Having a rough time these first few days at home with a newborn

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
1721 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

hspw714:  I am sorry you had a rough time.  I also ended up with an emergency c-section after 18+ hours of labor with my son (he is now 17 months old). I can tell you some tips that worked for me.

1.  If you are breastfeeding, when the baby is done nursing, have someone else take care of him/her.  Your body NEEDS the rest and you will be doing best  by your little one to help yourself be better.  My pediatrician straight up told my husband “She needs to sleep, you don’t, you take care of him while she rests!” If you are not breastfeeding, help with the baby as you can and take breaks when your body tells you to.

2. Any dishes, cooking, cleaning- JUST SAY NO!  Don’t try to maintain an orderly house.  If you have to order takeout every night, order take out.  It doesn’t matter, no one is going to judge you.  Take it easy and do not worry about things you can fix later.

3. For bad gas for babies, try bicycling the legs lightly or pressing the tummy on your lap while you support the head.

4. Swaddle!  Some babies pretend to hate this, but they really love it.  It needs to be tight enough so that they cannot get out, but not too tight.  I highly recommend a Woombie. I say a Woombie because it allows the babies hands to be together and to move a little bit, but still gives the snug, in womb like experience.

5. Understand that every day you will fail at something and that is OKAY!  You learn by making mistakes and from trying different things.  Just keep your chin up and keep trying.  

6. If you feel like you are going out of your mind, put your baby down in a safe place and walk outside or into another room for 2 minutes.  This is called a sanity clearance.  You breathe in and out and get your sanity back and then are much better equipted to handle your little one.

Lastly… IT GETS BETTER!  I promise you it will.  Your body just went through hell and back and your world is upside down.  Your hormones are out of whack and you are drained of all nutrients.  Take your vitamins, get a little sunshine, and rest as you can.  You will be okay.  And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.  You do not need to do it all alone.  Good luck and congratulations on your little one!

Post # 3
Member
852 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Just wanted to say this is one of the most supportive, informative posts I have read on the Bee in ages.

 

Post # 4
Member
4413 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Schatzie821:  this is all wonderful advice!!

Other recommendations: try Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water. My baby also had a lot of gas and would be inconsolable. Gripe Water was great. At the very least, it made me feel like I was able to do SOMETHING, anything at all, to help baby out. My six-month-old is now teething and I gave her gripe water again yesterday to help her crying. She stopped right away. That stuff is amazing!!

Another tip is to get a family member to take the baby out of the house. Like, put the baby in the car seat and just take it for a drive. I always found it was hard for me to relax when the baby was in the house with me, even when my mom or husband had her. Just knowing she was there and I wasn’t with her made it so hard to sleep. If someone takes the baby out for a drive, the baby will probably sleep and you will be able to relax without listening to crying.

Also, ear plugs help. I wore them often when my baby was super young and crying a lot. It just took the edge off the crying a little bit, so I could try to calm her down without going deaf.

And finally, know that it WILL get better. Most of all, what you will find is that you soon will not get so upset when you hear baby crying. After a week or two, I no longer got that stress knot in my stomach whenever I heard DD crying. Her crying just sort of becomes noise, like the TV too loud or something. I of course wanted to help her stop crying, but the sound of her crying did not bother me nearly as much as it did at first. By this point, if DD gets to crying and I am in the middle of doing something, I just say “aw, screw it; she’s fine” and let her cry another couple minutes until I am finished. I could never have done that in the first few weeks after she was born. You will find your rhythm, I promise!!!

Best of luck to you, and ask for any help you need. 🙂

Post # 5
Member
2190 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Oh mama … hang in there 🙁 I also got incredibly sick after my C-Section (nasty cold) and thought I was going to cough until my insides spilled out.. and that id never, ever sleep again. I am going to come back here this afternoon and send you a much longer post – i am just heading out for a baby class. <br />It does get better. I PROMISE. The first few weeks (heck, few months) are incrdibly hard – harder than anyone can prepare you for. You will be exhausted, in pain, confused, stressed, frustrated but.. also full of love. Hang tight, i’ll come back here later and send you some more tips if i can. <br /><br />Gripe water is great, also Cocyntal vials for gas work amazing (Walmart has them), keep bicycling legs and don’t give up on a burp till they’ve given you a good one! I also found keeping them upright after a feeding for a few mins helped tremendously. XOXO

Post # 6
Member
1817 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

The PP have some amazing tips (I’m writing them down myself).

Also are you only breastfeeding? Are you opposed to pumping a few bottles out so someone else can feed your baby while you take a rest? I also only get about 4 hours of interuppted sleep and it does suck, but knowing that it will get better keeps me going. I have turned into an exclusive pumper and while that has its cons, one of the pros is that someone else can feed the boys (I have twins). DH and developed a routine so that he can get the most sleep since he is working full time and I can at least skip one feeding myself so I can sleep. Both suffer from some reflux so I usually feed one and put them in a boppy either upright or laying on their left side while I feed the other. It seems to help out a lot for them to lay like that for about 30 mins after feeding.

The boys have only been home for a week and things are SO much better already! They had a bit of a rough time transitioning from the NICU to home and the first few days I was a zombie trying to take care of them, feeding myself, resting, and doing chores. I then realized that the laundry will get done when I have the time and the boys are okay if they cry just a few mins longer while I finish eating my own meal.

You can do it! If I can do it, so can you. Take nice deep breaths and if anyone asked if you need anything, SPEAK UP! Ask for someone to bring you a meal, to fold some laundry, or do the dishes. Those are little chores that will help out so much, especially if you aren’t comfortable with handing baby off while you rest just yet.

 

Post # 7
Member
2661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

The other thing I did was feed on demand and dose while my babies ate! 

For the first few weeks, sleep whenever the baby sleeps.  Especially if you are breastfeeding, don’t worry about schedule and don’t worry about anything but you and the baby.  Feeding on demand will establish your milk supply.

It does get better.  I have 2. Mine are 10 and 6.  I’m still here and they are fine. I made it through both infancies and lied to tell.  Actually, the first few weeks are the hardest.  You are getting to know a stranger and you are learning what to do with a tiny baby.

Post # 8
Member
2190 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Ok – as promised, I’m back. There is so much advice out there, and really until you have spent days, weeks and months with this new small human who has taken over your life – it’s a process that you’ll just have to figure out, and roll with the punches. No doubt is is HARD. Harder than I ever imagined. Our first few weeks I can safely say were some of the worst days of my life. I hate saying that, but it’s the truth. I was trying to recover from major surgery (C-Section), cought a nasty cold in the hospital which had me coughing non stop, pain meds that made me feel worse instead of better, and a baby who at the time felt like he stole my life right out from under me.

 

In an instant my life was different, my marriage was different and my freedom gone. Again, I hate saying it, but those first few days and weeks I wondered what I was thinking having a baby, and wanted to undo it all.  Things will get better. I promise that. You really have to go into survival mode, get through each hour and day one at a time. Ask for help from anyone who is willing to give it – parents, friends, neighbours. Even if those people cna just hold the baby while you shower or take a quick nap, help with the dishes, prepare a meal for you – all those things are like heaven those first few weeks. On the weekend as a parent (if they are available to you!) to come over and help make freezer meals for the week. If you have a slowcooker, this will become a very good friend. In the morning you can dump a bag of prepared freezer meal into the cooker, hit on, and dinner is ready for later. Which leads me to my next point.

 

EAT. Drink lots of water. Those are your fuels, and you need them to get through these hard times. I barely ate my first few weeks and really believe that eating would have really helped.

Try the gas drops, Cocyntal or Gripe water for your baby, see if they help. Burp every ounce if you can (if you are BF’ing, take small breaks). Do the bicycle legs often and see if that helps. Sleeping will come. People always told me “sleep when the baby sleeps!”.. I never could. When the baby slept, I put on clothes, tried to eat, shower, clean up the disaster of a mess I’d created with said baby and by the time that was done- baby was awake. If you can nap though – do it. I just never could be that person, still can’t do it! 

I know it sounds horrible, but getting 4 hr sleep at a time is actually really good LOL. We were doing 1-2 hours every day and night, until about 4 months. It was brutal. Some days I broke down and was a mess, thought we’d never make it. I would have given my left arm for a 4 hour stretch. Just keep saying – this too shall pass. My mom kept saying that and I wanted to hit her, but it’s true. They get older, sleep better and longer, and don’t stay little for long.

 

I wish I had cherished those first few weeks more than I did – I wanted them to be over, for him to get bigger. I see little babies now and wish I had just taken the time to cherish him when he was that small, and not be so frustrated. Granted, I had some serious PPD which didn’t help. Good luck hun, it DOES get better. It really does. Take lots of pictures,and ask for as much help as you can. There is no shame in it. People LOVE helping new moms and babies, so ask ask ask ask ask. :):) XOXOXO PM me if you ever want to chat!!       

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  .
Post # 9
Member
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

You’ve gotten some pretty great advice so far, just wanted to pop in and let you know that it DOES get better!  If you’re able to baby wear (like a Moby wrap or some other soft carrier) it might help you have your hands free and make baby feel snuggled at the same time.  Once LO starts to give you smiles and you’re healed physically, things will seem much easier.  Hang in there mama!

Post # 10
Member
1487 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Oh girl, this shit is hard. Scary hard. I wrote a post about how miserable I was. Check it out. For me, it didn’t get better until he was nearly 3 months. They were the darkest days of my life. The Bees have wonderful advice. For me, sleep deprivation was the main source of depression ad anxiety for me. Once I slept better, I felt like a new person.

The turning point for me was when he could go 3 hours during the day without eating. That allowed for more predictable napping and some downtime for me.  I also started mild sleep training at 5 months (lots of Bees advise against it, but it worked for us). Now I get fairly good sleep as he sleeps anywhere between 9-11 hours straight at less than 6 months. He’s a happy healthy loving baby.

Now I love being with him. I hate being away at work all day, something I never thought I’d say back when I just wanted to run away. 

It will gt better! It’s hard to believe now, but it will! PM me if you ever need support.

Post # 11
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

hspw714:  you poor thing! The first two weeks are rough! It gets soooo much better though! Hang in there and ask for as much help as you need! If you need a break, take it! If baby is fed and changed thEy will be ok! 

Its so hard with the hormone changes and recovering yourself while taking care of a newborn, especially when you’re adjusting to your new role as a mom (assuming you’re a FTM).  There’s a growth spurt around 3 weeks that is pretty much hell (for us it was) but after that things got soo much better! Once the hormones regulate and you start feeling better physically you will hopefully feel better about things.

have you tried using Harvey Karps 5 “S’s” to help calm baby? There’s a YouTube video of his technique from happiest baby on the block. It’s a god send ad works like a charm! I substitute the shushing with the sound of a hair dryer (white noise baby iPhone app is a lifesaver!) it calms dd and puts her to sleep in minutes.

Hang in there mama! You can do it and it will get a lot better, easier and more fun!

Post # 12
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Also, i want to say as hard as it is try and cherish these moments (find at least 5 minutes a day to take it all in and enjo it). I know you probably are wishing for Lo to be older and easier to handle much of the time, an that’s normal a ok! But they are only newborns for a very short period of time. It will be over in the blink of an eye. I know the days seem long but the weeks will fly by. I can’t believe my DD is almost 8 weeks already. They change so fast and even though I was mindful to take it all in and try to enjo even te worst days, I still find myself wishing I could go back and enjoy it even more!

Adopt the mantra this too shall pass!

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