13 month old HATES ILs! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 11-14-2010, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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So. Weird.


My ILs live an hour away from us.  We see them a few times a month on average. 


DS is 13mths.  He is a very active, "high needs" type of guy and when he was very small would not accept any place other than my arms.  And sometimes DH.  A couple of times MIL came over to try and watch DS while I took a yoga class.  DH works from home and said that the baby just cried and cried with "Nana" until DH came out and held him.  His mother doesn't seem to be comfortable with the baby, which is odd cuz she pretty much raised my SILs boys!  But, you know when someone looks awkward with a babe?


  MIL told me that I need to let him get to know her and cry...but it just never sat right with me. 


So, I stopped trying to go to yoga and don't leave DS with anyone else besides his dad.


When ILs came in our apt for DHs first bday he took one look at them and screamed in fear!


He is no longer superglue baby at all, although he takes maybe 10-15 min to size up a new situation, staying in my arms or holding on to me...once he gets acclimated he is an independent hilarious chatty flirty man!  With everyone, in everyplace....except ILs.


Today we tried an experiment and DH took DS to ILs for the afternoon.  I had a wonderful Sunday bumping around ILs quaint little town while DH planned on giving baby lunch at his folks house.  DS was in a great mood when they dropped me off.  He was napped, nursed and laughing.  DH told me that as SOON as they walked into his parents house (before they even saw his parents) the baby burst into tears.  He said DS was arching his back and screaming.  So he ended up giving him lunch outside on his parents lawn! 


I should say that they are "walk on eggshells" type people.  And they are very nervous since about 4 years ago DHs older sister attempted suicide several times.  I love them. They are generous and loving.  But honestly they are exhausting sometimes...they want to please so so so badly that they can be draining.  I know that sounds kind of harsh...but it's how I feel :(  DH thinks that the baby has picked up my feelings about them.  I kind of think that the baby is just a super sensitive soul and he can't stand the anxiety.  But who knows, maybe I am projecting.  It doesn't matter because the whole situation is awful...DH said his parents are just heartbroken.  And it's a cycle now...everyone is nervous...sensitive, getting defensive....


We are going there on Thanksgiving.  Has anyone had an experience like this?  Any advice?




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#2 of 5 Old 11-14-2010, 10:05 PM
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A family member's child was like this for 2 years.  The mom didn't make a big deal of it, but it was a hard situation. Then one day, no more unhappy baby.  Baby loved everyone, even those previously very disliked.  

I can understand the anxiety and not wanting the situation to get worse with nice family members who love your DS.  

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#3 of 5 Old 11-15-2010, 05:56 AM
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DS used to be like this!! Though not just with the inlaws, with ALL family/close friends.

We kind of made sure everyone backed off -- no bombarding him the second we walked in the door, try to wait 'til he comes to you, talk & play with him rather than scooping him up & trying to hold/hug him. That helped quite a bit (though everyone was understandably sad that they couldn't really hold him). Once he was more independent with walking & playing & talking, we saw another big improvement. Also, another thing that seemed to help was we bought those clear picture frame magnets and put pictures of his grandparents & aunts/uncles on the fridge at his level, so he could 'play' with them, we talked about them, we called them on the phone so he could 'talk' to them...


He's 21mos now & he still won't just run up to them & hug them, but he will accept a hug or being held for 1-2 minutes, he will laugh & play with them, etc. so he's still shy but he finally has a pretty good relationship with them & even talks about them & gets excited to see them! :)


OH also if possible you can try to get together on neutral territory (may not help with Thanksgiving but for the future) -- we went to places like the zoo etc. and DS was having so much fun WITH them there rather than having them encroach on 'his' house or bring him to their unfamiliar house. Also since your DS isn't like this with anyone else, I'd analyze what's different about the inlaws -- does he see them more/less, do they wear a funny perfume, do they have a big bushy beard or glasses or some other standout physical trait... oddly DS always was more content around MIL when she wore sunglasses, maybe because everyone else in both our families has glasses? Also if you are very tense when they are around, I would definitely keep trying sending DH over there with him so that if he is picking up on your anxiety that will be out of the picture.

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#4 of 5 Old 11-16-2010, 04:47 PM
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 My 14 month old just started letting grandma and grandpa hold her after abouit 30 min.s or so of "warm-up" time. She was the same as your little one, op. Terrified, screaming everytime they came near her. We just let her stay near to us and let her watch as we interacted happily with them, didn't force her to play with them or anything. We brought her special toys and lovie for grandma and grandpa play with near her, she really liked this. But mostly I think it just took time and exposure to them and their home. Like most toddler issues it will probably pass quickly, so try not to stress too much about it mama.


brilliant idea!

Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Also, another thing that seemed to help was we bought those clear picture frame magnets and put pictures of his grandparents & aunts/uncles on the fridge at his level, so he could 'play' with them 

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#5 of 5 Old 11-18-2010, 07:01 PM
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My DD is like this with my parents. I think it is their smell. They both are smokers and my Mum wears perfume. Maybe your DS smells something on them and in their home, like a perfume, that he doesn't like.

It is awful when a baby screams in fear when someone who loves them comes near.

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