From nappy changing to late nights new mothers take FOUR months to get the hang of motherhood
Takes new mother four months and 23 days to adjust to motherhood
57 per cent admit it is a blur
One in five bitter if partner bonds more with child
13:54 GMT, 27 September 2012
From changing nappies to sleepless nights, motherhood can sometimes be a struggle.
And according to a new study, it takes new mothers a whole four months and 23 days before they get to grips with their new role.
Researchers found the first few months with a new member of the family passes by in a flash of incomprehensible confusion.
The study found that the first four months of motherhood whizz by a whirl of confusion
But after nearly five months, new mothers bounce back as they have a routine nailed down having found the confidence to be able to deal with every eventuality thrown at them.
Mothers will learn what their baby’s different cries mean, stop worrying about dealing with her child in public, forever be armed with snacks or spare clothes and no longer break down in tears of exhaustion or sheer frustration.
The research, which was commissioned by baby brand Munchkin, found key markers like the baby sleeping all through the night or not panicking when their child had a temperature were crucial in a mother feeling things had clicked into place.
Claire Rayner, spokeswoman for Munchkin said: 'Becoming a mum for the first time leads to a flurry of mixed emotions and it can naturally be completely overwhelming.
'It’s one of the best things that can happen to someone but it can understandably be very scary too.
'What the results show is that, no matter how daunting motherhood can seem, mums have incredible resources to get through the early days and feel like they have things under control.
Becoming a new mother can be overwhelming and lead to a flurry of emotions
'It’s a massive change and the flood of self-doubt or worry as to how they’ll cope is perfectly natural – but the fact they care so much only proves what good mums they eventually will develop into.'
The study found during pregnancy, one in two of those polled were nervous and scared of becoming a mother, while one in four said they felt completely daunted.
And that increased after giving birth when more than half of those polled admitted to being overwhelmed with the prospect of being a mother.
A frazzled 57 per cent admit those first few months after the birth passed by ‘in a bit of a blur’ because they were so worried about getting everything right.
In fact, two thirds of mothers admitted the worry and exhaustion of being a new parent even led them to burst into tears.
And, looking back, six in ten say they wish they’d not worried as much as they did at the time.
While 47 per cent were surprised at the amount of time it took for them to properly get the hang of being a mum.
The poll found six in ten mums went through a period of worry where they felt they just weren’t capable of being a mother.
And a third felt so worried they had at some point told a friend or family member that they didn’t think they were a good parent.
Of those surveyed a fifth of mothers didn’t talk to anyone about their worries because they didn’t want to be thought of as failing or seen to struggle in their new role.
While one in five new mothers thought their partner settled into being a parent quicker than they did which led to feelings of envy.
One in five new mothers thought their partner settled into being a parent quicker than they did which led to feelings of envy
Claire Rayner added: 'It’s perhaps reassuring that so many mums went through the same period of worry as it shows just how common a reaction it is to feel that you might not cope.
'What is important is not being afraid to voice those worries and let your friends, family and support network help you as much as they can.'
'It’s always going to take time to adjust, but the more ways they can find to help them cope, the quicker that feeling of confidence in being a mum will develop.
'Those first few months can be understandably a real struggle, but it’s important to try and savour them too – as the results show, in hindsight most mums wish they’d been able to worry a bit less.'
TOP 10 THINGS THAT LEAD TO FEELING LIKE A ‘PROPER MOTHER’
1. Getting a good routine sorted
2. Knowing what to do when her baby cried
3. Not being worried about dealing with her baby in public
4. Trying not to panic when her baby was under the weather or had a temperature
5. Always leaving the house with a spare change of clothes for the baby
6. Always leaving the house with milk/food/snacks for the baby
7. Being able to change a nappy quickly
8. Having the baby sleep through the night
9. Feeling able to keep on top of the housework
10. Always having a toy or something to entertain the baby in their handbag