Grandma Wants Babe Overnight - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 1 Old 12-30-2001, 04:02 AM - Thread Starter
cynthia mosher's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: The Motherland
Posts: 38,824
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Note: This is an archived topic. It is read-only. Mothering Boards
Parenting Issues Archive
Grandma wants babe overnight

This topic is 2 pages long: 1 2
This topic was originally posted in this forum: Parenting Issues
Author Topic: Grandma wants babe overnight
Member posted 07-15-2001 12:13 PM
My mother-in-law really really wants our daughter to come stay "a couple of days" with her. Our daughter is only 8 months, exclusively (won't take a bottle) bf and eats every 2 hours and often has to be bounced to sleep. Really though, for our family, baby being away from us that long would be really strange. I think it would be total heck for our Ellie - esp as my mil isn't that good with her.
I get so much perspective reading all of your thoughts, ideas, etc. - so just wondering what you think. Am I being too protective/uptight, etc.? When did you all start letting your children go overnight to grandparents?

Member posted 07-15-2001 12:42 PM
Any baby who is exclusively breastfed, is in my opinion, too young to spend the night away from it's mother. Unless of course there is some emerengcy.
Maybe you could leave the little one with Grandma while you go grocery shoping or on a well deserved date with you husband or something for just a few hours. Maybe that will give her the time she craves with your baby, without totaly giving in to her.
I don't think you're being uptight or overprotective at all. The fact that the idea of an overnight stay makes you uneasy means it's not the right thing at this time.
Best wishes

mom at home
Member posted 07-15-2001 12:42 PM
I don't think you're being too protective or uptight. To begin with, how would Ellie eat? 8 months is very young for a baby to be away from mom, esp. an exclusively bf babe. I can't imagine Ellie would be very happy if her sole source of food and comfort is suddenly gone for what to her would be a very long time. I can understand doing this if there was some sort of an emergency and there was no other choice, but just for your mil's sake?
My girls are 3.5 and 5.5 and have never spent a night without dh or I there and I'm not sure either of them are really ready, unless it was with someone who understood their nighttime needs (my sister would probably be the only one at the this point). They still wake up at night and my mom would probably just let them cry and my mil I wouldn't trust totally either. I can't imagine that Ellie would be ready for this. My mom and mil live far away so this hasn't been an issue for me.


Member posted 07-15-2001 01:25 PM
my dd is 2.5 and still hasn't been away from us.
tell g'ma she'll have to wait a few years

Moderator posted 07-15-2001 01:44 PM
Being overprotective is your job. You love your child and only want the best. You tell your MIL NO....not yet. If she doesn't respect that, then that further tells you it's just not right yet. My 31/2 year old ds still hasn't stayed overnight with my mom...though she asked all the time. I don't feel he's ready. He still sleeps with us. She respects my decision-though she grumbles about it. Ask yourself this......would you have a relaxing night and trust she is happy???? If you answered NO....then don't do it.

Member posted 07-15-2001 02:00 PM
My inlaws drop hints every single time we see them (usually more than once a week) that "one day you'll be able to come stay with us. One day your mom will just drop you off for the day. One day your mom will let you go home with us." They're wonderful people, and devoted to the Cub, and they are generally respectful of our methods, so I try not to get too irritated. But it's mentioned EVERY SINGLE TIME. And I chuckle and say "oh, yes, one day ..." He's 6mo. "one day" is a looooong way off. I left him with them for 2 hours on Father's day and thought I would DIE. He was fussy, but fine, and he was at his own house which helps.
IMO, 8 months is ridiculously early for an overnight stay, ESPECIALLY if she won't take a bottle! My ped put it very well at cub's last visit -- he was glad to see how attached my boyo was, and I mentioned that everyone's happy about it except the grands! He smiled, said it was typical, and that when they get upset about the level of attachment, that "it's about their wants/needs, not the baby's."

So. DO NOT be bullied into placing anyone else's desires above your baby's needs. Any way you can use the "*chuckle* yes, one day!" method to deal with your mil?

Member posted 07-15-2001 02:19 PM
There is no reason for you to feel over protective or guilty about not sending your baby away for the night. It would be horrible for everyone.
My dd was 2 1/2 before she spent the night with grandma and that was her own idea. We gave it a couple of trial runs befor we left town and she was fine. By then she had weaned and was sleeping most the night in her own bed.

Perhaps it would help your MIL if you promised to let dd spend the *day* first sometime and then the night when she was ready*. You might also bring up what you do if...? questions so that your MIL might understand how hard this would be for her and dd. For example What if she wanted to sleep in your bed? What you do if she cried the whole time? What would you do if she wouldn't take a bottle? What would you do if she made herself sick with fret?

Personally, i don't know why anyone would want to take a bay overnight from its mother. Especiall a very attatched, breastfed one. Doesn't sound like a good time for anyone to me.

Member posted 07-15-2001 02:26 PM
gee whiz, not to be rude, but is your mil insane?
i don't know of many *non* AP parents who would drop off an 8 month old baby for a couple of days, let alone an exclusively bf one!

are you sure she is being serious, and not just expressing longing for the day when she can?

at any rate, in retrospect, i wish i'd kept my dd from overnights longer (think it was a year and a half)... different inlaws this time around- one mil who is a saint who wouldn't WANT to take him away from us (but we trust her implicitly), and one fil who is the devil, who will NEVER be allowed overnights- he needs to be damn glad he's allowed to see him at all!


Linda in Canada
Member posted 07-15-2001 02:46 PM
Sadly, I know several non-AP families that think nothing of dropping off a baby with grandma and heading out for a weekend.
If my mother in law were alive and near me, I would love to leave my kids (even when they were tiny) with her for an hour or two just for the peace. We've always lived far from family and have moved frequently due to DH's job, so finding somewhere for my kids to be where they are safe and loved while I do little things like go to the dentist or get my cut has always in an issue.

I think if you work at this, you can really make it a good thing for you, baby, and MIL. Just explain that when baby is old enjoy to enjoy a overnight, then the answer will be yes. In the meantime, let you MIL watch your baby occasionally to make your life easier. Extended family can be a wonderful thing for kid.

My oldest almost 5 and has only be away from me overnight when I was in the hospital having her sister. Grandma stayed with her at our house and she loved it.

Member posted 07-15-2001 07:10 PM
I don't want to be rude, either, but I think it is incredibly selfish of grandma. She doesn't seem to be thinking of your bany's needs at all.
Besides, if she is not that good with her, why in heaven's name does she want her for a couple of days without mommy to comfort baby. Is she trying to prove something to you. Maybe you are making her feel guilty for her parenting choices. Not on purpose,`of course, but just seeing how dedicated you are may make her feel bad for having her kid CIO, so now she wants to ????? with your baby.
Don't feel guilty. It is your job to care for your baby and her job to google and coo and defer to your wishes.
Good luck!!!!

Member posted 07-15-2001 07:37 PM
My daughter spent her first night away from home at age 2yrs 2mos. She was weaned. She was also very excited about "sleeping with Nanny-Nan in her big bed."
She is as verbal as a typical 3yr old. I believe that a child should be able to communicate her needs (including "I want my mommy, I want to go home") before being left with anyone. And I trusted my mom to call me if dd asked to come home.

I just cannot see leaving an 8month old baby, except in the most extreme emergency. Like others have said--How the heck would she even eat? I don't think you are being overprotective at all!

I get really frustrated with my family members who put their needs ahead of my child's--and it seems like it happens all of the time. I find it very difficult to strike a balance between respecting my elders (which is very important in my family), and respecting my children (which is of the utmost importance to me). I have found that I have to put my children's needs first, and my relative's whims second. I try to be diplomatic when I can, but it just isn't always possible.

Member posted 07-15-2001 10:46 PM
Maybe you could have MIL come and stay with you for a couple days, or go with baby to stay with her? You could take some books you've been wanting to read and announce that you'll just be there "in case she needs me" and "for her meals." That way she could have more time with the baby.
As for sending baby to stay with her alone, is MIL smoking crack or what?? Your poor baby would think the world had ended if you left her for that long. And you'd probably cry nonstop from the moment you left her at MILs. It's YOUR baby, and YOU are the mommy, so even if you were overprotective or selfish (which you're SOOOOO not in this case!), that is your right!!


Member posted 07-16-2001 06:53 AM
You guys are so great! I have really enjoyed reading this thread, as this issue has been a real problem for me with my MIL, too. Ever since ds was 2 mos old, she's been wanting to know when we were going to let her keep him "for a few days". He's 15 mos now, and it hasn't happened yet--and I don't expect it to any time in the foreseeable future. It doesn't help that her best friend keeps her grandchild overnight all the time. I mean, the parents went on a 10 day cruise and left their 4 mo old baby with grandma, so you can just imagine how MIL feels when I won't even let her keep ds for an afternoon.
I've always felt that it would be different if she lived close by and I wanted/needed her to keep ds for some reason, but for me to drive 2 hrs one way to leave my baby with her just for *her* benefit seems ridiculous. It also makes me suspicious that she wants me to do this. What is it that she wants to do with the baby that she can't do while I'm there? Anyway, it's good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way!

Member posted 07-16-2001 08:24 AM
Hi Ladies,
I'm with you Kezia, what is this overpowering desire to be alone with my son. Give me a break!!! My 12 month son will be allowed to be alone with others once he can verbalize that desire and tell me what happened while there. I'm very irrated how mothers and mil constantly try to encroach on own turf. I promised myself I would NEVER do that to my future dil.

Also, I think it is sooo sad that our elder womenfolk are causing many of us more grief than giving unconditional support. They seem to have many unresolved issues about their own mothering and they try to resolve them through our kids. My mom has calmed down somewhat because I have politely put her in her place, but for some of my friends who are still essential afraid of their mothers, it has been pure hell. Like EllasMama said, YOU are the mom, therefore you are the authority. Good luck!!

Member posted 07-16-2001 11:21 AM
wow wow wow! I feel so much better now! Everything you all said rang so true to me - I would be beside myself if she were gone overnight or even more than a few hours. mil left her son with her parents when he was 6 months - so that's her reference point. I didn't ask her how that went or how she felt about that (or why??).
Yes, boysrus, I too wonder if I make her feel guilty. I really try not to. It is so hard though because she questions nearly every choice we make. I want to explain why bf is sooo important, but don't want to make her feel badly for choosing otherwise. The issue is obviously *much* larger than the overnight thing ... but she keeps dropping hints, as well as great grandparents. I told my dh no way to leaving a babe or tot with them - they are over 80 and feeling it! I hate to shatter anyone's fantasy though. So we see them all a lot - but just can't bring myself to leave overnight!! And I too wonder why does she want to be alone with Ellie so badly? Especially as she questions us so much. Maybe it does have something to do with regret - she put her only son in daycare early and for extended hours and they didn't get along too well. Argh! This woman is so hard to understand! And suddenly she is in my life all the time now.
Woops - turned into a mil rant! Sorry, but it felt so good to be righteous for a moment!I will employ the "chuckle" and have her watch for a few hours - thanks so much for the good ideas. I won't feel guilty anymore either.

Member posted 07-16-2001 12:32 PM
Remember, it's not just if you're baby is ready. Are you ready? You guys a team, and if it isn't good for one of you, it isn't good for either of you (and in my experience, this includes dad, too).
When we went to visit grandparents, my son was in our bed til he was over a year old. Then he could go to sleep with Grandma & Grandpa, but we were in the house (we got some nice alone time ). But on his own? My ds is 3 1/2, and I am now starting to consider it, but only if ds wants to. If he wants to go home, that's the end of it.
I'd say it's up to the kid, purely breastfed or not. And a baby (omg!) isn't going to make that decision.
In the meanwhile, it sounds like what the grandma here really wants is more time with baby (or possibly to "give mommy & daddy a break"). If it's the former, maybe there's a way to accomodate her? You know, when she brings it up, say, "I see you want to spend more time with the baby. Overnights aren't an option yet, but how about..." Often this stuff is purely altruistic.

Member posted 07-16-2001 12:33 PM
What is UP with all these grandmas who want sleepovers with their infant grandchildren? I mean, do they REALLY think that a little baby is going to get anything out of that except anxiety? My dd throws a fit when I go to the BATHROOM without her (she's ten months old), never mind leaving her overnight!
This sort of topic makes me SO grateful for my own mother. Mom LOVES dd (her first grandchild) and is eager to babysit any time we'll let her. But she herself said (early on) "no overnights with a breastfeeding baby." She breastfed me and both my siblings -- me until I was 2 1/2 years old -- so she very much understands that NO ONE can replace mama for a little nursling.

Of course if there were some sort of terrible emergency, and neither me nor dh could take care of dd, I'd rather my mother take care of her than anyone else on earth. She is a wonderful, affectionate, attachment grandparent; although she thinks cosleeping was a mistake, she does NOT try to get dd into a crib when she babysits in the evening, but simply wraps her up in a baby quilt and holds her in her arms while she sleeps. I would absolutely trust my mother to take good care of dd if something happened to me and dh. But that would be in an EMERGENCY, in some sort of horrible tragic situation -- not recreationally, you know?

If dd doesn't self-wean before age 2 1/2, I will probably start gently trying to wean her. I figure one way to encourage weaning will be the incentive, "once you don't need to nurse anymore, you can SLEEP OVER at Amah and Grandaddy's house! Would you like to do that?"

Until she's old enough to think that sounds like FUN, then home with Mama and Daddy is where she belongs!

Member posted 07-16-2001 12:59 PM

Originally posted by Linda in Canada:
Sadly, I know several non-AP families that think nothing of dropping off a baby with grandma and heading out for a weekend.


My cousin did this. Baby was 9 months old (formula fed). It's not unheard of in my neck of the woods to just send the baby to D.R. for a couple of months to stay with relatives so that they'll "know" where they came from.

mama osi
Member posted 07-16-2001 09:16 PM
Smile and say "some day, for sure!"
Then change the subject.

Member posted 07-17-2001 10:26 AM
that's a great idea - I tend to start explaining why I think it would be difficult now - and she just doesn't hear or agree or something and then I get frustrated with her. I will just change the subject after letting her now that it will happen someday.
I heard also how some of you needed for your child to be able to speak & communicate before leaving overnight. I realize now that this would make me feel sooo much more comfortable. Thanks all for the support!!

Member posted 07-17-2001 02:12 PM

Originally posted by Naomi:
What is UP with all these grandmas who want sleepovers with their infant grandchildren?

If they have the grandbaby without mommy around, maybe they can purge all the AP evils we are inflicting on our poor babes.

Member posted 07-17-2001 04:07 PM
My nephew stays some the night with my mom, his Gramma. He's 27 months and has been doing it for three months, since after his 2nd birthday. He is very familiar with her, though, she is a regular part of his life - they live 4 blocks apart His gramma babysits him quite often in the evenings and on weekends, and frankly, he LOVES it... he loves her home, her grandfather clock that chimes, the dog.
My sister, bro-in-law and Mother are NOT AP. My nephew just happens to be the easiest, happy-go-lucky baby who "fit" into their non-AP style of parenting quite well. He is a great sleeper eats anything kinda kid. My sister has NO IDEA HOW FORTUNATE SHE IS!! My nephew is so "easy" - so that makes it really easy for Gramma to step in and help out (and she ADORES him). That all being said, even my sister wouldn't consider letting him stay at Gramma's until he turned two!

He has always been a crib sleeping, formula drinking, swing-no-sling baby from Day 1 - and frankly, he has the personality that made that OK. My sister's pregnant again, and I wonder if #2 will be as cooperative/easy going as #1! She is constantly disapproving of ME and MY (future) parenting choices - and it's hard to argue successfully for AP when my nephew is so darn perfect without having been attached parented - so I wonder if #2 will have a different type of personality that will cause them to question their parenting practices, but we'll see!

I would think a breastfed baby would be much more difficult to leave with Gramma, and a co-sleeping baby even more difficult. I wouldn't even consider her request until your baby turns two - when your DD can have some say in the matter. Good luck.

I'm SOOOO glad I live 500 miles from my family!!!

Moderator posted 07-17-2001 04:13 PM
I agree that an exclusively breastfed baby cannot spend one night (let alone two) away from mom/sole food source.
But why so angry? Its possible -- I would say probable -- that Grandma believes that she would be doing you a substantial favour by giving you a respite from babycare, while at the same time indulging herself by having a cute infant to cuddle.

Member posted 07-17-2001 05:22 PM
Just chiming in with more support.
My MIL is the same way. Dd is 27 months and MIL thinks she needs to spend the night (they live 100+ miles away and see dd about once a month). I appreciate the fact that she wants to bond with dd and have quality time together, but not this early.

Every time she asks or hints about it, I simply tell her that "I'm the mom, and I'm not ready." That keeps her from trying to prove how "ready" dd is. She doesn't know that dd was still nursing at two (they don't see us enough to witness it & I see no need to bring it up), so she had no idea it was definitely not a possibility! I also tell her "when she's old enough to truly understand what it means to spend the night so far from home, and ask do to so, she may. She has the rest of her life to spend time with you, right now she needs time with mommy." It's gotten to the point that she hints and hints but it doesn't phase me anymore.

Anyway, you're not alone. I sympathize and agree wholeheartedly with what everyone above is saying.


Member posted 07-17-2001 08:42 PM
Yammer, speaking only for myself (insert standard disclaimer here) I'm not hostile. I do get irritated when broad hints are dropped for the umpteenth time after we've made it clear what our parameters are.
I doubt that any of these grannys are meanspirited, but I do question whether they have the child's wellbeing in mind, or just their own wishes. Our son is six months old and will not take a bottle and nurses to sleep. His grands see him at least once a week, usually quite a bit more often than that, so they know this.

I smile and nod a lot, make "someday" noises, but here in the privacy of this board I can admit my irritation. I love my mil, and appreciate her intensely. And though I'd never wish that she adored ds less, sometimes I do wish she lived ... farther away ...

*blushes in shame*

Member posted 07-17-2001 09:47 PM
I agree with all the moms here who are strongly urging you to follow your gut instinct -- it is too early to leave a baby, especially an exclusively breastfed one -- with someone else.

But there's some "scientific evidence" to give MIL in case you think that would be helpful. Although I don't have any specific citations (I maybe could dig them up if you're really interested -- it's been a few years), there's a lot of info out there that seems to say that 2 1/2 is about the youngest age a child should spend more than just a day away from mom.

In grad school I did a lot of research for my advisor, who was working on a book on infant-mother bonding and attachment. A number of books I read cited studies that showed the affect on babies or young children when they had to be hospitalized for certain illnesses or surgeries. A century ago, the practice was to put them in a children's ward and keep the parents from seeing them much. I read in horror as these books described the different stages of grief and denial these kids went through. Depending on how long they were away from their parents, in some extreme cases children were so scarred from the experience that they were hardly able to form healthy attachments again. Even those who were separated from mom just a day or two had entered classic "grieving" stages including avoiding mom's eyes when she returned, etc.

Of course, leaving a child with a loving grandparent isn't quite the same as leaving them with strangers, but still...

I think a child should be able to express desire to spend an overnight away from parents and should know that if at any time he or she changes his mind and wants mom or dad, that's fine.

Btw, another issue here is milk supply. What would you have to do, pump for a few days? Ugh, especially if you're not used to pumping. It would never work for me. And I think I'd be an emotional wreck.

Good luck being diplomatic about it all. . .


Member posted 07-18-2001 10:27 AM
Yammer - thanks for the perspective. You are right. She probably just wants time to be with Ellie without having to feel like I'm "grading" her performance, etc. - and maybe even wants to give me a break, although I tell her that it would be heck for me with pumping and anxiety, but ... she's not the best listener. I do need to give her the benefit of the doubt though - I know intellectually this is the only way our relationship will remain civil. As Pallas said - I love how much she loves Ellie and I want them to be close. But ... the anger comes from past hurts and her often harsh judgement. She seems unable to let even little things go and she will just keep quizzing and commenting and rolling eyes, etc. It hurts a lot, especially because I feel I am extra supportive of their relationship because I sense her intense need for closeness with Ellie. That said, I do need to keep my anger out of decisions like this - and this is why your input helps so much! I want to do what's best for Ellie and know that I'm not letting my feelings for mil color my decision. Thanks again all!

Member posted 07-18-2001 11:45 AM
elsmom I think we have the same mil. I appreciate your frustration. I know my mil loves my dd so much (more than her own son we think, at times)and would never do anything to harm her. She just doesn't get what we are doing with this whole ap thing. Now that dd is 2.2 years, she sees she's a happy baby and doesn't bug us as much. My husband has also been very up front with her that if she ever undermines what we are doing she'll never see her grandaughter again. A bit harsh, but she doesn't really respond to nicey nice. But, it's been a long road of eye rolling, etc and talking very cruelly behind my back. It hurts and I can't help respond to that hurt. I'm always looking for something to jump her on (although I rarely jump her--I keep my mouth shut most of the time). We are in a situation where I work outside the home. DH stays home with dd, but when he goes to class, mil watches her. She also watches her on Tuesdays. She's constantly asking when will dd stay overnight with her and has everything ready for that blessed day--she's had everything ready since dd was born. She's accused us of purposely trying to keep dd from her when we've declined her offers to keep dd overnight. We've only done the overnight thing once under great durress and I would only leave her with my AP sister and her kids. Our dd didn't even notice we were gone. From the beginning, my mil didn't support breastfeeding because she said it was selfish of me to keep her all to myself--"how would other people be able to bond with her?" We've been down a looooong road. She's used to raising all the kids in the family (her siblings' kids')and doesn't understand why we actually like to be around our dd so much. She has a long track record of undermining other parents and we just aren't going to let her do that to us. We trsut what we are doing and know it's best for our child and our family.
Trust your gut and stick with what you know to be the best for your child.

cynthia mosher is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 14,469

33 members and 14,436 guests
BarefootBrooke , beedub , Bow , Deborah , easydoesit , Elliedeee , emmy526 , happy-mama , hillymum , IsaFrench , jamesmorrow , Katherine73 , kathymuggle , Kelleybug , Kicoreann , lab , Leelee3 , lillycow , Lydia08 , mnebraska , moominmamma , NaturallyKait , NiteNicole , redsally , RollerCoasterMama , samaxtics , shantimama , Skippy918 , sren , TheChainedAngel , verticalscope , worthy , Zacis Mom
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.