Crying baby: In the early days of... - Ask Norfolk Parents

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Crying baby

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In the early days of parenthood, going in to survival mode is key. When my husband went back to work after parental leave for our first son, I suddenly had this huge responsibility on my shoulders for this tiny little baby. At times it was very overwhelming and I felt it was hard to ask for help. Even when what i just needed was someone to come for 15 minutes while you have a shower or an hour so you can have a sleep. I usually didn’t, because I felt that if I asked, people would think I couldn’t cope. When you exclusively breast feed there is always the assumption that the baby is hungry and people give a brief cuddle before handing them back to you so it can be quite exhausting. There was a lot of walking around the room/ flat and even around the neighbourhood in their buggy. A lot of cuddles and snuggles. Seemed to relax if they were lying on me or tucked up in my arms and jiggling about. There were moments where you mentally tick off the list of what could be wrong (nappy? hungry? too hot? Too cold? Not enough stimulation? Too much stimulation? Too bright? Too dark? Wrong person to give cuddle? Wrong toy?) in the end it’s everything and nothing and sometimes they’re picking up on your own tension and helplessness. After them crying for what felt like ‘forever’ and me joining in with the tears, I realised it was ok to make the baby safe in their cot, leave the room, take deep breaths to calm my own sobbing and eat a lot of chocolate, So that I was then ready to go back in and provide comfort to my darling baby. Definitely felt easier with our second son, maybe because we knew what to expect. He’s also more chilled out probably because he’s grown up knowing that my time and attention is divided between both boys, plus there is always his older brother to play with and be distracted by. 2nd time round I also know what jobs I can get to later (and even ignore) or take up offers of help without feeling that it’s a negative reflection on me.