I think also once you get to know your baby a bit better then the instincts can kick in a bit more. I certainly found that with my second baby I was much calmer in the early days.
As for your visitors I'd tell them all that it's not convenient at the moment or schedule them for when you want them there and then tell them when they need to go. I know it's hard with parents/in laws to tell them sometimes but you really need to for your sanity and you need that time alone with your baby to get to know her. Perhaps enlist the help of your partner in telling people - it will be a way for him to support you and his DD.
Leaving the house definitely gets easier as you go on. I was nervous the first few times I took DS1 out. I didn't do it by myself the first time - I had my mum there to provide some support. You do get the hang of what you need to take with you although I can't remember one time when I didn't forget something - that's probably just me though!
With the feeding I can't advise on that as I BF - do you need to stick to a routine with formula feeding? I know I never had a feeding routine and always just went by my babies but it might be different with formula feeding.
As you said you should be enjoying your DD at this time and I think that is the most important thing for you both at the moment. So definitely don't feel bad about telling others what you want. Actually it's something that parents (and particularly mums I think) need to get quite good at!
Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:31 PM
Congratulations on bringing another little human into this world ... That's no small feat, and it's fine to be a bit stressed about it, you've never done this before and the critters don't come with a manual either!! It can and often does take some time to get to the point where you think, "I can do is." trust me though, you CAN do this.
Re parents dropping in, do feel free to tell them, very gently, that you and your husband are going to try to have a day with the bub to see how you cope without their wonderful assistance.
As for friends dropping in, either put in place visiting hours, or feel within your rights to reschedule things...I can't tell you how often I asked people to drop in later because ds had had a rough night or a rough few hours, and I was too shattered to face beautifully made up, dressed, in control friends. It was about .... Ooh, easily 7-8 weeks, before I got the feeling that I was al to understand my baby properly.
As for formula, the deal is this. You boil the water the night before and measure it out into bottles. Then you buy a formula dispenser, which can carry 3- 4 feeds ands measure that out. When you go out, and bub wants a feed, ask for the bottle to be microwaved (try heading to a local cafe at first). I found 20-30se ones usually worked, Shake to make sure the water is evenly heated, add formula, shake and feed. Take a friend with you for the first few outings, that way you have an extra pair of hands for nappy changes and cleaning up spills.
If you are even contemplating a trip out, pack the nappy bag the night before including two sets of clothes, muslins or wraps, bibs for feeds if you use it, two bottles and formula for two feeds (just in case someone accidentally overheats the first feed), at least four nappies, plus a pack of wipes and nappy bags, at least three dummies if you're using them, your wallet, phone and keys. Try to time going out straight after a feed to minimse grumpy baby, and then go. once you'd on your way you may be surprised at how much you're looking forwards to it nd if not, then just come straight back home. And then, keep an eye on the time and try not to make your first trips too long.
You're doing well, all of the above is what I learnt as an anxious mum, and you at goin to be just fine. There has never been a mum like you before, nor a baby like yours - yours is a unique relationship and you will both find a way through these foggy first weeks together.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:40 PM
I'm a first time mum too, our boy was born in February. I too found in laws coming over all the time and passing judgement (esp MIL) about me/us as parents and making very unhelpful comments. I also found that they would come over and jiggle baby around and leave me with baby that was out of sorts. On top of that they wanted to come over all the time when it suited them and not us and got really pushy about visiting.
Things I found are:
- You are the parent(s). You know best! Yes you do! And it is up to you as the parent to stop unwanted visitor or overwhelming situations or to at least stagger the visitors out so that baby doesn't get overwhelmed with the number of people there. It is also your job as parent to say no to having baby passed around like a toy. People are so eager to hold newborn babies they sometimes forget that they are people too and like any person wouldnt like to be passed to people they dont know. Newborns are so sensitive to being passed around, all they really need Mum and Dad that early on, and that's natural. I put a stop to our baby being passed about quite quickly. Our son is MUCH happier when the holds are controlled and he isnt being passed about person to person and being overstimulated. Remember that if baby is overstimulated this leads to overtired baby and you are the one that has to cope with this after everyone has left! So setting limits is ok, and it's ok to say no to people asking for a hold, it isn't because you are being mean to people, you are your child's voice and ensuring that he is being heard if noone else is listening.
- I found going out really daunting at first. I have a bag packed though, make sure it is topped up after each outing and am now pretty good at getting baby into the car to go places. While it seems like an effort at the moment it does get easier. I chose to stay home in the early days because I personally didnt think it was fair to drag our son around all over the place and wanted to get his feeding, play and sleeping stuff in place and get him settled into the house properly. This made it much easier on me now, at 12 weeks i can now time outings etc based on routine. ONce you get all that in place it gets much easier (I found it did anyway).
At the end of the day you need to do what feels right for you. If you dont want people putting baby to sleep or are in her face and overstimulating her then end the visit. Another handy trick i found (esp re my in laws who were great at coming over and not leaving despite requests to do so and staying to play with baby and then throwing him back when they were done) was to stop visitors coming over and going across there for brief visit. This allows me to control when i leave and reseolves need to ask people to leave or stop holding baby without being too confrontational. You can always say "baby is tired and routine is ________ so i have to get home sorry to cut this short gotta go" or something similar.
Having visitors now is a pleasure for us, we really stated we needed space and people might not understand it but they get that you need time to be a family and have to back off and you arent going to have a stream of visitors. If they dont understand that and get offended then the problem clearly isnt in your court, you are a new parent and deserve understanding from those around you. Most people will get it and will back off and give you space until you are ready for them to visit!
I totally understand where you're coming from, I was also quite anxious about many issues, feeding was one of them. I struggled with BFing, with routines, sleep, it's normal as a first time parent to be anxious. I'm a real "by the book" person, used to getting the job done. With babies it has been a real adjustment for me to start enjoying the experience but finally I am loving being a mum. Part of it is seeing my son growing, seeing milestones and seeing those as little victories that he is reaching them and is thriving. If you're really worried I would speak to your MCHN about some coping strategies, happy to chat if you'd like to PM me. Good luck! (PS I'm sure you're doing a great job, you are a good parent and don't let anyone tell you you're not).
Good luck, hope this helps.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:53 PM
You sound exactly how I felt when my DD was a newborn. She was a very lazy baby and I would have to wake her to feed. In the end I just woke her up every 4 hours and even then my mum and MIL would tell me just to leave her. I was also scolded by my MCHN as I was not feeding her enough (although she was gaining plenty of weight). Try not to feel stressed about waking them or even leaving them a bit longer than the 3 hours. Your baby is obviously fine and not starving.
The shops thing was a killer for me. The first time I went to the shops with my mum and sister in tow I ended up in tears. She slept the whole time we were there too. I was just a fragile mess. She would make a tiny noise and I was so scared she would wake up and start screaming and I wouldnt be able to settle her that I was shaking by the time we left the shops (and DD was still asleep!). I thought that I would never be able to go out shopping ever again.
Fast forward and my DD is now 10 months old and shopping is great with her. She is fine in the pram or trolley and I dont care if she cries (if she screamed I would care but little bits of whinging dont worry me).
It gets easier and you will find your groove. All the little things in the beginning that I used to stress over now seem quite laughable. I used to be in tears changing her clothes as she would scream. Now I just tell her to be quiet as it will be done in a minute.
You will be fine. Dont let everyone come over so much and dont let people make you feel like you are doing the wrong thing.
Take a deep breath and enjoy your little one.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:57 PM
Congrats, i have loved the newborn and baby bit of my 2 a lot but i was always pretty relaxed but having said that i am very good at knowling my stress limits. I can be quite highly strung normally so i know how to keep it under control by limiting what i do.
With DD, 1st bub, i really didnt go out that much in the early days. Dont feel pressured to, the most important thing is u and bubs getting comfortable at home. Also remember bubs has been in the sterile environment of the womb and can catch bugs so easily. U dont want a sick newbie!
As for visitors, life is so much easier without them. B strong!
Good luck. As my mum told me one day when i was freaking 'babies are hard'! I thought that was great as most people want to 'fix' baby problems but my mum was like, no solution, just they are hard. Made me feel better that i couldnt 'fix' it.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:47 PM
I am in the same situation re: bottlefeeding. I found it more stressful going out in the first few weeks when I was trying to both breastfeed then top up with formula. Just bottlefeeding when out can be comparatively easy - although it did take me a good few weeks to get comfortable with feeding while out (DS is now 8 weeks).
I found it much less stressful going out when I accepted that I couldn't get out and back between feeds, so instead found strategies to feed and change when I was out and accepted that what used to be a short errand would take a long time with baby along!
It can also take a long time to leave the house - I haven't made it out before 11am so far. Today it took me until 1pm just to get out of the house for a walk.
I have the boiled water already measured in the bottles, then I got some small containers and put the measured formula in that (or put a some in a jar with the scoop to measure when needed), then mix it when I want to use it. I also keep a 'keep-cup" in the nappy bag, so I can just ask a cafe to half-fill it with hot water and warm the bottle that way. You could also ask them to put some hot water in a mug or take-away cup for you. You could also warm the water up before you leave home and keep it in an insulated bag - that may work for the first feed out anyway. Shopping centre mother and baby rooms also have microwaves, so you can heat water in the keep-cup. It's best not to microwave the bottles themselves.
Although it is nicer to have the formula warmed, it is also fine to give it to baby not warmed,as long as it's room temperature not fridge-cold (I found that a great relief - knowing that if I was caught short without a way of heating it up I could still feed). It's a good idea to take more bottles than you think you'll need - you never know when baby will only want a half-feed then want another one quickly!
You could start with just an hour walk around the neighbourhood, or a walk to a local shop or cafe. Public libraries usually have a room you can use to feed and change (although there's not hot water or microwave). Otherwise, go to one of the big shopping centres that have baby rooms - some of them are really great (Doncaster, Northlands, Melbourne Central, Myer Melbourne to name a few).
My baby was also very sleepy to start with and I had to wake him to feed. I was quite anxious for several weeks about making sure he didn't go too long, and have only started relaxing about it a bit in the last few weeks, also he has got keener on demanding a feed. However, having a sleepy baby can actually be good for getting out of the house. We have taken DS out to parties and dinner at the pub with friends since he was two weeks old, and he would usually sleep right through! We would just time it to go after a feed and leave before he'd need the next one at first.
I slept through all of my visitors for the first week at least, with DP fielding visitors (mostly his family), so I can't help you with that one. Most people should be fairly understanding if you tell them what you need to do. I also asked everyone who came to bring me cake!
The most important thing is that your job right now is only to look after baby and yourself. And, if possible, enjoy this time! Everything else (clean house, laundry, even showering) is a distant second!
Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:17 AM
hi there, i also got quite anxious about others holding DS in the very early days - I found it helped to have a few "excuses" stored up e.g. - they are very chucky/have just had a feed, I wouldn't want them to throw up on your outfit; i think i smell a nappy that needs changing; etc. (you could even maybe say something along the lines that DS has had a cold/cough and MCHN advised that while immune system is low, only mum and dad should hold - who are they to argue?)
Re going out, the more you do it, they more at ease you'll feel, but its definitely easiest to have a second person with you if you are feeling nervous.
Hope this helps!
Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:32 PM
As for formula, the deal is this. You boil the water the night before and measure it out into bottles. Then you buy a formula dispenser, which can carry 3- 4 feeds ands measure that out.
Big W has these containers for $3.
Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:44 PM
You sound just like I was with DS1
. I was so anxious and highly stressed in those first 3-4 months. DS had reflux and we had problems after his circumcision which lead to being back in hospital in the 2nd week. So we really begun parenthood with a baptism of fire...
In hindsight I think the key is to take any advice you need from one source you trust, like your MCN at the local clinic, rather than reading 16 different books, calling every helpline etc etc. As you get more experienced you'll learn to let advice you don't like wash over you. and figure out your own way of doing things. Ignore anyone who hasn't had kids, they don't know and those that do, should know better than to patronise a new mother
Re getting out you need to be a bit organised. I found having the nappy bag always placked ready to go helps. Make sure you have the stroller in the car or house depending on where you plan to go the night before. I also gae up BF'ing early too so I know where your coming from there. I make up feeds at night for the following day. I have a cold pack to take with me. I take warm water and formula separate and mix when I want to feed.
Try to limit the visitors, or have them over to actually "help" like folding your washing, feeding baby while you shower, or bring a meal. I also had a huge contingent in hospital and I think that had some to do with being too overwhelmed and tired to contiinue Bfing.
I'm onto number 2 now and its ssooooo different this time, The first time is a huge life change not to mention having no idea what you are doing. I regret not enjoying DS1's first few months more. It felt like I was alway waiting for things to get easier rather than trying to appreciate each stage for what it was.
I'm sure your doing a great job. Remember a successful day in those first few weeks is one where everyone has slept a bit, eaten a bit, has something clean to wear and had a wash
Nearly 2 years later I still think like that now with an 20 month and 2 month old
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