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MR - the control thing. I think you have hit the nail on the head, there. I too have 'control' issues. And the fact I couldn't predict when Jacob would wake / feed etc really got to me. He was 'supposed' to do all these things, according to the book, and wouldn't do any of them! And I thought it was something I was doing or not doing that was causing it. The evening time is nearly always hard with new babies. The only reason Jacob learned to go to sleep at all was because I put him on his front in his cot at 6 weeks and that did the trick. If we didn't do that, he was awake screaming all evening and most of the night, until I brought him into bed with me and put him to sleep on my chest... In the end, I thought him sleeping on his front in his cot was safer than him sleeping on me in my bed, where I could roll over and squash him.
if Megan doesn't like having her clothes off, just put her on you with her clothes on to start off with. you can strip off still - and she will smell you (weird, i know, but apparently it helps) and she will still feel your heart beat and hear you breathing. apparently, when they get to about 6 weeks, they get less worried about not having clothes on so you could try every now and then until she gets a bit bigger. not going to help you much if she just screams and yells when she's on you because she has no clothes on, is it!
JT - yes, in need of the caffeine these days
MR - you sound like you have you are very aware of how you feel, and that's an extremely positive thing. Make sure you keep talking to someone - us if it helps - about how you feel. I didn't go to the GP until Jacob was 12 weeks old. By that stage I was pretty much suicidal. If you get to the stage where the black moods don't lift for a couple of days, I'd go talk to someone. Better to be safe than sorry.
But hopefully it won't come to that. You are doing all the right things and Megan is thriving. I know it's hard to see that when you want to get her into a routine and get some semblence of yourself back. But in time you will both adapt to each other. And although life will never be like it was before, it will be so much better. Once Megan starts to smile at you and to respond to things you do together, you will be amazed at how much stronger the bond gets. Coincidentally, that's around 6 weeks, so I think JT is right about that.
You will get less anxious about it as time goes on. I used to get really stressed every time Jacob woke up at 6.40am instead of sleeping to 7am because it would put the morning routine out and I would have to put him back down for his morning nap earlier than it said in the book etc etc. Last night, he woke at 2am and it took me 2 hours to get him to go back to sleep again! And the only thing that was annoying me was the fact that, when I picked him up and cuddled him he was grinning at me, blowing raspberries on me and pulling my hair. So clearly nothing very much wrong with him. But I'm not getting myself worked up about it because I know (fingers crossed!) it was just a one off. Even though in many respects he is a 'Gina' baby, he still throws the odd spanner in the works now and then that you just can't explain!
Keep plugging away. It WILL get better and Megan will become a cheeky little madam before you know it!
How busy? This thread is mad. I have been at work at they have now filtered out the forums (obviously lots of dodgy content) which is irritating. Do they really want me to work when I am at work?
As for routines, James had to fit around me, if I wanted to go out, see someone, pop to the shops etc... he did. Later on he got into the habit of morning milk then sleep again then up until lunch milk and sleep again. This routine worked (ish). However, when on solids it was much easier to implement. But they are foreverchanging and you have to adapt. James never sleeps much at the childminders, he used to sleep 4 hours in the day (im two sittings) for me. Now he goes down just before 9 and then again after lunch. Total of less than 2 hours often. Today he went down early and is in the blissful land of nod.
Thank you for the advise about expressing milk. I know the pump is going to die very shortly, but I feel daft to admit that the power had been turned down to minimum instead of maximum! Little fingers had got to it!
Ultimate crime committed over the last couple of days. James woke at 5.30am (he has been waking early for about 4 days being settled and put back down). I have to get him up after 6am to get out to work so there was no point in settling him and putting him back down. I brought him into bed with us. First time ever, something I was NEVER going to do. Even as a newborn I took him into his room to feed him, he was NEVER in our bed. Anyway, he had a quick look around and went to sleep. I had to wake him both days. Today he slept through until 6.20am. I guess his bodyclock has finally got round to changing! No harm done I think and I LOVED him falling asleep on me. Most amazing!
James has been cruising fr a couple of months now... he'll walk in his own time
MR - you go wax girl! keeping on top of these things can help you feel a bit better as well.
have you got a sling that you can carry Megan around in. i used to put jacob in the sling and get on with things in the house. we even used to cook like that - although obviously not wise if handling hot things with baby hanging over stove, but a girl's gotta eat and he just used to holler if i put him down.
getting out and about keeps them amused as well - even if it's just a quick stroll. i used to stick jacob in the sling and walk down the lane and back again. it passes time, gets them some air and generally makes both you and babe feel better.
fundamentally though, i think babies of that age are ... erm ... quite boring. sorry gals - i am sure many of you will disagree. but they are such hard work and the rewards don't come until much later. but boy, when they come, they come thick and fast!
i'm not sure i found it cute that jacob wanted mummy time at 2am. but it was hard to be too cross with him when there was obviously something wrong because he doesn't make a fuss normally. he was so not chuffed about being got up this morning, though! he was trying desperately to go back to sleep while i was changing him!
ploddingalong - i have also resorted to having jacob in bed a few times in the early mornings just to get another hour's kip or so. i tried last night when he was screaming and screaming in his cot. but in my bed he was just clambering all over me and giving me big snotty kisses and laughing, so he went back in his cot. and then back in bed. and then back in his cot. and then back in bed. etc etc. i know i should be consistent with what i do if he wakes up - ie keep him in his cot, but it is so wearing when they are screaming for so long, and instinctively it feels wrong to shut the door on him when he is so upset. he doesn't stop screaming either - it goes on and on and on and i always worry he is going to make himself sick.
anyway, he will be exhausted today and we are supposed to be going to a halloween party tonight at the village hall. i'm not sure he's going to make it!
Phew - hard work catching up with all these posts! MR and CM, I think you're both to be admired for being so frank and candid about your feelings. I had a C-section and also felt somewhat disengaged from the birth process, although I was able to have a quick cuddle a few seconds after Kit was born. Then he was whisked off to recovery with hubby, leaving me to the mercy of the surgeon/anaesthetist who helped me make the final decision about his name!
Even though I adored him straight away, I'm not sure I bonded with him immediately. Bonding is not the same as loving in my view. The first three weeks after he was born were fine, as hubby was at home for the first two and kept on top of the washing, housework etc, and then my mum was with me for the third week. I remember feeling very alone the first week I had to 'fly solo' when Kit was just entering his 4th week. I had a few black moments then - I remember saying to hubby that I found it boring being at home with him, and there were times when I privately wondered whether we'd done the right thing in having a baby, and I did yearn for my old life. I never felt that I didn't want him though. I'm a bit of a control freak too, and found it difficult having less structure to my day and life than I was used to. It was also hard adjusting to the fact that I couldn't 'control' Kit. It still is sometimes - yesterday I found myself getting quite frustrated because he would only take about 3oz of his afternoon bottle, then I realised he'd had a bigger-than-usual portion of lunch and half a pot of yoghurt, so it was my fault he wasn't hungry and I then felt guilty for trying to make him have more milk.
But gradually I adjusted to the new way of life and started to enjoy it - it definitely gets better as they become more alert and start to respond to you. I've done a complete turnaround really: at the start I could never have imagined not wanting to go back to work, but when the time came I found I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mum (although sadly it's not an option financially). I think it's helped that he's been such a 'good' baby - we have hardly had any sleep issues and he seemed to get into the routine quite easily, so we've been very lucky. He is also SO cute it's hard not to adore him! I am completely besotted with him and although sometimes there are days when he frustrates me, when I'm not with him I wish desperately that I was.
I think motherhood is so hard because you always feel guilty about something!
Can I ask you guys for some help?
Until now Kit has been brilliant with his solids, happily taking anything offered. On Monday he got very fussy with his lunch. He ate about half of his fish with cheese sauce (which he normally can't get enough of) and started screaming each time I put a spoonful of it into his mouth. He then stuck out his tongue with the food on it and used his hands to smear the food all over his face, in his eyes and hair. I had a friend over (unfortunately!) so I made the mistake of giving him a spoonful of yoghurt (which he loves) then a spoonful of fish etc. to get him to eat his savoury food.
Yesterday I had to use the same tactic again as he went ballistic when I tried to give him his chicken casserole. He ended up having far more yoghurt than we'd normally let him have just so he'd eat the savoury food. Hubby has just rung me to say that he's playing up again and he'd had to do the same - Kit now obviously knows that he can get his yoghurt by playing up with his savouries. What do we do? Do we offer him the savoury food only, give him a certain amount of time to eat (like half an hour) then take it away if he won't eat and make him wait until his 2:30pm bottle? I don't want to get into the position of him having yoghurt for his lunch and no 'proper' food because he refuses everything except yoghurt. But I don't want to turn mealtimes into a battle or give him 'issues' with food either. Both hubby and I are finding this very stressful although we are trying not to show our frustration. Also hubby blames me for the situation which is not helping.
Kit seems to eat his breakfast (either bana porridge or Oatibix, with fruit) OK and his baby rice plus vegetables for tea - it's lunch that's now becoming a major problem. Has anyone else been through this or similar who can help? Feeling quite anxious ...
((minks)) - feel for you. it's very stressful, i know. i can only tell you what i know from what jacob did and he was HORRENDOUS to wean. sometimes they go through 'phases' like this. it seems impossible when they are so little that they can have these phases, but they do. what i would do is offer him his lunch and if he won't eat it, offer him some fruit but not yoghurt. this is still what i do now with jacob if he won't eat his savoury course. if he eats his fruit, i then try him with his savoury again (not a spoonful of fruit, then a spoonful of savoury, just feed him his fruit all in one go and then try the savoury). if he doesn't eat the savoury, i will just leave it. if he doesn't eat the fruit, he's obviously not hungry so i just abandon the whole attempt. at the weekend, jacob ate 4 grapes at lunchtime on saturday and sunday. that was it. not a mouthful of anything else!
kit will probably be gagging for his 2.30pm bottle if he doesn't eat much lunch. jacob doesn't have milk in the afternoon now so if he hasn't eaten his lunch, i will offer him a breadstick or something to nibble on. he then wolfs his tea down.
it's not helpful that your hubby is blaming you either, although i know that when the stress is on in the kitchen it's easy to do that.
don't worry about creating food hang-ups. as long as you are positive about feeding him, keep calm, smile and talk to him, he will eat if he wants to and if he doesn't want to eat, don't force him!
and if the boy is hungry, he WILL eat. so don't worry about inadvertantly starving him!
MR - just typed a long post and lost it! ARGH!
basically what i was trying to say was that it's a long road ahead of you, but it IS worth it. however dreadful you feel now, it WILL get better. and megan is so worth these horrible first few weeks.
it's hard to get any perspective on it right now. you feel sh1te; you don't know where you are or what you are doing; and everything is confusing and stressful.
if you can, sit down next to her basket when she is sleeping and look at her. she's gorgeous, i'm sure. and she's yours. your little miracle. you made her and you will have SO much fun with her when she starts exploring her surroundings. she will make you howl with laughter and cry with joy and emotion when she discovers the world around her. it's a few months off yet, and in the meantime you will have lots of tears of frustration and anxiety of your own to shed. but keep plugging away. it IS worth it.
don't worry if you don't think you love her. i'm sure i didn't really feel like i loved jacob until i went back to work. i did everything in my power to make sure he thrived and was stimulated and cared for. i hugged him and kissed him and had skin to skin with him. but i didn't think i loved him. i probably did - i don't really know. but it hasn't done him any harm. i love him to bits now, and he comes running across the room with his mouth open, snot all over his face to give me a great big toothy kiss, so i'm sure he isn't bothered that his mum doesn't now if she loved him when he was a baby.
i'll activate my email so you can email me off line if you want to. we've both been quite open on here but if there's more you want to share 'off-line', i'm happy for you to mail me. i am embarrassed about some of the things i said / did to my husband when i was at my worst...
Afternoon! Not managing to keep up with all the posts and I keep losing posts I've written out so rather than the long post I originally wrote about adjusting to life after a baby I'll just say hope things are going OK MR and I'm sure it will start to feel better soon - I think all your feelings are perfectly normal and you're being really sensible keeping track of your feelings.
Eddie's getting a bit grumbly about his daytime sleeps at the moment- JT do I remember you saying that Ted went through a phase of this? What did you do? We've just moved Eddie into a cot as he's outgrown his moses basket and he'll happily sleep in it at night but not during the day - I'm going to keep persisting with it, but wondered if anyone else had experienced this.
Trick or treating here tonight - my older 2 are very excited about dressing up (even the 11 yr old). Carved the pumpkin last night which they really enjoyed - and I really love doing things like that too! One of the upsides of being a mum for me is getting to do that sort of thing again.
Minks, I wouldn't worry about the food. Whenever I heat food too much I tend to give James his dessert before his main course (and being a bit a dim, I still have not learnt to get it right!) Teething can make them go off their food. Also yoghurt is really easy to eat, no chewing, biting etc.... it could be a sore throat, tummy, laziness (!!) Who knows? James had a tummy bug (I know because I think I passed it on to him - oops) and would only eat yoghurt. Hw would not touch any of the snacks he loved. I kept trying and put him off eating even rice cakes and cheerios. It has taken a time to get him back to them.
Perhaps try getting the good old blender out and pureeing his savoury (I think you have started pureeing less, might be wrong). I think it is one of those things that babies just have an amazing ability to make us worry....
CM and Ploddingalong, thanks for the advice/reassurance. I am determined not to offer him something he likes if he won't eat his savoury food - that way he'll know that if he refuses for long enough, he'll get what he wants. CM, will try the fruit suggestion but won't give him yoghurt until he finishes his main course. He's had a cold, which I think may have started the sudden dislike of his savoury food (which I have tended to make a bit lumpier recently) as he is very full of catarrh. Yoghurt, baby rice etc. are easy to eat so it may be the texture that put him off to start with. It's just horrible to see him get so distressed when he has a mouthful of food - usually he makes appreciative "Mmmm" noises when he eats. Will persevere though - I won't force him to eat, but I won't persist too long if he refuses either. But he won't get any yoghurt if he won't eat his savoury food - hopefully if he's hungry he'll have his milk at 2:30pm as CM says. There's always the possibility though that he'll hold off on his solids because he knows he'll get his milk later if he does so ...
Babies! They are designed to make us worry and cause us stress!
Minks - sorry I've no advice to offer re: food as I can't remember what I did when weaning my other 2 - although I think I did sometimes do pudding first if it was easier, like PA, and DD and DS1 now happily eat both savoury and sweet food (and in fact have pretty broad tastes - DS1's favourite meal is moules mariniere) - I would try not to get too worried about it. It's really helpful for me to hear about the different stages again - I've forgotten what they're supposed to eat when, so I'll need to do some research when I start weaning Eddie.
minks - it's easy to get very stressed about it, but he's unlikely to be deliberately and consistently manipulative at his age - although i suppose it *is* possible. it's more likely to be something like teething or a cold as PA said. or just being lazy. he's still only little so it doesn't really matter if he has a bigger milk feed if he hasn't eaten much lunch. at his age, milk can still provide the majority of the nutrients he needs. it's more about introducing flavours and textures, which is what you are doing.
jacob used to scream and scream at mealtimes, and i know how stressful it can be. i would do anything to get him to eat because i was worried that, if he didn't eat, he'd be hungry and then wake up in the night. in the end, they do figure it out for themselves, and try as you might, if they ain't gonna eat something, they won't. jacob has suddenly completely gone off risotto. from the age of about 7 months until quite recently, it was the one thing i could guarantee he would always eat. now, he won't even try it. bizarre!
Thanks CM - I think it started as a result of his cold (fair enough, poorlittle soul is choked with catarrh), then stupidly I gave him yoghurt when he wouldn't eat his savoury stuff. Now he knows that if he refuses the savouries he gets yoghurt - either that, or he just isn't liking the texture of the savoury stuff because he's a bit bunged up, but likes the yoghurt because it's easy to eat. I suppose because he's been so good with everything we've given him so far I've been a bit thrown by this as I didn't expect it.
As long as he has enough milk (which I guess he will again if he cuts back on his solids) then I'll try to keep calm and not worry about it. I guess he'll start eating again when he's ready. I'll just keep sitting him in his high chair and offering him his lunch as usual, and will try not to get stressed if he refuses. A colleague just said that babies won't let themselves starve - and also they can apparently go 10 days or so without eating a thing with no detrimental effect as long as they are getting enough fluids. Like you, I worry about him waking up in the night again if he doesn't eat much - hopefully that won't happen though. It's so odd that they suddenly refuse point-blank to eat something that just the other day they couldn't get enough of!
Thanks again - not sure what I'd do without this thread!
minks - jacob didn't eat anything of significance for me (used to eat at nursery fine!) until he was about 9 months old. some days even now, he eats very little. other days i'm shovelling it down his throat and think he's never going to stop! i used to cry buckets about it, but now i know he will eat when he is hungry and boy, he sure can pack it away when he wants to! on saturday evening (after eating no lunch), he ate spag bol, a pear, a handful of grapes, a handful of blueberries, a whole yoghurt, a homemade blueberry muffin, a piece of fruit cake, and 2 sugar-free organix gingerbread men. i honestly thought he was never going to stop! about an hour later, he then polished off 10oz of milk.
babies are very strange creatures. you think you've got them sussed and suddenly they change the parameters! even they don't know why half the time though, and they certainly can't communicate it to you.
well, time to go and rescue my little monster from nursery. was half expecting a call from them today because he was up for 2 hours in the night, but ... nothing. am taking him to his first halloween party tonight. am a useless mother because i haven't done him a costume but i did buy a 'monster' tshirt from tesco for 2 quid, so that will have to do! not sure what state he is going to be in because he's normally comatose after nursery but hey - he wanted to party at 2am this morning, so he can jolly well party tonight.
it would be lovely to hear from you MR. i do sometimes feel a bit sorry for any lurking mums-to-be who read my posts and think 'ARGH'! on the other hand, it's very important for you to keep posting here - however you feel. i don't think there's a soul on this thread who doesn't understand how hard it is, even if people haven't felt quite the way we do!
The early months are not so active, but imagine going to a world where you had not seen anything like it before - that is what these babies see. Everything is amazing to them. A sheet of blank paper, a leaf, a person, noises, voices, the wall (James' favourite), never mind the posh toys that you spend all your money on.
Rather than putting James in a sling, I used to vacuum round him, move his m basket and continue vacuuming.
MR don't worry about anyone here - we all have really awful days need to explode somewhere. It can also take pressure off exploding at hubbie as soon as he walks through the door. Also, as I am sure people will say to you, you forget so much of the early days - probably because you are so busy with an active child. Can you see any changes yet in Megan? Look back at the earliest of photos - there are probably changes there already!
PA - the reason i used a sling so much was that jacob screamed every time i put him down. so there was no chance of putting him in his carrycot and getting on with anything! it wasn't until he was about 8 weeks old that he actually started to sleep anywhere other than on me, and that was because we started putting him to sleep face down. so if you have a very fretful baby, rather than bouncing them up and down on your arm / shoulder all the time, it sometimes works to stick them in a sling and get on with stuff. they still get bounced around, are close to you, and sometimes - just sometimes - they might even go to sleep
every baby is very different though. some gurgle happily to themselves on their backs in their moses baskets and drift off to sleep; and some very definitely do not. some do sometimes, but won't other times. it's all so individual.
jacob used to love watching trees and leaves from a very young age. i remember putting him in his pram under the plum tree while i picked plums (careful not to drop any on him) and he was fascinated.
Ploddingalong, same with Kit. He's never been a "cuddly" baby - as soon as I sit him on my lap and try to have a cuddle he wriggles and squirms until I eventually put him down. There was a small window of time when he used to sleep through until about 6:30am, and we would hear him playing with his toys in his cot. Sometimes we would get him and bring him into bed with us for half an hour, and once or twice (!) all three of us went back to sleep which was lovely. But usually he'd be so excited at being in bed with Mummy and Daddy that he'd bounce around all over the place and make loads of noise so none of us got any sleep!
JT, I risked a run last night despite the trick or treaters. I actually had an egg thrown at me from a passing car - it missed, but I felt really incensed. What is wrong with these people? The rest of my run passed without incident but it left a bit of a nasty taste I have to say.
Kit played up with his baby rice last night - hubby ended up putting it into a white pot that looked a bit like a tub of yoghurt and then he ate it fine! This morning I made up his banana porridge and peach in the pot I usually make it in, and he ate it fine - after the last mouthful he had his mouth open for more! Will see how he takes his savoury solids at lunchtime - my mum has been briefed! Have made up a smaller portion than usual and advised Mum to make it a bit runnier with some formula as I think it's the texture that's putting him off at the moment. He did seem a lot chirpier this morning so hopefully the cold has more or less gone. We didn't give him any Medised last night, which he's been having since Saturday, and it's just occurred to me that possibly that's been affecting his appetite? Who knows - babies are such contrary little things!
CM, Kit's always been fascinated with trees too. When I open the curtains in his room after a nap he stares out of the window - for ages I wondered why until I realised he watches the branches of next door's tree blowing in the breeze. Think that's why he loves being out in his buggy so much - lots of lovely trees to look at!
CM - trees work for us too - all my children have enjoyed lying in their pram under trees, and Eddie already appears to have a favourite tree on our walk to school - as we pass under a particular one he gets quite excited if he's not asleep.
JT - thanks - I am trying Eddie out in his cot again as I type and he seems to be settling a bit better today - still the occasional grumble but not continual screaming like yesterday! The thing is, I wouldn't have thought he'd be ready for another snooze yet as he's only been awake for a total of about 3 hours today, but he was showing all the signs of being tired so I put him down and it seems to be working.
My daughter used to go to sleep on me sometimes, but I can remember waking up in the middle of the night to find two enormous eyes staring into mine whilst she was firmly latched onto my nose - yuk!
I braved the teenage trick or treaters last night too - saw a couple of groups but none took any notice of me - phew! In our area it's quite a community thing for the little ones to go trick or treating - people put out pumpkins and decorate their houses so I took Jack and Eddie round to a few of our neighbours houses with a friend and it was good fun (although Eddie was alseep in his pram all the time) - Jack looked extrememly cute in his non-scary vampire outfit and his friend was a quite glamorous looking witch (lots of sparkles!)