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The Australian Parents Forum (or APF) is an open community for all mums, dads, guardians and grandparents to come together to discuss 'all things parenting'.

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February 2009
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angiebella [userpic]
a few first time mother concerns...

hi, i'm angie. my little angel was born 22nd feb this year and his name is che.

he's been sleeping in bed with me because initially it was just easier...i slept easier knowing he was close by, warm, etc. and he seemed to settle better, being warmer etc.

to other mothers that co slept...how long did you do it for? and did you have problems getting them into a cot.

che doesn't have a problem falling asleep by himself and is fine when i put him in his cot. at the moment it really is just because i want him beside me. kinda as my security blanket as i'm alone in the house too.

also...and this is for the women, i know my body's been through a tremendous change and will take a while to get back to normal but i was wondering about other women's experiences with everything *down there*. my body is dramatically different and it's affecting my self esteem as i've just starting seeing someone and although i have no intention of jumping into the sack with him anytime soon, it still bothers me.

and finally, does anyone have any advice and or personal stories they can share with me about getting full custody of my child. like what the process is etc.

thanks!!! angie.

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hi. i didn't co sleep, but an idea i had was kind of a stepping stone to a cot. if you want him close to you, but getting him used to the idea of not being in bed, you could do what i did. i had a pram that was like a bassinette, and i just put my daughter into it beside the bed.

it was nice and cosy for her, i could sleep knowing i could hear straight away if anything was wrong, and i never had a problem with it.

i can't remember exactly how long she slept like that for before moving into a cot, but it was probably for about six months, and then she didn't really mind the cot.

we did have issues when we moved the cot out of our bedroom into the other room, and more trouble when we tried to get her to move into her own bed, BUT we did discover that if we ignored her protests, after a week or two they went away.

so anyway - try that stepping stone of a bassinette or pram right beside your bed. it's a starting point and you'll still have the comfort of knowing he's right beside you, and he'll start learning to let go.

sorry i can't help you on the down there issues, i had a caeserian but take my word for it, i would have preferred a natural birth any day. the hospital botched my daughter's delivery and my insides are mess.

as for custody battles - i've never worried personally, but both my sister in law and best friend have had custody problems. so a few things to think about...

you say you want full custody - does that mean 100% custody or just majority custody?

basically it comes down to what sort of person is your ex? if he's a bastard, just tell the mediation people what he is like and if it goes to court, tell them what he is like. if he's an alright person and dad, maybe think about some kind of joint custody.

unless there is a very good reason, kids need their dads too. even if your ex is a jerk, maybe consider something like one day a fortnight supervised custody - that way you get a break, your child gets to know their dad, but because it's fully supervised, you know they can't hurt your child.

my ex brother in law is a real bastard. he broke his son's leg when he was a baby from shaking the poor kid, but when he dumped his wife when he got his girlfriend pregnant when his son was about 8, he still got part custody of the kids, and believe it or not, it does work.

he doesn't dare hurt the kids coz they would tattle to their mum straight away, and even though he doesn't really do anything with them when they stay there, they love the time there with their thalf siblings and step siblings.

he may be as scummy as they come, but my sister in law's decision to let the kids goe there every second weekend has been what's best for her two kids even though it hurts her to let them go.

my point? unless you are worried this guy is a child abuser, it might be best to let him have part custody - because there is always the risk that your child will later resent you if you don't.

but if there is any reason at all to think he might hurt your child - tell the authorities everything.

just remember one thing, from someone who has seen the pain it causes - never, ever make false allegations to get custody. it destroys innocent lives in ways people never imagine. my best friend is still paying for a false allegation a mother made against her when she was just a child herself.

but anyway, when it comes to disputed custody, it is important to get any agreement in writing and official. my suggestion is as soon as you can, ring legal aid. they can give you general advice and can tell you the next step to take and if you need legal assistance, they may be able to support you for free or refer you to someone you can afford.

one thing i strongly suggest - build yourself a strong network of friends. at this time in your life, no matter what happens, you need support and you need people to talk to.

i thought i could do it alone (most of my closest friends are interstate, my family are jerks and my husband had a breakdown after our daughter was born) but eventually it all became too much and i'm still paying for it now with both my mental and physical shot to pieces.

look after yourself, that is very important. and if you ever need to talk, feel free to email me.

i'm a little confused about which road to take with the custody.

the reason why the father and i broke up was because he hit me (which sadly had happened before) while i was carrying bub and we both hit the deck pretty hard.

on one hand i know he regrets it, but on the other hand, che could get seriously hurt the next time mick (my ex) isn't thinking about the consequences of his actions.

luckily i moved back to toowoomba where my parents live just before i gave birth. their support has proved invaluable and i think has very much saved my sanity. raising che by myself isn't nearly as easy as i had first imagined!!! i guess first time mothers really get thrown in the deep end hey!

thanks so much for you kind words :) i really appreciate them. x

Hi Angie

If you find that co-sleeping works for you then do it! I had my first child at 17 and at the time was a single mother, I had Amy-Leigh in my bed until I became partnered then moved her into a cot. It wasn't easy, but we got there in the end.
I loved having her beside me.
My second daughter sleeps with us but that's because I'm breastfeeding and it's easier.
We will be moving her into a single bed when she is 2.

I'm not quite sure what you mean about down there, But keep doing pelvic floor exercises and everything will return to it's normal state.

I'm sure a chat to Legal Aid or Centrelink could provise you more information about custody/child support etc.

Take care
Kelly

che was originally sleeping in with me because i was breastfeeding and because at the time i have birth the bed was quite low and i had trouble getting up and down.

now i'd worry too much about the little fella. i don't know if i should worry about him or me having clingy issues!!!

by the way, if you ever need any advice on centrelink issues, just email me (I work for the Family Assistance Office). i might be able to help you out (information-wise - centrelink can be pretty confusing).

I co-sleep with Liam everynight (he's 3 weeks older than your boy) but haven't tried him in the cot yet. I breastfeed so once he's sleeping through the night I hope to move him to his own room. He won't go to sleep on his own yet though!

Good luck.

i co slept with my son for about 2 months
i then moved him to his cot but i put it beside my bed
when he was about 4 months old i moved the cot into his own room

i found the transition was fine for him - more stressful for mummy!!

do what you think works best for you :)

i'd miss my little man if he was in another room!!!

hehe i'm such a clucky mum even though i always said i wouldn't be!

I slept in the same room as my baby who is 5.5mo until he was about 3mo; went back to sleeping with my partner then, and switched beds after the baby woke for the first time. The baby is now in a room with his brother, and depending on what my partner's movements are the next day (he works shift work), I either sleep with him all night or switch rooms after the baby wakes for the first time.

Confusing? Hell, yes!

I couldn't co-sleep - mainly because my partner and I can check off just about every single reason not to co-sleep from the sids site; and partly because I have to sit up properly to feed. I figured that if I had to get up, I may as well get up! And wander around the house, changing rooms!

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