When will I feel less overwhelmed with having a baby?

posted 2 months ago in Babies
Post # 16
8678 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

dgirl715 :  Such a great analogy. 

Post # 17
526 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Oh Mama. It does get easier. You start to let go a little- she becomes more independent- you will feel more like yourself again. It’s different for everyone, but babies will sleep (eventually) and one day you’ll realize you’re less tired and more “yourself”.  Hang in there- and I loved the oxygen mask analogy. For sure, don’t skip the Self care. Take a nap, hire a sitter and go to a movie. Do something for you. It will restore you in ways you never thought possible! Good luck!  

Post # 18
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - City, State

Only moms that care worry about being a great mom and that makes you the best mom for your child. You’re doing great and it will get easier and it will all be worth it. (I have an 8 week old, I’m right there with you)

Post # 19
1263 posts
Bumble bee

sandiegobee :  Hey, I have 19 month old twins 🙂 PM me if you want to ever chat about twin life.

Post # 20
1263 posts
Bumble bee

duplicate post

Post # 21
337 posts
Helper bee

I started to feel a lot more like myself at 9 months postpartum thanks to night weaning/sleep training, and finally having some semblance of an actual nap schedule. 

Things to help you now…obv do what you’re comfortable with but I wouldn’t be afraid to let the baby nap in the swing for 30-40 min sometimes. That was the only place we could get good naps sometimes when our baby was younger and it was a real sanity saver. 

Try to get out of the house with the baby once every day. It makes such a difference in sanity levels even if you’re just running to target or something. 

Try not to stress so much about whether you’re stimulating your baby enough. I feel like with instagram and Pinterest we’re getting bombarded with posts from other parents who make it seem like they’re running a nonstop Montessori school in their home, but that isn’t realistic for most people. Get an activity mat and plop your baby on it and let her swat at the dangling things hanging over her while you sip a coffee and scroll your phone sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with this!! You don’t need to be stimulating your 3 month old baby all day…they get plenty of stimuli just from existing in this brand new world! 

Remember that your needs matter too. It’s okay to be a little selfish. It’s ok to let your baby fuss for a bit in a safe place while you clear your head. You got this and it does get easier!!

Post # 22
6565 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

pockster :  My daughter was finally able to nap independently of me while at home when she was 9 months old – about a month after we started sleep training her at night.  That was HUGE for us.  I got so much more done.  The first year is hard, Mama.  My husband and I came up on a year, and we were planning on starting to TTC again, and my husband still felt the weight of the first year (and frankly, I did too).  We ended up NTNP for a bit, and started seriously TTC 5 months after our original timeline… and we were both super ready for another baby by then!  Just remember, you’re not alone!

Post # 23
7030 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

pockster :  I could have written your post myself last year! I also had my baby in my 30’s and my Darling Husband works a crazy travel job. My DS was a “good” baby and I’m thankful that we didn’t have a fussy baby on our hands but it definitely doesn’t dimish how much work babies are. I also think that having a baby a bit later, as opposed to being in your 20’s, is that you’re more settled and set in your ways 

Like you I was pumping and honestly I’m not going to lie…even though I pushed through there were so many times I wanted to quit because I feel that pumping was 100% the root of my stress. It’s all-consuming….hooking up, pumping, unhooking, storing the milk, washing parts, etc. It felt like by the time I was done it was time to start again because in those early days you’re pumping as often as baby would nurse.

One tip I learned that basically saved me and was a total game-changer is to just store your pump parts in a ziplock in the fridge throughout the day, and wash them once at night before bed. At first I was washing after each pump which is not realistic and then another pumping mom turned me on to the fridge trick. I bought a second set of flanges and after each pump I’d just toss my parts into a ziplock and into the fridge. At night before bed I’d wash those parts and let them dry, and use my other set throughout the night.

I’m not sure your house setup, but when my DS was born we were in a rental while waiting for our new house. All the bedrooms were upstairs, which was a PITA when it came to pumping every two hours. We ended up buying a mini-fridge for our bedroom and set up a little station for me. That way I could store all my parts and whatever milk I pumping during the night in the fridge and I wasn’t going up and down the stairs all night to the kitchen. We also stored the pre-made bottles for night feedings in the fridge and kept a bottle warmer on top. Everything we needed was in the bedroom so no need to go downstairs.

Otherwise just know that it gets easier. There’s a reason they call it the 4th trimester. You WILL get into a routine. The best thing you can do is take some time for yourself. It’s OK for baby to cry. I’m not saying neglect them at all, but you can jump in the shower and it won’t be the end of the world. If you feel more comfortable find a neighbor or friend who wouldn’t mind coming over even just for an hour to hold baby while you shower, meal-prep, etc. 

To echo what someone else said, for me the turning point was around 6-7 months when we sleep trained. Prior to that DS was a HORRIBLE napper. Sleep training was a game-changer for us as that was the start of him sleeping through the night as well as night weaning. He was going down at 7pm every night and that means I had a whole evening to shower, watch tv, just do whatever I needed for myself. It’s undescribable what kind of shift that does to your mindset when you get that kind of freedom.

Anyway, I know how you feel – it’s not hard when you have a partner who travels for work all the time and you’re doing it solo. Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat! 

Post # 24
696 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

pockster :  you’re making it too hard on yourself and stressing out about things that don’t need to be stressed out about. Put her in the damn swing and close your eyes on the couch. She will be ok and so will you. I feel like all first time mothers are like this. And breastfeeding adds to the mix because it is so demanding. One of the reasons I chose to formula feed was it returned my emotional stability and my anxiety went away. You don’t need to worry about books at 3 months. You need more sleep, and quite honestly, I think you should speak to your doctor about your anxiety because you may have a mild case of PPD. For what it’s worth, I’m a mother of 4 now, my husband works 100 hours a week, and we live 1,000 miles from any support system and have lived that far or worse for every child. I’m used to doing it all on my own. You really have to prioritize yourself and take whatever help you can get. If that means she sleeps in the swing, ok. Just make sure she is reclined. If that means grocery delivery, ok. Sleep is an absolute necessity to health and mental wellness. You have to figure out how to make this work.

Post # 25
60 posts
Worker bee

pockster :  being a new mom IS all consuming and tiring and difficult, but i just want to mention that if you feel like your mind is racing, you can’t clear your head, or you can’t relax even when she doesn’t need anything, those can be signs of post partum anxiety and you should call your OB and ask for a referral to a therapist and an action plan. Therapy was life saving post partum for me and it really helped me break that constant loop of thoughts. 

It is hard but it doesn’t have to be quite THAT hard. Sending hugs. 

Post # 26
8061 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

pockster :  I’ll be blunt – I hate newborns. They are relentless and exhausting and not even interesting yet. Don’t get me wrong I loved my daughter from the beginning but woof – newborns suck. For me it got better once she slept through the night and then it got awesome when she started doing things like rolling, crawling, talking, walking, etc. She’s now 2 and I think the toddler stage is the best so far! She’s a fascinating little human and I can actually have a conversation with her. Plus her favorite phrase at the moment is “I help you momma!” and she is actually helpful at picking up toys, feeding the dog, setting/clearing her place at the table, and putting laundry in the basket.

Hang in there – the days are long but the years are short. You’re an awesome mom! 

Post # 27
2238 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

pockster :  I feel you! I have a 7 week old, and some days are so hard. My husband just went back to work today, so it’s my first day on my own and I’m a wreck. Thankfully, my LO is a great sleeper – doing 5-6 hour stretches at night and naps 4-5 times a day for 90 minutes or more. 

Do you have your baby on any type of schedule? I read the Babywise book when I was pregnant, and have been following that method since he was about 4 weeks. It’s made a HUGE difference in terms of sleep, and gives me the breaks I so badly need to shower, workout, etc. While that specific book/method might not work for you, I can’t recommend getting the baby on a schedule enough! My little guy falls asleep in his bassinet on his own now for naps and at night, and it’s been amazing. While I’m sure we’ll continue to have “off” days and hard days, having a schedule is working so well for us right now!

I hope things get better for you soon! They say it does get easier!

Post # 28
3390 posts
Sugar bee

We had our first in our late 30’s. My husband works a lot so I did most of the baby stuff myself back then. Months 3-4 were tough because naps were terrible. At 5 months, we sleep trained. LIFE CHANGING! We were able to put him in his crib at 7 pm, he’d fuss a little, and sleep until 7 am. Naps were longer. Then I stopped breastfeeding and the fog really lifted. 

Post # 29
799 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

At some point you will let go and it will get easier. I was worried all the time with my first. The second baby has been infinitely easier even though he is more difficult than my first was. I don’t have the resources to constantly worry since I have to watch his brother who is a toddler whirlwind. I have to assume that he will be ok if decent precautions are taken and so far he has absolutely been 100% ok. Babies will get plenty of stimulation and interaction throughout the course of the day assuming you don’t just leave them in a dark empty room and walk away. Can you join a parents group or something so you can talk about this stuff weekly? Knowing that everyone worries can help. Also you can find out how other people are facing challenges and dealing with them. As long as you are around, the swing will be fine. Sleep begets sleep, so I’d really try to get the kid napping more during the day however you can. Then try to transition that to a schedule of napping. It’s so wonderful to be able to predict when you’ll be able to put the kid down and get some time to yourself. I think at 3 or 4 months I adopted a schedule of naps every three hours. It made my son so happy to be well rested. Totally different experience. Good luck!

Post # 30
2928 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Hey OP, I know what you’re going through!

My daughter is now 8 months old and I can honestly say things are getting easier compared to the first 3 months.  She is now crawling, which is now a whole new set of challenges (who knew babies could move so fast?!).  

A lot of my issues early on were mine.  I went through PPD, which I was in denial about for a while, and I am a type A/perfectionist, so I expected myself to be the Instagram mom, who lost all the baby weight before she came home from the hospital and was always perfectly made up.  I had to learn not to be so hard on myself, and there’s days where I still expect a lot.  It’s a work in progress for sure.

My sister is a pediatrician and I leaned on her a lot in those first months.  We became a lot closer because she is the picture of the mom that does it all.  I found out that images can be deceiving, that she struggles just like everyone else.  I also learned it’s OK to let the baby cry or fuss for a few minutes.  I was that mom that picked her up every time she made a peep, and she learned very quickly that it worked!  So now she’s better – I tell her I’ll be there shortly and knowing I’m not going to jump to her every wimp has made it much easier on me.

I also have a middle school aged neighbor that comes over every so often to be a mommy’s helper.  My husband works alternating shifts so it’s great when he’s not home.  I suggest finding someone, or a lot of churches have mommy’s day where they will watch the baby for a bit.  You need a break too!

But I think it definitely gets easier around 6 months.

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