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Feeling like a bad mum... Lock Rss

My son is 8 months old. He has never been a good sleeper and i have had no more than about 3 hours of sleep at a time since he was born. During the day he has a few naps. In his awake time he always wants to be in our arms. He will rarely sit and play for long on his own. I put him in his pram or walker and have him with me when i am trying to do things but he isnt happy for long until he is picked up and in our arms.
And recently I have found myself getting very impatient with him. I am getting frustrated easily when I cant get anything done and when I am spending hours trying to get him to sleep everyday. I feel really bad that i am being impatient with him and that i feel like growling at him. And recently he has started being more grizzly with me and really happy with dad. When Dad gives him to me he cries! This makes me feel horrible. I feel like i am being a bad mum. Of course i love him to pieces and we do have good times. I just wish I could get my patience back and be happy for him all the time.
Im not sure what advice im really looking for?
Do other mums feel like this?

baby boy

Hi Ladybird,

Don't ever feel your a bad mum....... your doing the best for you & your baby & everyone gets a little ( or a lot) impatient at one time or another.

I think it's only natural that they like dad better sometimes, they are with us all day every day & they like to see someone different come into the house. Dad has time to play & do silly things, mums don't always have that time(Unfortunately)

It's hard to get them to play on their own, but you may have to try giving him some different toys each time, some that he seems to be interested in. Even pots & pans with a wooden spoon(worked for me....LOL).

As for the sleep thing, maybe you should talk to your Health nurse about attending a day stay sleep program. Also there is a new section on this website about asking the sleep expert a question. Have you seen it?? It's in the General Discussion board. I sent an e-mail direct to her website the other day & got a great response from her. I felt like she really cared about my situation & gave genuine advice. Can't tell you if it worked yet, still trying!!!

I hope I have been of some assistance to you & just remember, YOU AREN"T A BAD MUM, just a little frustrated, like the rest of us have been at one time or another!!!!

Good luck & let me know how you go.

Michelle - Mum to 2

Hi there

First of all YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER! You sound like a loving and caring mother and there is no doubt you love your baby. It is a fact that sleep deprivation can cause anybody to become irritated and lose their patience - and I really sympathise with your situation. My baby was a "bad" sleeper when she was born and I felt like all I ever did was try to put her to sleep - I was a walking zombie. Fortunately for me, she changed at around 3 mths of age.

Have you tried attending Tresilian - I have heard really good things about them? Apparently you can gol for a day or book in for an extended stay (about a week) and they will assist you with putting baby to sleep. Also, have you thought about "controlled crying"? I know this is not for everybody but it worked for a friend of mine who had a 7mth old waking every hour on the hour!

I also noticed today a post on this FORUM under the "SLEEPING & SETTLING TOPIC" which I will copy for you you might like to check that out.

Anyway, best of luck and let us know how things are going!


"How long does your baby sleep?" and "how do you get them to sleep?" are some of the biggest questions mothers face with their babies.

To help solve the mystery we've launched our new "Your Baby's Sleep" section on the Huggies website. You will find it under the Parenting drop down menu and it is definitely worth a look.

In addition we have our resident Baby Sleep Expert available to answer your questions in our new "Ask our Baby Sleep Expert a Question" forum that you can find in The General Baby Topics forum right here on Huggies Parents Exchange.

We hope you find this a great resource.


The Huggies Team

Gabriella, Chiara & angel called home

Hi Ladybird

You poor thing, it sounds like you have your hands full.

Last month my son was doing the cat napping thing and I told my plunket nurse about it. She helped me change his eating pattern and wow what a difference. My son can be crying and in a bad mood in the evening with me about to pull my hair out when my husband will come home and then it will be all smiles and giggles. I try and not take it to heart, afterall daddy is a new face and he has been hanging out with me all day.

This might not help you but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and it sound like you are doing a good job.

hang in there

Tineka, Mum to Hamish 3yrs, Abby 1yr & 1due 10/04

Hi Ladybird, i repeat what everyone else has said, you are not a bad mum, just a normal one. My son almost drove me to drink (HAHAHA) when he was younger. (Now 14mths)

Have you tried a baby carrier like the baby bjorn one? they are great, you can get a lot done with bub in one of those.

My son goes crazy when daddy comes home also! Maybe we should all swap places with daddy and see what happens?

mum of 1

HI again

I forgot to also mention, if you are into books there is one called "Sleep Right, Sleep Tight" by Cummings, Houghton & Williams which you might find useful. It is a hands-on guide to solving sleep problems in children from birth to 3 years of age and includes various strategies. Might be worth a look? I have copied some info about it below.

Good luck!


Sleep Right, Sleep Tight: a Practical, Proven Guide to Solving Your - $21.95

Rosey Cummings ;Le-Ann Williams ;Karen Haughton Sleep Right, Sleep Tight provides parents with easy to understand information and strategies to help them change young children's sleep patterns for the better.

Designed in a workbook format, each chapter details a management plan with questions and answers for parents regarding their child's particular needs and habits. It includes weekly progress charts that parents fill in to keep track of sleeping and feeding routines and flow charts to consult outlining various approaches.

Each section deals with different age groups and details strategies on settling infants into a routine, trouble-shooting disruption problems, techniques for soothing and relaxing an infant and unique ideas on self-help for parents, all presented in a reassuring, practical format.

Authors Rosey Cummings, Le-ann Williams and Karen Haughton are maternal and child health care professionals with more than 60 years of experience between them in educating parents in strategies for child sleep management. While keeping theory to a minimum, they provide methods of settling and monitoring a baby that
work and that the whole family will benefit from. Packed with authoritative information, interactive methods and simple advice, Sleep Right, Sleep Tight is unique in the market and a must-have for every parent.

Gabriella, Chiara & angel called home

they all love their dads - my 15 mth old girl says 'dad dad dad dad' all day long. I never hear a 'mum'.

Linda (Jessica 3/4/03, Caleb 11/4/05)

Hi Ladybird

It sounds like we have the same baby!! My daughter has never been a good sleeper either.She catnapps during the day and wakes pretty frequently at night.It is very frustrating and i know how you feel.I often wonder whether i am a good mum, but deep down i know i am doing the best i can, and its just the way my baby is. I think it really helps to have some time on your own at least once a week and do something you enjoy.
Has anything improved since you postd this?
Hello and thankyou all for your replies. it is very good to hear some positive reasurance from people who understand what i am talking about.
my boy is still not sleeping. he is a little worse at the moment because he is teething , so that is expected.
I am trying very hard to be a lot more patient with him and it seems to be improving. I am making myself not waste any energy on being frustrated or angry. There is no point. I really want to enjoy this time of his life as they grow up to fast.
And, I try not to take it personally when he always wants to be with dad. Really, it is great that he adores his father so much.
So , for now i am just focussing on being happy and enjoying my beautiful baby and reminding myself that i am not a bad mother. It is a hard job , but i do love it.
and who needs sleep anyway? Ha Ha

baby boy

hi ladybird,
i am a 24 year old first time mum and i am feeling very much like you. i am constantly exhausted and feel quite alone as my friends are not mums yet. my little girl, like your son is 8 months and an erratic sleeper, she has regular naps in the daytime but still will not sleep through the night. i feel that i have tried all the advice in books and from family etc but still she just wont sleep through! i love her with all my heart and am so grateful she is here but like you i am sometimes impatient and frustrated with her. i hate myself for growling or losing patience with her because i feel she is such a gift and i should be better at coping with her needs. she is such a joy and i often feel clueless as to what i am doing wrong??? i am so glad to hear that i am not the only one who is dealing with this problem, and all i can say to you is please hang in there! our babies will keep changing and growing and will find their own patterns. we just have to do the best we can for them and love them no matter what! have faith, we all get run down sometimes!

mel, ella jasmine 13/06/04 & benjamin tyler 6/8/06

Don't forget that children can sense stress. If you're feeling anxious, babe is going to pick up on that vibe and react. Probably why your husband get's home he gets all the smiles and giggles. Don't take it personally. You'll realise that as children grow they switch between parent. One week it's mum mum mum, next week it's daddy daddy daddy. And you are not a bad mother. All mum's get stressed out, it's a natural part of being a loving parent.

With my son, I also consulted my plunket nurse and she suggested a change of routine and even formula. What a difference it made. Within a week my son was sleeping more and was more happy. Happy baby equals happy mum and vice versa.

Rere, NZ, mum of three

i think you need some time for youself. I'd try getting a relative or friend to babysit for an hour or so once a week... use that time on relaxing spoiling yourself.

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