Why do people want to "take" my baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Before DD was even born, DP's mom asked if I was going to let her "keep the baby". I wasn't sure exactly what she meant..overnight? But I just sort of brushed it off. Since DD has been here (6 weeks now) she has asked several more times if she could take her. My usual response is something like "No, I like her"..trying to convey that I don't need a break from my EBF newborn that I love dearly..but she doesn't seem to get it. She drops in for visits unannounced whenever she pleases so it's not like I'm keeping them apart. My SIL would also like to babysit my baby, although she has only mentioned it twice, and it seems a lot less creepy to me.

So yesterday I was asking DP why people want to take my baby and he told me that I'm being weird about it. I tried to explain my position..why do people need to get the baby alone, away from me? Why is a visit not good enough? nak he could not give a reason but he stayed on their side of it.

not that it's really relevant but dp's mom suggested giving dd (6 weeks old, mind you) a tsp of coke for her upset belly when dp was explaining we had gone to town to buy gripe water. : another time i was telling one of his family members that 6 months for solids is the deal now and his mom said 'it's a wonder my kids are still alive'..i'm not sure if she'd follow my parenting choices, you know?

so..any insight as to why someone would need a baby minus the mama?
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#2 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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I think everyone wants to spend time with the baby, and they want to help you out. But if she doesn't follow your parenting practices then I would be hesitant to let he babysit a newborn even for an hour.

Elizabeth wife to Matt , mom to Logan (2/21/01) , and little man Desmond (9/23/08)

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#3 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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Yeah, I agree with Logan's Mommy. I think it would probably be best to establish a pretty firm boundary sooner than later on this one. It might annoy her, but hopefully she'll stop bugging you about it. Are you breastfeeding? That's a good excuse not to leave a newborn. Later on, should the time come when you want to leave baby with her, you should probably be very specific about what is and is not acceptable with regard to her care.

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#4 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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Well I didn't have anybody as persistant as your MIL but yes people do seem to get obsessed with "giving you a break" although they aren't interested in doing things that would actually give you a break (like cleaning, running errands, cooking) they want to watch the baby so you can do all the work.

My Mom was actually (and still is) wonderful to me in helping me out with things but for a while there she was really bugging me about letting her hold DD so I could "Have a break" or "actually enjoy myself". I had to let my Mom know that while I know she didn't mean any harm, that she was implying that I wasn't enjoying myself when taking care of DD and that I found those remarks offensive.

Whenever I see my neighbor that lives across the street she is always saying "Oh we can't wait to watch the girl!". Again, she totally means well but we aren't even good friends! Why in the world would I leave my baby with her over my family that I am close to?

Anyway, just wanted to empathize. DD is 4 months now and sometimes I leave her for 20 minutes with DH while I run an errand but that is about it. I can't imagine I would be comfortable letting someone other then DH watch her without me until she is at least a year and then it will probably be my Mom.

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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#5 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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Because they want your baby all to themselves. For some reason people also seem to think that parents would do anything to pass their kids off for a while. I don't get it.

Other people are just trying to be helpful, but they tend to phrase things differently. I have a friend with a baby a month younger than my own, and no family in the local area. I told her she was welcome to drop her baby off with me if she ever needed to, that I wouldn't be offended if she never needed/wanted to, and that it is just nice to have some options. I would never say anything about "taking" her baby.

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#6 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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I don't know why...but I always tried to get up and make something to eat or throw a load of laundry in, take a shower after nursing her...etc I tried to let people have special alone time where I wasn't hovering and yet still within earshot.

Maybe people think they are offering you a break, or they just want special time with your baby all to themselves.

Take it in stride, this is your babe, and you were carrying her within you for 9/10 months, the first year is basically just an extension of that time.

Cortney Mama to Lyra 1-20-08 and future midwife through Birthingway College of Midwifery
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#7 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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I can relate to that. My son is now 8 weeks and grandma is begging to have time with him alone including overnight. And yes, I got the same comments. It does upset family dynamics. At family gatherings I have to make sure I get to see my son. I am asked to pump my milk so she can feed him. My husband supports me fully. I stay firm, yet respectful. (At least I try my best...) I try to remember that its not about pleasing grandma but what is best for our son. And that may involve stepping on some well-meaning toes.
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#8 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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I struggled with this one with some of our family members, especially my MIL, who is a baby nurse to celebrities, so of course was way more qualified to deal with my child than I was.
I honestly think people are trying to be helpful AND really want to snuggle the baby at the same time.
I had to set clear boundaries with the MIL, including telling her "No, you may not take my child away from me right now, I will let you know when I need help" She got really offended briefly, then backed off.
Other people I just said, "Actually, what would be great is if you could do X". If they did it, great, if not oh well.

Massage therapist and artist, wife to English DH since 2002, Mummy to Oliver Finn 10/20/07 and Eamon Anthony 12/2/2010
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#9 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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I agree with the PP. My MIL is always wanting to "help out" by taking my DD (only 6 months old, EBF). "Helping out", in my eyes, would be to do some laundry, clean my house, etc. But she is always wanting to take her. When they come visit, she is always wanting to take her from me if she even whimpers. And, if your MIL has poor suggestions like the coke thing, I wouldn't dare allow my child to stay with her. I always tell my MIL, "No, that's ok, I've got her." It's weird -- while they were here for Thanksgiving, she was playing with DD when she began to cry. I said that I'd take her because I knew that was what DD was wanting. My MIL responded with "Well, I guess you know her more than me..." Um, yes, I do, she's my child. You've already had two of your own, so back off!!
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#10 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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Oh dear. That is not right. The baby does not need his/her grandma or aunt or anyone. The baby needs his/her mother and father. Period. If you do not feel comfortable with other people handling your baby, there is no 'rule' that says anyone has to. I would strongly recommend boundaries.
Things have changed and today we know that babies thrive when breastfed on their mothers breasts and that you do not introduce bottles before 6 weeks unless there is a medical reason and you certainly do not give coke to a 6 week infant.
Go with your heart mama. And be strong. I still remember MIL taking DS out for a walk (to help me) and I knew it was wrong and was just waiting for him to come home. He was just too small at 2 months and it did not relax me in any way.

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
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#11 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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At 6 weeks post partum, everyone should be taking care of you so that you can take care of your baby - feeding you, doing household chores, running errands, etc.
I hated when family visited and I felt like all I was doing was running interference between them and my crying little ones who were over-tired, hungry, just wanting mama, etc.
It is very hard to set boundaries with family. That said, some strong and straight forward statements about how you are raising your little one might do wonders for your MIL. She needs to know that some things are non-negotiable. Hopefully you can get your DH on board as well - his support would make things so much easier for you.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#12 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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I have to admit that I thought it was a little odd when our moms did this, mostly because I cannot imagine doing the same in a similar circumstance. I am going to be such an excited aunt in the next few years, as our siblings have their own babies, but constantly try to take a new baby away from its mama? No way!

I think it's one thing to make it known that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help when guided by mom & dad (if that includes holding the baby, that's fine, of course!) and another to constantly angle for "alone time" with a baby that's so new.

Mama to DD : 09/08
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#13 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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We have two pretty simple rules:

1. No one watches our kids if they are unsupportive of our parenting style. The people that argue with you about your choices are the ones that will likely do things their own way when alone with your child.

And 2: No one watches our kids until they are one.

Oh, and 3: All rules are subject to review based on child's readiness, our readiness, or various gut feelings and/or intuitions.
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#14 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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Just to offer a different point of view:

Maybe it's an cultural/evolutionary holdover from a time when children were much more raised by all the woman in a village, including being breastfed and worn by them? I remember my father had a friend from Kenya who didn't know who his mother was until he was 5 years old. All of the women took care of him equivalently in therms of where he ate and slept and who breastfed him him and he ran with the "pack of kids" who were all raised together.

This is a different situation in the people now have really varied ways of raising children but maybe the instinct to "pool" children is still there. The one woman/one child/one mother connection is fairly new, culturally.

Not that I would hand off my children to someone who made the Coke suggestion either.
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#15 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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I probably should not post today. I am sorry that your are dealing with this. But I am dealing with something similar but not similar and I just thought it might be something to think about.
My DD is 2.5, her grandmother (my MIL) live 10 minutes away. My MIL has not seen her for a month and she does not care. I would do anything for my MIL to want to spend time with my DD. But for some reason my MIL does not seem to like my DD, who is her only grandchild. It kills me. We moved here so my DD could have a good close relationship with her grandmother and now that we are here her grandmother does not want to see her or spend time with her. And I dont know why.

So even though it sucks that your MIL wants to "take" your baby. And I totally understand you not wanting to leave your infant with anyone. And I dont think that you should be leaving you baby with anyone if you dont want too.

I just wanted to make this point: Remember when you talk to your MIL that someday you will probably be happy that she loves your baby so much. And that your baby is lucky and blessed to have so many people in your family and life that love him/her so much and want to spend time with him/her.
I hope I did not upset or offend you. That was not my point.
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#16 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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Well, that's another extreme. I do remember that when my MIL gets to pushy (she had to be reminded by the nurses that that's my son...) that it could be a lot different. I guess that makes my glass half full...
Also, I agree to the cultural reasons as well. My MIL is asian immigrant, I am European and I think a lot of clashes originate from our different cultures.
I still go with by gut feeling, my child, my responsibility. If I don't like it, it doesn't happen. A little balance would be nice...
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#17 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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I am right there with you on not understanding why people want to have the baby alone, and overnight. Yes, I have taken the grandparents up on their offer a couple of times, but I don't see it important to have the baby on their own at all unless absolutely needed. I think a visit suffices. I know that the majority of the time there are good intentions there in wanting to help you and your partner out, but I would rather have help with the household chores than with my little man.

Next time I am asked if I want a break, I'll say "sure...Come on over. I have a sink full of dishes, loads of laundry to do, and some other basic cleaning that I could love help with. Thanks for helping out. The little one and I are going out for a walk."

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#18 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prettyflwrs View Post
I probably should not post today. I am sorry that your are dealing with this. But I am dealing with something similar but not similar and I just thought it might be something to think about.
My DD is 2.5, her grandmother (my MIL) live 10 minutes away. My MIL has not seen her for a month and she does not care. I would do anything for my MIL to want to spend time with my DD. But for some reason my MIL does not seem to like my DD, who is her only grandchild. It kills me. We moved here so my DD could have a good close relationship with her grandmother and now that we are here her grandmother does not want to see her or spend time with her. And I dont know why.

So even though it sucks that your MIL wants to "take" your baby. And I totally understand you not wanting to leave your infant with anyone. And I dont think that you should be leaving you baby with anyone if you dont want too.

I just wanted to make this point: Remember when you talk to your MIL that someday you will probably be happy that she loves your baby so much. And that your baby is lucky and blessed to have so many people in your family and life that love him/her so much and want to spend time with him/her.
I hope I did not upset or offend you. That was not my point.

Oh... I am so sorry you are suffering the other end of this. I hope it will get better.

caffix.gifChristine: Mama to bouncy.gif  DS 04/17/08  *Infant Stroke Survivor*  Always remembering:  brokenheart.gifbrokenheart.gifbrokenheart.gif

 

Took a 'break' from TTC and look what happened:  2ndtri.gif!!!!    praying.gif  for a healthy, full term baby to be born August 2012!!  Hoping for a vbac.gif!

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#19 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by calebsmommy25 View Post
I am right there with you on not understanding why people want to have the baby alone, and overnight. Yes, I have taken the grandparents up on their offer a couple of times, but I don't see it important to have the baby on their own at all unless absolutely needed. I think a visit suffices. I know that the majority of the time there are good intentions there in wanting to help you and your partner out, but I would rather have help with the household chores than with my little man.

Next time I am asked if I want a break, I'll say "sure...Come on over. I have a sink full of dishes, loads of laundry to do, and some other basic cleaning that I could love help with. Thanks for helping out. The little one and I are going out for a walk."
I like it. That's the question that makes me sooo angry. Since when do I need a break from my own child?!
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#20 of 30 Old 12-05-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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How far can you even go with a 6 week old. Mine always nurse so frequently, they would walk out the door and be back 10 minutes later. It doesn't make sense...

Oh and of course I wouldn't let somebody leave with my baby without me! Crazy people... LOL
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#21 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 03:02 AM
 
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As a first time mom, the thought of leaving my nine week old with anyone, including my parents, is unfathomable. I couldn't and wouldn't do it. I'm just paranoid and don't want anyone losing patience or doing something I wouldn't, such as letting her watch TV, feed her foods I wouldn't, etc. Of course, she's EBF at this point but nonetheless, people have their own ideas about raising a child and almost always take issue with parenting styles unlike their own.
My relatives do the same thing - they want to take her too. LOL! Fat chance!
what does nak stand for?
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#22 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 03:07 AM
 
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what does nak stand for?
Nursing at keyboard.

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#23 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 03:12 AM
 
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My DS is 3.5 and I've still yet to let anyone "take" him.

Some people do it though... a girl I use to work with started letting her MIL take her baby overnight immediately after she was born. She was at work one day, on the phone and I overheard her saying "nooooo, pleeeease" and when she hung up, she had tears in her eyes. I asked her what was wrong and she said "my MIL is taking the baby for another night, and I really, really miss her". This is when the baby was less than 2 weeks old!

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#24 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 03:16 AM
 
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They want to take the baby because the baby is so cute!
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#25 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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because babies are cute and snuggly and lovely and they (mostly) smell good. And if you have them for a whole night you can snuggle them as much as you like without feeling like you have to give them back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilith
I like it. That's the question that makes me sooo angry. Since when do I need a break from my own child?!
Some people, especially parents of colicky babies, do. And that is fine and doesn't make them bad mothers. Some time away from constant screaming to clear you head and relax your shoulders can be a godsend for them.

hell, even an hour away from a baby who won't be put down without fussing can work wonders.
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#26 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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My MIL lives far away but whenever we visit she wants to "get that baby alone" or "get some one on one time with my boy" or "when can I have my baby?". Totally creeps me out. I am also terrified of her because she likes to create problems. I am terrified she will retract my son or feed him wheat just to cause drama.

Ahh she is coming next week! But only for one day.
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#27 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 04:37 AM
 
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Some people, especially parents of colicky babies, do. And that is fine and doesn't make them bad mothers. Some time away from constant screaming to clear you head and relax your shoulders can be a godsend for them.

hell, even an hour away from a baby who won't be put down without fussing can work wonders.[/QUOTE]

My son is colicky, (that's why I'm still up) when he starts at gatherings I get him back, he isn't cute anymore I suppose. And yes i do understand that. I turn to his dad for help, someone who agrees on our parenting style, my friend came over for that very reason. I should have clarified that a bit better. Sorry about that.
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#28 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 05:15 AM
 
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when my baby is big enough i will be happy for people to take her! (loving relatives only of course) all power to the mamas who don't need any time away, but i do
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#29 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 10:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
Some people, especially parents of colicky babies, do. And that is fine and doesn't make them bad mothers. Some time away from constant screaming to clear you head and relax your shoulders can be a godsend for them.

hell, even an hour away from a baby who won't be put down without fussing can work wonders.
Call me a bad mom if you want (I know it isn't true), but I even need a break from my non colicky baby every so often. But that has more to do with the fact that I'm an early childhood teacher. So I spend all day with other people's children, and all evening and night with DS... and sometimes I just really need some grown up time. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I get someone to baby sit.

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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#30 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 10:18 AM
 
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They want to take the baby because the baby is so cute!
Exactly.

And while I think a newborn and mama pair belong together, and that's it definitely more helpful to clean or make some food for the family... I'm always dying to hold the new little baby when I visit someone too. I don't want to run off with him or her but they are very fun to hold and have to oneself -- for the same reason that your own is, in a way. It's just dreamy.
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