27/09/2012 15:35 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

You Won't Feel Like A 'Proper Mum' For Precisely 4 Months And 23 Days

You won't feel like a 'proper mum' for precisely 4 months and 23 days Alamy

First time mums
take note. No matter how lost and bewildered you feel in the first few months of your new role, it will all be over soon.

To be precise, it will all be over in four months and 23 days from your baby's birthday.

By that stage you will feel like a 'proper mum' according to researchers (as opposed to the confused, knackered, frazzled, bone tired woman you might feel right now).

They studied 2,000 mums and found that the first few months with a new baby flash passes by in a flash of incomprehensible confusion.

But, after nearly five months, mum bounces back and has her routine nailed, with the confidence to be able to deal with every eventuality thrown at her.

She learns what her baby's different cries mean, stops worrying about dealing with her child in public, is forever armed with snacks or spare clothes and no longer breaks down in tears from exhaustion or sheer frustration.

Claire Rayner, spokeswoman for Munchkin, which carried out the research, 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.


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.


"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."


1. Getting a good routine sorted

2. Knowing what to do when your baby cries

3. Not being worried about dealing with your baby in public

4. Trying not to panic when your baby is under the weather or has a temperature

5. Always leaving the house with a spare change of clothes for your baby

6. Always leaving the house with milk/food/snacks for your 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 your baby in your handbag

How long did it take you to feel like a 'proper mum'?
Or do you often feel you're not quite measuring up to the 'proper mum' label, no matter the age of your children?

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