Slings are great and I have 2 I use but don't feel like you have to use one.
There are other options out there like the Ergo and Baby bjorn that many people use just as effectively for holding baby but are simple in their design for you to use.
So many parents with attachment style of parenting seem to go for slings I have found amongst family and friends but using another carrier if it helps your sanity isn't a bad thing.
I got my baby bjorn brand new of eBay for $60 which was cheaper than my sling, my family likes the ease of it's use better than the sling.
Hang in there - you're doing a great job!
I think you lose your identity with your first child no matter what your parenting style tbh. But you'll get it back, slightly altered in a good way I think! It does get much easier if you just accept this is how it is for now and it will pass quicker than you think! My DS2 at 17 months still bf to sleep many times a night. I work 30 hours a week and also am a part time photographer!
I'm not sure if you planned on being a sahm, but for me, I found going back to work helped. We found a great family daycare lady, who DS has really taken to well (as he is still very clingy with me), and I get that me time working (I love my jobs!).
it can be tough adapting to your first bub because no matter how many books you read etc, nothing can fully prepare you for what your baby will be like.
The only thing that stands out to me is that she's only 4.5 months old...I think you're putting too much pressure on her and on yourself.
Unless you're an absolute clean freak, then don't stress about housework getting done as often or if hubby can, while your DD is in this super clingy stage, have him do more housework and do some cooking.
Or if he can take her for a walk in the pram and she sleeps (I think I read she sleeps in the pram?) and while they're out, use that time to cook a few meals and freeze so it's one less thing to worry about and u can put DD in a sling while you defrost and reheat.
My DD was quite similar and for a while only wanted me and not DF so we just made sure we incorporated him into more routine activities. Bathtime, I would be present but he would do it. When she would wake (when she wasn't already asleep with us), if he was home and not at work, he would get her out of be and change her nappy before bringing her to my boobs and just general baby play time laying around pulling faces with her etc and that made things a lot easier.
Plus, babies change and develop so much in those early months and she will pass through this stage before you know it and a new one will develop.
you sound like you're doing a great job.
As for your "me time", it will come. But when you want a bit of a break now, what I would do was feed her to sleep then leave while she was asleep. That way when she woke up it was better for her and DF to learn to bond because I wasn't there and he still had ebm to give her so she wasn't being deprive of me.
*Dear iPhone, stop autocorrecting all my swear words you piece of shut.
DYAC...go to he'll*
My DD slept through for the first time at 15 months. Day sleeps were always a struggle. I used no cry sleep solutions, but didn't find anything i could use until bub was over 9 months. Some things that did help:
- accepting that she needed me, and that was more important than cleaning or anything else.
- putting dd in the carrier and taking a walk. gave me fresh air and often put her to sleep.
- putting dd in the carrier and getting dh to take her for a walk. gave me a break, them some time together and often put her to sleep.
- putting her in the carrier and dh & i went for a walk and got to talk. she was generally calmed by the closeness & movement.
-get dh to do her bath if he was home. gave me a break, and they still do that now and both love it.
- laying next to dd on the bed and feeding her to sleep and then hopefully sneaking out. (you can also do this on mattress on floor if you worried about her rolling)
- bouncing bub in a hammock
- feeding bub to sleep on the couch and then just chilling out watching tv, when she really needed sleep.
- going for a drive
- if she was happy without sleep, accepting that rather than keep fighting trying to get her to sleep (this took awhile for me to get to this point).
- rest when you can
Sounds to me like you need to detach yourself from your little baby!! She does not need you 24/7 and you will drive yourself insane if you let her do this. Also.. The greatest gift you can give her and yourself is a full nights sleep.. And sleeps in her cot.
You obviously need something to change. I remember feeling much the same with my first (now nearly 5).
Someone else mentioned the save our sleep techniques.. You might like to research some of the suggestions and get cracking on leaving your baby alone for just a minute or two..create some distance or her separation anxiety will exhaust you. Let her cry...it won't hurt her!!!
Goodness sakes all these people too afraid of doing the wrong thing, yes of course you love your daughter you would give your life for her. NO that does not mean you need to run to her every wimper and grizzle!!
As far as her not being happy with dad.. Leave her with him and walk away!! He will soon find ways to pacify her and you need to realize that she can survive without you! You are creating your own situation by giving into her and feeling like you are doing wrong by leaving her.
In time you will realise I'm right. First time babies for many mothers are all consuming, however, you do need to start changing these habits now or you will end up with a toddler that cannot sleep by herself. You think your tired now? Imagine years of the same type of behaviour.
Get reading. Educate yourself. Main thing...leave your baby alone sometimes.. Not for long but start letting her grizzle it out for a bit she needs to start learning to self soothe or you will be attached at the hip to her for years... Very big strain on any marriage by the way.
Sorry if I was too strong.. Not meaning to be but really believe this is a common theme with new mummies..I nipped the night wakings in the bud in my own situation by 6 months because we all needed a full nights sleep! You just get to the point where enough is enough. My daughter was napping fine throughout the day..waking 3 or 4 times a night towards my breaking point... Grrr... Only took 2-3 nights of a change to fix things though.... She's been sleeping average of 12 hours a night ever since.
Really hope you decide to make some changes now, you will thank yourself. Her day naps should mean time for you to do jobs/nap/paint/eat do whatever tickles your fancy. She sleeps because she is a baby and needs to.. You should not be needing to nap three times a day. Sorry but that is crazy. Get her used to her cot and get her sleeping in it!
Let her have play time in it etc.. Couple of toys.. Leave the room! She won't hurt herself!
All the best..
Look after yourself xxx
Sorry the baby I was lying next to accidentally pressed sent!
If you read studies you will find letting her cry WILL hurt her, it causes blood pressure to rise which can cause brain damage. Being an attachment parent IS being there for your child 24/7 NOT being lazy and closing the door on them!
Lucy Alys (July '06)
Minnie Audrey (July '09)
Pippi Violet (oct '11)
Im not suggesting letting a baby cry to the point of causing damage.. That's just silly. Nor am I suggesting to close a door on her baby to be 'lazy' ..that also is just silly.
I am suggesting creating some distance for a mother who is obviously struggling with her chosen 'parenting style'.. There are other options that as a new mother she may want to investigate.
To continue along the same path will not change the situation and it seems that the mother would like something to change to give her some independence back. I am simply offering an alternative and some options for her to consider.
I never implied leaving her baby to cry so hard it would cause damage neither did I tell her to shut the door and be lazy...
Creating some distance between her and her baby will be beneficial to both parties.
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