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Baby on kitchen counter? How do I communicate?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello! A few days ago I was with my inlaws celebrating my birthday. My MIL is wonderful, a bit bossy but the good far, far outweighs the bad and she has been a wonderful baby sitter for my 8mo son. She is very well meaning, raised 3 kids of her own, has watched other babies in the recent past, and seems all around baby-savvy. So why did I walk into the kitchen and she had my baby on the kitchen counter sitting alone while she had her back to him cooking??? Her kitchen counters are standard, probably 3' high and not especially deep. My son is definitely longer than the depth of the counter. He isn't crawling yet but he is *always* going from a seated position onto hands and knees and pushes himself forward on his back feet till he is belly down. Needless to say, had he done that (we all know how fast babies can move), he would have gone face first onto a tile floor. Am I crazy for thinking that she was risking his life?? I'm medically trained and fully aware of the potential head and spine injuries that could be sustained from a fall like that. When I came in and saw it, her reply was "I was watching him" but she wasn't. When I walked in I had enough time to register that she wasn't holding my son (her back was to him), ask her where he was, turn around in a 360 looking for him, and then I saw him. That's long enough IMO. I feel like my trust in her has been shattered. How do I communicate with her that I'm afraid to let her watch my son alone? She didn't seem to realize that what she did was wrong, and how severe the situation actually was. Am I blowing this out of proportion? And if she didn't realize that she was risking him, what other kinds of things is she going to think is okay that are going to be risks to his life? For me, it's the equivalent of letting him play next to a fireplace or in the street, it's not if, it's when he gets hurt.

Any opinions? Anyone want to talk sense into me? Am I being irrational?  

post #2 of 13
I agree that was unsafe. Sadly she's probably not going to change. And she's just going to resent you if you say something beyond what you already said. So maybe just don't have her babysit anymore.
post #3 of 13
Definitely unsafe. My MIL was the same way w my first child, although she was experienced and loving, it boiled down to two problems....she was not around him enough to really grasp his abilities/developmental level, and her being older (than me at least, 45) and with knee problems made her more apt to leave him in iffy situations to avoid having to bend over, lift him, chase him, etc.

We found him unbuckled and kicking like crazy in a bouncy chair on her table. She preferred him stationary and up high. She suggested we leave him to sleep on her bed once he could creep. He crawled prolifically at 5 months and although she was a mom too, she just had it in her head that at that age babies stay put.

We sadly decided it just wasn't worth her babysitting until the kids were older and that's how its been, but its too bad in your case since you like her so much greensad.gif. Maybe you could reiterate that she needs to always assume he has more ability than she thinks, and treat him like a 1yr or 18 month old saftey-wise. If she still disagrees I honestly would not leave him alone w her until he is past this vulnerable age.
post #4 of 13

Way unsafe, and she wouldn't be watching my baby after that. Our rule in my house is that dh handles his parents and I handle mine, so he'd be the one giving them the talk, but the baby wouldn't be left alone with them for any amount of time until old enough that a lower level of supervision is OK.

post #5 of 13
Very unsafe for sure, not an overreaction! Can you give her alternatives to that? Like a pack-and-play to set him in, a bouncy seat to strap him in (and set on the floor!) or a blanket or something he can be laid on on the floor in a safe spot?

If she won't agree to use an alternative though, I'd have a hard time leaving him with her alone again. It would be one thing if she realized her error and apologized profusely, but if she doesn't think there is anything wrong with it, yikes!
post #6 of 13

About this specific situation, you could just be honest - I realize you think I'm an over-protective, nervous mom but for my peace of mind could you please, please just not put him up on the counter? 

 

But that only addresses that one situation and in my experience (with my own mother), that signals some across-the-board poor judgement. 

 

In my family, food and medication have been the big issues.  Not only do I just think my child doesn't need Diet Coke, it's actually harmful - between the artificial sweetener and the caf - for my daughter and her medical condition.  You would think that if my mom would go along with no Diet Coke, she could extrapolate that to say, coffee.  Or Diet Sprite.  Or (hold onto your hat!) sausage fried in Diet Coke. But no.  At this point, it's just not worth the child care.  Much as I could use a sitter.
 

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

You would think that if my mom would go along with no Diet Coke, she could extrapolate that to say, coffee.  Or Diet Sprite.  Or (hold onto your hat!) sausage fried in Diet Coke. But no.  At this point, it's just not worth the child care.  Much as I could use a sitter.
 

 

I'm sorry, but I literally LOLed at that!

post #8 of 13
Yeah neither of our parents are babysitter material. Totally feel your pain.
post #9 of 13
I would listen to your maternal instinct, it's there to protect your child. Seeing your mobile baby perched there is just what you were present to see. There may be risks or lack of judgement taken elsewhere too.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

 

I'm sorry, but I literally LOLed at that!

 

No need to apologize.  Some things are just funny.  I mean really.  Who even THOUGHT of such a crazy thing?  All I can imagine is that it's some extension of everyone's favorite funeral food, Co-Cola Ham.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

 

No need to apologize.  Some things are just funny.  I mean really.  Who even THOUGHT of such a crazy thing?  All I can imagine is that it's some extension of everyone's favorite funeral food, Co-Cola Ham.

 

And you have me giggling again.  I'm just imagining the "thought" process that goes into this:

Okay, so diet coke was a no go.  Diet sprite was a no go.  Hmmm, what if we soaked food IN diet coke!?!?  Yeah, no way you could object to that!

post #12 of 13

Nothing neutralizes dodgy fake sweetener like fried nitrites!
 

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the replies! I'm sorry for being so late to get back and update. My LO is now 13 mo and we have moved (only seasonally) to CO and have been away from the MIL for the whole summer. It has been such a relief because she was really getting obsessive about DS and I was having a hard time dealing with her constant presence. We will be going back to our hometown this winter where my MIL is eagerly awaiting to see DS again.. so much so that she volunteered to buy a one way plane ticket up here and drive back with me in the car (Ah!). After a year of taking care of my babe, I feel so much more confident and I know that if she puts him in another dangerous situation I will have no hesitation to talk with her. I did end up talking with her about the counter episode and just told her that I felt that it was an extremely unsafe move on her part and made her promise never to put him on the counter again unless she has one hand on him at all times. She seemed to understand and I had to just move on and trust her.. with the caveat that if she did anything comparable in the future that I would restrict her baby sitting time. I'm so happy to hear that I'm not a total crazy lady! Thanks for the support!

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