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10/04/2013 at 17:06
I’m having a complete crisis of confidence that I’m a bad mum and feeling guilty about everything I do. Or don’t do. A is 9 weeks old, so I’m probably still settling into things. This will probably be a huge rant, apologies for the length!
Firstly, his daytime naps are erratic to say the least. Sometimes he naps, sometimes he doesn’t. Generally he’ll nap in his bouncy chair by the bathroom while I have a shower, and he usually sleeps if we go for a walk. If we don’t go for a walk, he might not sleep. Sometimes he naps on his play gym, sometimes in his bouncy chair, but he doesn’t like the crib in the daytime. Should I have been trying to get him more used to the bedroom for daytime naps? But then what would happen if we wanted to go out? Is it better that he’s sort of used to sleeping in several places? Am I setting myself up for a child who doesn’t sleep properly? He’s OK overnight, usually only waking up once.
Also, going out and about. We live in an upstairs flat, so the weight of the pushchair was priority. We got the Baby Jogger City Mini. So far I’ve only used it with the car seat so that A is facing me. We’re not out for very long so time spent in there shouldn’t be a problem as we don’t go in the car very much (I don’t drive). But what if it is a problem? Am I harming him by using the car seat? I thought about using just the pushchair bit now he’s a bit older, but then I read research that forward-facing pushchairs traumatise babies. Maybe I should have bought a different pushchair, but this was the most suitable one, if I had a heavier one I’d never go out because I wouldn’t get it down the stairs, so the fact that it’s rear facing would be pointless. We’re moving to a house soon, so the stairs will no longer be an issue and I’ll probably go out more with my baby-traumatising pushchair.
I’ve also not been out and about so much as I hate it when A cries in public. He was crying at a train station once (for no obvious reason) and some woman came up to be and told me that he was hungry. No he wasn’t, he’d just fed. He must be cold, she says. No, he’s not. He must be tired, you should put him to sleep then, she says. Shut up, you interfering woman! A started crying in Mothercare once and one of the assistants came over asking what was wrong with him with a worried look on her face. He shut up and fell asleep as soon as we left the shop 30 seconds later! So clearly not a lot wrong with him.
A is generally a happy baby, but when he gets upset, he really gets upset. He’s not wanting to play with any toys yet, although he will look at the ones on his play gym happily for ages sometimes, so I don’t know what to do with him all the time. Then I worry he;s not being stimulated enough.
Just having a really bad day today and over-thinking things. On the plus side, the breastfeeding is fine and he’s perfectly physically healthy. He’s in a feeding routine that seems to suit both of us and very rarely cries through hunger. If only I could stop my brain running away with me.....
10/04/2013 at 17:14
Woah there! I'm not a mum yet but here is what I think - you are not a bad mum! Would you care so much if you were?
Does it really matter if his day time naps are erratic? Is he happy when not napping, if so then surely thats all that matters?
Being in a car seat for up to 2 hours is fine. If youre out longer just get him out for half a hour for a stretch, and he'll be fine.
Unfortunately youve encountered a couple of rude people! Babies cry, and most people with have sympathy/empathy. Dont be embarrassed, be proud, he's only small, tell the small minded minority where to go!
You say he is happy, feeding well and sleeps well at night, if that was my baby I'd be happy and think I was doing a pretty good job. Dont be so hard on yourself. xx
10/04/2013 at 17:18
Huge, big hugs for you! You are NOT a bad mother. Would a bad mother even think of any of this?!
Naps - perfectly normal to be erratic. A's naps are still all over the place and I've never given it a second thought. You cannot make a baby sleep if they are not tired. Likewise at this age if they need sleep then they will sleep given the opportunity (i.e. if they're not woken).
Pushchair - you aren't going to harm him as long as he's not spending hours every day in the car seat. If he normally sleeps in the pram then having him facing outwards will hardly 'traumatise' him. I wouldn't listen to that nonsense. We live in a 1st-floor flat too, so I sympathise with the difficulty of finding a suitable pram - we went with the Stokke as it folds to make it easy to 'bump' up and down stairs, but it was blummin' expensive! Can you take him out in a sling instead for short trips?
Ignore interfering members of the public. They don't know your baby. I can't believe a Mothercare assistant asked what's wrong... babies cry, that's just a fact of life! Although being charitable if you'd said "he's hungry/needs a change" she might have offered you a place to do so.
He doesn't need much stimulation yet either. He'll soon let you know if he's bored, as I've discovered! Talk to him, watch things with him, read him books and let him sleep on you.
Do you go to any baby groups? Are any of us local to you so you could meet up for a tea/cake? I'm in SW London if it helps.
Hope you start feeling better soon x
10/04/2013 at 17:19
No, can't see anything there that makes you a bad Mum.
Babies cry, sometime there is a reason, sometimes just because they can.
Forward facing pushchairs will not traumatise your baby.
10/04/2013 at 17:20
Also, Matilda never ever ever napped at home. Ever. She did sleep through the night after just a few weeks...
10/04/2013 at 17:26
Definitely not a bad mum at all, bs daytime naps are erratic, some days he will have long naps and others he won't sleep at all, I only use the car seat part on the pushchair at the moment as he isn't big enough for the pushchair yet, asking as they aren't in it for hours and hours everyday it won't cause any harm. I second what Saisi says about groups, they really help and there's always babies crying in them so its not a big deal, you are doing great x
10/04/2013 at 17:29
Not one of those things makes you a bad mum.
I used the car seat a lot, in the car and on the pushchair. A lot of people aren't even aware of the 2 hour guideline, so consider yourself a good mum for knowing it!
Some babies don't nap much, there's little you can do other than give him the opportunity to do so, which you are.
Some babies do cry for no apparent reason. I can almost guarantee it sounds worse to you than it does to others.
You hit the nail on the head in your first paragraph, it's still very early days, you're still getting to know each other, but honestly, it sounds like you're doing just fine.
It's natural to doubt yourself though, and, IMO, the mark of a good mummy.
10/04/2013 at 17:30
Definitely not a bad mother! The simple fact that you are writing this because it is bothering you proves that your a good mum who cares and wants the best for her baby.
Naps - O doesn't nap regularly in the day either but like A, sleeps well at night so it doesn't really concern me. I think it;s harder to have a set routine when you're BFing as there's no real pattern to O's feeding times, he's more likely to sleep after a good feed so the two work with each other I have found.
The car seat won't be a problem as long as you're not going out for very long journeys in it, 2 hours is the recommended time isn't it? I;ve gone over that on a few occassions but I do try to get him out for a little bit inbetween and it's not every day. I also try not to put him in the swing if he's been in the car seat much that day.
I know how you feel about him crying in public. O once screamed on a bus journey to the point where I had to get him out of the pushchair to settle him because people were giving me the look and I felt terrible. He just wanted to look around, as soon as he was out he was fine but it's not really safe and it was only for a few stops which is why I was reluctant. As he's got a bit older though I've got a bit more confident with it, people are always going to stick their oar in and offer you their expert opinion and 'advice' which is 9 times out of 10, a load of old rubbish.
I can't really comment on the forward facing pushchair, all you can do is try it when he's ready and if he doesn't like it you could look for a second hand RF pushchair on ebay?
I also worry about not stimulating O enough but if you watch them, even just lying on the bed with you they are looking around and taking everything in. Someone waving a toy in their face constantly is too over whelming for them, you might not think you're doing enough but he is learning all the time, he doesn't need fancy toys and constant entertaining to be observant and taking things in.
10/04/2013 at 17:55
Well the fact that you are worrying you are a bad mother says very clearly that you aren't. If you were a bad mother you wouldn't even be worrying about it.
As for the crying, well little babies do that. Ignore other people.
Pushchair - using the carseat is fine, 2 hrs max at a time but I can't imagine with a little tiny baby that you don't take him our for a feed / cuddle / nappy change in that time. 2 hrs, a break, then 2 hrs more. You will not be traumatising him if you did use the pushchair on it's own though.
10/04/2013 at 18:05
There isn't much more to add but another thinking you're doing all that you can and certainly don't sound like a bad mom. X
10/04/2013 at 18:07
And just to add I've just bought a stroller for our holiday forward facing ( and lie flat) and E seems to love it. Definitely not doing her much harm. She just giggles away at the world.
10/04/2013 at 18:09
Just as everyone else has said, you're not a bad mum sweetheart xx Babies are hardwork and they take time to settle into a routine. E used to cry and scream a lot at the start and nothing would console her! She was fed, winded, changed, etc so we just used to comfort her as much as we could until she finally calmed down. Babies sleep when they want to. Don't worry about toys and playing, it's really months away yet. Those sorts of things can overstimulate too. If I get free time with M (rare with his big sister!) I like to sit and read books to him and he will look at the pictures and smile or just stare... There's plenty you can do with little one, just cuddling and talking is great for them too.
10/04/2013 at 18:16
I'm sorry you're feeling like this QC :( I agree with all the others that not one of them points makes you a bad mother, just a case of over-thinking things which I have certainly done on many occasions since having M. Great news that the breast feeding has improved though, that's brilliant!
10/04/2013 at 18:25
Not a bad mum at all! Just to echo what everyone else says- J has never slept in his bed during the day ever- it was either his bouncer and now the floor or his pram. He wa also the baby who cried when out- he cried for 20 mins solid when out because e was tired on Monday in the end I just had to push him around until he fell asleep.
Groups will help I would recommend one- it made me realise that J was not the only baby who pooed/screamed/was sick/was a fussy feeder at the most inappropriate times.
You are doing fine and are the best mummy for little A xx
10/04/2013 at 18:31
Thanks girls, good to hear that some of my worries really shouldn't be worries at all. I think I just over-think things sometimes. I've been going to one group which has been good, but I don't know many other people with babies close by. All my friends either have older children or none so my social life isn't quite what it was which is taking a bit of getting used to. And leaving me with lots of time on my hands to sress about things! As we're moving soon I plan to make much more of an effort at joining in. We're moving to a more family oriented area than we're in at the moment (or so I like to think!) so there might be more groups and activities I can go to.
Thanks for reassuring me. Think I need to chill out a bit! Of course forward-facing pushchairs aren't going to traumatise him. There's not millions of people in therapy because of the type of pushchair they had as a baby! And I want him to look at the world.
Saisi - thanks for the offer of meeting up. I'm not that far from you. In fact, I think I might start a thread about where we all are, find out who's local to us all.
10/04/2013 at 19:52
all is fine, napping you are doing better than me if he naps while you shower!
Disco baby didn't nap in any kind of pattern for the first 6 months, He would sleep if out in the pram and while h would lie in his carry cot in the living room he rarely slept. He did start napping just after christmas when he was 6 months and now naps most of the time.
being in the car seat for short amounts of time won't hurt
All babies cry and the tinkers seem to excel at timing it to be in public, when people offer "helpful" advice I adopted the smile and nod approach then wonder off. Disco screamed M&S down once I needed what I was buying so had to stick it out after that it all got less stressful, prior to that I kept leaving the shop without finishing achieving what I wanted.
Deafinatly look at baby groups they are a source of comfort when you see all babies cry, fuss don't nap. etc etc
10/04/2013 at 20:24
QC, are you on Facebook? Are you in the 'Hitched BT' group at all?
10/04/2013 at 20:47
Yup, I'm in the group on the list of usernames.
10/04/2013 at 20:52
I echo others- a bad mother wouldn't care about these things. Are you eck a bad mother. I have t anything to add that hasn't been said. Be easy on yourself. This parenting malarkey is hard enough! Xxx
I've added you, initials are AJ
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