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New baby and dealing with relatives

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My family's Christmas is this weekend. I have a 2 year old and a 6 week old. My family loves babies but they do not agree with my AP parenting style. They think I spoil my babies by holding them and over feed my babies by bfing on demand. When my daughter was a baby my cousin even got mad that I was taking her to nurse and didn't pump so she could feed her... rediculous. They are also the type that think it's cute when a baby is sitting there crying... I don't let my babies cry much. They get annoyed when I want to promptly respond to their needs. I struggled with finding a balance with letting them enjoy my baby and making sure I was listening to my baby's needs when dd was a baby, and now I'm facing some anxiety since this will be the first time most have them will meet my 6 week old ds. To make things more complicated, I'm going to have to put ds on a schedule of sorts to feed him because when he is being held all day by other people he doesn't seem to wake to eat often enough... I know I'm going to get cap for this. They aren't trying to be cruel, I really don't think they understand how it makes me feel and how different my parenting style is...

Anyone deal with something similar? I guess I'm just looking for similar stories/ support. I don't want to tell them off or anything. Any tricks/ excuses to try and make things easier?
TIA!
post #2 of 23
I have no tips or tricks. My only advice is to do what's right for your baby and don't worry about anyone else. I promise you will never regret it.
post #3 of 23

DaisyMae08 said it perfectly.

 

I only have a couple of things that you might say IF you think it would be received, particularly the first one.

 

"Our family's parenting choices are not open for debate or comment."

"My choice to parent differently does not imply your way is wrong, just different!"

post #4 of 23
I also found it really helpful to wear ds in a carrier at family functions. especially that young if you keep him in the moby or another wrap some people won't even ask. if they do you can honestly say, 'not right now, he's sleeping.'
that gave (gives!) me a chance to keep him close for nursing, and to choose to give him a chance to be held by 'special' folks like grandparents, aunts, etc but to avoid playing pass the baby. It helps me to remind myself that (I think) being passed around as a young baby is really disrespectful to my son. it is unnerving and overwhelming when new baby just wants to be close to his mama. When I have a hard time setting those boundaries it really helps me to remember to see things this way and remember that it is my job to protect him no matter what others think - I try to remember to ask myself how my BABY will see me, above how anyone else will, and if I feel like my baby might feel like 'where are you and why aren't you protecting me' it makes it easier for me to stay strong in my boundaries.

I really find the wrap makes it easier. especially when getting them out/ putting them in looks so 'complicated' people are less likely to ask (or more like to take 'not now' as an answer).
post #5 of 23

Things might not be as bad this time around, since there's still a  cute 2 year old to play with while you "hog" the infant.  The best thing you can do is have complete confidence in yourself. Do what's right for your kids and don't apologize for it. The adults are adults and can deal with it.

 

When you have that "no-nonsense attitude" others will pick up on it and are more likely to leave you alone.

post #6 of 23
Honestly, also, and I know this is not always feasible so may not apply here, but sometimes in those situations it helps to just leave.
Having a newborn is the best 'excuse' there is to stop by for some hellos and introductions, hugs and maybe a little food, but to call it a night early to go home and rest with your new family. Especially if you are starting to feel anxious and overwhelmed with not being close to your baby or skipping feedings, or you're just damn tired because you just gave birth and you have a toddler!! When people start being unsupportive just politely start to wrap up the visit.
Even when it's been hard, I have never regretted leaving an unsupportive situation to be with my baby.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanmamafarmer View Post

Honestly, also, and I know this is not always feasible so may not apply here, but sometimes in those situations it helps to just leave.
Having a newborn is the best 'excuse' there is to stop by for some hellos and introductions, hugs and maybe a little food, but to call it a night early to go home and rest with your new family. Especially if you are starting to feel anxious and overwhelmed with not being close to your baby or skipping feedings, or you're just damn tired because you just gave birth and you have a toddler!! When people start being unsupportive just politely start to wrap up the visit.
Even when it's been hard, I have never regretted leaving an unsupportive situation to be with my baby.


This. 

And using a wrap will help for sure....especially if you tell them you are nursing in it :wink

post #8 of 23
DaisyMae said it, just tend to your baby. That is your focus. Don't be deterred, your babiy's needs are more important than all others.
post #9 of 23

I totally agree with everything that's been said here. Also, I just wanted to point out that while older generations may not be familiar with this concept, I'm pretty sure the general present day consensus is that it's impossible to "spoil" a baby under a certain age (which is at least 4 to 6 months depending on the school of thought). You don't have to be an attachment parent to know that the best thing for your baby is to soothe him when he cries. If you want to go into your other more controversial AP parenting practices (such as co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, carriers over strollers, etc. -- all of which I fully support), that's up to you, but I wouldn't let any well-meaning, but misinformed relative interfere with the relationship and the trust that I'm building between me and my infant.

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses! Unfortunately this will be 5 days away from home so slipping out isn't an option. But I will probably be excusing myself for early bed most mights. I have also left the room to breastfeed not for modesty but simply to escape and have a few minutes alone. I will be using my moby wrap and luckily my ds is fussy and picky about things so I'll have a good excuse to hog him. This wouldn't be as tricky if I didn't like my family! I really do enjoy being around them. if this was dh's family I'd be gone in a second! smile.gif I just need to be more outwardly confident. Thanks to all and happy holidays!
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses! Unfortunately this will be 5 days away from home so slipping out isn't an option. But I will probably be excusing myself for early bed most mights. I have also left the room to breastfeed not for modesty but simply to escape and have a few minutes alone. I will be using my moby wrap and luckily my ds is fussy and picky about things so I'll have a good excuse to hog him. This wouldn't be as tricky if I didn't like my family! I really do enjoy being around them. if this was dh's family I'd be gone in a second! smile.gif I just need to be more outwardly confident. Thanks to all and happy holidays!
post #12 of 23

I was in a similar situation with my youngest when he was born. I was breastfeeding him and he ate every 2 hours. My only suggestion to you is to tell them, he needs to eat at whatever time and whoever has him needs to let you feed him. They will get mad most likely, my family did but in the end it is what is best for him and you. Stand your ground and if they don't like it oh well. They've either had kids or have kids and have raised them or raising them they way they want and you are doing the same thing. You can always use the excuse that since he is so little you do not want a lot of people holding him right now b/c there are a lot bugs going around and just keep him in sling on you. Look but don't touch - I did this with several family members.

post #13 of 23

I just smile and say "I know, it's so hard to give him up, but the doctor wants me to make sure she is feeding enough while we travel."   or "We're doing our best to follow our doctor's advice."  My family offers respect and patience when I invoke our lovely pediatrician.

 

Wearing baby helped tremendously too.

post #14 of 23

It's great to see all of this support for another!

 

I can say that with my now 8 year old boy, i wish that i could've figured out to ask this question before feeling so alone and in someone else's home!  Even in my own my choices were either ridiculed or up for discussion--!

 

all that i can say is that i agree with all who have supported your loving choices.  My son breastfed a lot--often and even friends seemed miffed to see me as such a mommy. . an attachment parent, whatever.

Do what you know to be good, it is not to be rationalized.  It is a pretty unevolved and sometimes very jealous person who believes that parenting can all be rationalized and explained.

 

Just get your quiet breaks and try hard to not excuse yourself.  Stand up and like yourself.  It will develop into other areas soon.. .such as potty training.  and beyond.

Know what your child responds to the best and shut out the jealous people who perhaps did not get enough mother love.  It is all that i can figure.  You need to REALLY buck up to be a good mommy.

 

Wish i would've more than i did.  My MIL hits my son on occasion and my hubby is so protective of her!  He is now 8 as i said, and i tell her that i'd prefer a time out for him. . .etc.

she will reel into an arrogant and grandiose tone about how i am ridiculous to care.  the hits are not beatings. . .NO, not at all.. .but, when others do not respect you and you wait too long. . .it becomes a power struggle that is not resolved and well, it can get messy.

 

Sorry for your situation but so happy to hear of such a great momma!

post #15 of 23

The Bean Dip Convo. As in "This is what works for our family-- please pass the bean dip!"

 

Change the topic. Nobody ever notices. "Not now; he's sleeping. Wherever did you get that lovely sweater?" "He's nursing right now. I love your hair, did you change the style?"

 

See how it works? :wink

 

And it DOES work, almost every time. We are at my brother's right now for Christmas. He is WAY, way politically conservative, and I am not. I don't talk politics and his views bug the spit out of me, though I love him dearly. He seems to think he's entitled (but he HATES that word, lol) to voice his opinions whenever and however loudly. Yesterday he said something about Obama's health care website, with rolling of the eyes (our mother was in the room, too), and I said something like "Oh, how did you do with <something he was doing the other day>? How did that work out?" and sure enough-- topic changed.

 

You can do this!

post #16 of 23
Only you know what's right for you mama. We took our son out to restaurants, occasional baby showers etc. from 7 days. I let friends and acquaintances hold him and let the baby do the talking. When he was happy he was out and about and if he spoke up id say a simple excuse us and step away somewhere. He's never been sick. the people who love you live your child and want to enjoy his beauty and help care for him. Our son is 7 mos now and he is a happy, inquisitive, content baby, I feel he's learned a trust for others and of course we are best of friends. Breastfeeding/ap is new in my family and I think they couldn't believe I was actually going to ebf. I was willing to go out of my way here and there to make my family feel comfortable which makes me comfortable. I let my family hold him and kids him to pieces, pumped a bottle here and there for gramma or aunts and I stepped into a bedroom to nurse around the men in our family. For me these were no sacrifices, went a long wAy towards normalizing bf without my family feeling alienated and my kid is happy and healthy. Maybe enjoy a break from time to time , you deserve it !
post #17 of 23
maiasaura, that is a so clever response for Those types of situations. Thanks!
post #18 of 23
My dd was a high needs baby with a strong need to suckle so she nursed a ton. People kept telling me to was nursing her too much. I never said too much just did my own thing.

They will know your parenting style this time around. That's what I found the second time around. Tho my mil seems to think babies what to lay down when they fuss to "stretch". I found my baby just want mommy. But out parenting was much much different. We are more AP and we have heard from our family how co sleeping is bad and I nurse to much. But I will say our almost three year old is very confident and well adjusted. And she sleeps all by herself now at night.

One thing I do say to people is we do what works for us.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cas444 View Post

maiasaura, that is a so clever response for Those types of situations. Thanks!

 

It wasn't originally mine, but you are very welcome!

post #20 of 23

My husband's family makes comments sometimes like, "She's hungry AGAIN??", when I nurse my baby. I just want to say, she's 10 weeks old and eats every 2 hours, get over it! I don't think there's anything abnormal about that. Family is wonderful, but sometimes they make me want to scream lol! I feel your pain. A few members of my dh's family also get irritated with me for not letting them hold my baby when she's crying. If she is upset, she needs her mommy, and they don't like giving her back to me even after I've explained multiple times that I'm not comfortable with letting her cry in someone else's arms. I'll have to try some of these tips!!

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