to be irritated by cousin's list of what to do with her baby?

(85 Posts)
MrsMushroom Wed 27-Feb-13 21:31:35

Baby is 9 months. I have had 2 of my own.

Cousin asked me to care for baby next week and has emailed a list of when she feeds and when to offer feed....she also lists when the baby watches some tv and when she naps.

I though hmm...ok...PFB, I'll offer the bottle/food when the list says...and if baby wont oblige then I'll just do as the baby wants and play it by ear.

But she has now asked me to txt her at each point in the baby's list...so eg baby has her bottle on schedule...I txt her to say it's happened. Baby naps on schedule...I text. I get that she is anxious but it's ONE day. Not even a full day!

Should I send random texts saying "Baby refused bottle, is having a rare steak on kitchen floor" and "Baby would not nap so is playing with neighbours children on path outside."

Or would that be too mean?

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 22:34:26

One of the Mums at the DD's nursery took her DD away, because the NN's (politely) refused to call her on the hour, every hour with an update.

NO shock

WilsonFrickett Wed 27-Feb-13 22:36:30

Aw bless her! If only I'd thought of this the first time I left DS...

Is this a good time to mention the PFB MNer who 'tested' the Johnstone 'No More Tears' formula stuff by rubbing it into her own eyes?

Your cousin has much to learn...

MiaowTheCat Wed 27-Feb-13 22:37:32

I've got a list of when feeds/naps generally fall typed out for whoever ends up watching DD1 when I go into hospital to have DD2 soon. Meh - if it gets followed it gets followed, if not and they wonder why she's a screaming ball of strop having had no nap - they have to deal with the screaming ball of strop. I'd rather know I'd overplanned and overcompensated for not being there meaning if stuff fell back it wasn't total chaos than not done so.

And if it gives someone pisstake material - so what - I've done it mainly to control MY anxiety and know I've done the best I can to keep continuity for her - plus the family member most likely to be taking care of her asked me to note down roughly what times we tend to do things (and my husband's the sort who's likely to shrug his shoulders in obliviousness when asked where the baby's clothes are kept - so I've written it down). There's a chance I'm going to end up in for a longer stay so there's a lot more covering all bases going on though.

I'm laid back about what does/doesn't get done (would like bedtimes kept though) - but I'd be pissed at sarcastic texts coming back taking the mickey. I don't think that's really fair - have some empathy that she's obviously worried about leaving the baby.

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 22:38:21

s this a good time to mention the PFB MNer who 'tested' the Johnstone 'No More Tears' formula stuff by rubbing it into her own eyes?

What! really ?

NapaCab Wed 27-Feb-13 22:48:25

YANBU to be irritated by the list but I do understand her anxiety with a 9 month old as their routine at that age is hard since they're taking both milk and solids and napping twice a day. I remember feeling very frazzled at that stage compared to the toddler I have now.

Have to say, the child can't be that much of a PFB if she's letting her watch TV though... [smug emoticon] wink

merrymouse Wed 27-Feb-13 22:55:26

Has she specified what TV the baby will be watching or is that up to you?

I would do what she wants.

She'll get bored of the texts after a while.

PurpleCrazyHorse Wed 27-Feb-13 23:15:37

We had a list for DD of her rough routine, but that's because PIL and CM asked for it. In fact DD didn't really have a routine as we just had to go with the flow with her, so it was a bit guessed!! However, I wouldn't have asked to be texted at every stage. A text or two during the day is reasonable and personally, I'd just do that.

TotallyBursar Thu 28-Feb-13 01:42:09

Hmm not sure I want to admit to this -
When pfb was about 10 months he was being looked after by highly neurotic (but wonderfully loving & kind) aunt for the morning. We are quite laid back, DS was a content baby and we are baby led which she knew, she knew his preferred routine (which he rarely deviated from) and I trusted her judgement. I said not to worry, she knew him well & we were on the end of the phone, so when she asked for a list of the rules I rather flippantly said
'Don't expose him to direct bright light.
Don't get him wet and never feed him after midnight.'

The morning was fine and we were back early, gave her a thank you gift & said our goodbyes. DS had cuddled, had a feed & then just slept as if he were at home.
The next day I got a call from my mother who was wetting her knickers with laughter - DA had called her to ask if she knew what we were doing and that she was worried about this strange new advice. I felt terrible bless her but couldn't help but laugh that she had to dob me in to my mother.
I think some people, not just parents, are quite anxious about things. I'm sure your sil will thank you for doing it & soon relax - some people just take longer to be ready, I don't think yabu but I'm evidently a terrible mother anyway!
By the way, I did call & apologise & we all have a laugh about it now to the extent DS1 is known as Mogwai.

Tolly81 Thu 28-Feb-13 07:37:39

YANBU MrsMushroom. I've just had to start leaving my 9 mo pfb with nursery, dm and mil to go back to work. Dm has 5 children, mil has 4. I would be embarassed. I did write up a rough schedule but it basically only has the times I give her her bottles and the times she has her meals. I certainly didn't ask for text updates! They often still text me about once/day but not always and I don't demand it. I think she needs a dose of realism - she'd have to pay to leave pfb at nursery and there is no way they'd text. You're already doing her a favour looking after her. I would politely but firmly say you will text once in morning and once in afternoon with updates but rest of time will be much too busy looking after her pfb and need to give her full attention!

teacher123 Thu 28-Feb-13 07:48:58

DS (10mo) has quite a strict routine, because otherwise he is the incredible non sleeping baby, and if he doesn't sleep, he won't eat and it rapidly spirals from being a happy smiling chatty chap to a red squealy ball of rage. My mum and MIL both have bought up lots of children and have masses of experience. But I still write timings down for them and ask for occasional updates because he's my baby and I worry about him. Her writing down the routine is no comment on your parenting/how you're going to look after him but all babies are so different! She's probably also worried that he'll get upset if he is overtired and wants you to have a nice day with him. I would have NO IDEA what time other people have their babies bottles/what they had for lunch etc. I think things even out a lot more when they are toddlers and have dropped naps.

exoticfruits Thu 28-Feb-13 08:09:51

You can give whatever instructions you like, however you have to realise that people might smile, nod and ignore. If they are doing it as a favour you have no control. Personally I would go with the instructions but not text.

Flobbadobs Thu 28-Feb-13 09:47:27

I think you need to sit her down and gently but firmly remind her you have children of your own and have a fairly good idea of what you're doing.
If she's expecting text updates constantly her day will be filled with anxiety and worry about whats going on and she'll spend the entire day waiting for the next text. Tell her you will text her after naptime to let her know how long baby slept for, and give her an update maybe twice during the day.
YANBU. Anxiety is good for no one and she really in the nicest possible way (because I'm not a heartless cow!) needs to unwind..

LaQueen Thu 28-Feb-13 09:52:44

But, the thing is...okay, even if I did agree to send a few reassurance texts to an anxious Mum - there's no way I'd send any texts saying 'Baby won't stop crying...Can't settle...Has refused to eat any lunch...Baby really unsettled etc'

Because what would be the point of that? There would be absolutely nothing the poor Mum could do about it - other than fret herself into a coma.

Instead, I would just send texts saying 'Everything fine...Baby okay...All good here etc' Because that would be the kind/sensible thing to do.

Because as an experienced Mum, the wrong side of 40, I know that if a baby is unsettled, or doesn't eat their lunch for one day then it's really neither here, nor there in the grand scheme of things smile

LaQueen Thu 28-Feb-13 09:54:58

The thing is, if you're leaving your PFB with an experienced Mum, then chances are the experienced Mum is going to be very well versed if dealing with babies, and alert to signs of tiredness/why they're grumpy...they are well versed in the needs for naps, etc.

If you're leaving your PFB with someone who has never taken care of a baby, then fair enough, write out all the lists you want.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 28-Feb-13 10:09:01

I think providing a list of likely food and nap times is fine, sensible even. And letting you know a few things baby likes is OK too. I wouldn't provide the text updates though. I agree it's likely to make the mum's anxiety worse. I think I'd say I'll let you know straightaway if there's a problem plus I'll send you one text when baby is asleep.

Tell her you'll be so busy looking after baby you might forget to text and then she'd be worrying unnecessarily, so really you're doing her a favour really smile

WilsonFrickett Thu 28-Feb-13 10:12:26

^Is this a good time to mention the PFB MNer who 'tested' the Johnstone 'No More Tears' formula stuff by rubbing it into her own eyes?

What! really ?^

YY MrsJay There was a 'whats the most PFB thing you've ever done' thread and someone mentioned it, and then the OP came on and held her hands up. Twas brilliant.

Flobbadobs Thu 28-Feb-13 10:31:22

I think that was the thread that brought me to MN in the first place! I seem to remember that some of the posts were reported in a newspaper (the Mirror?) and my Grandma found them so funny she phoned me to tell me about them, I'm sure it was a PFB thread...
I knew I had found my spiritual home.. grin

eavesdropping Thu 28-Feb-13 10:40:27

YABU and a bit mean.

Cut her some slack, she's obviously anxious (have been there with my PFB and it's NOT a nice way to be) & she's only trying to help by giving you the list.

I can just imagine an alternative AIBU: AIBU to be annoyed with my cousin? I looked after her 9 month old, who is not used to being apart from her, and she gave me no directions as to its normal routine - as a result I was dealing with an unsettled baby all day long. Then when she came to pick up the baby she was completely disinterested to how the day had gone or how the baby had been.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Feb-13 10:46:37

It's threads like these that really make me appreciate my mother, who put up with my PFB lunacy for months without sniggering or arguing or getting offended.
Although several years later, we have had some hysterical reminiscing over many of the things that I did and didn't do. But only when I had gained a little perspective.
Thanks Mum. thanks

DeWe Thu 28-Feb-13 10:55:00

Tell her your phone's out of charge, but you'll text when it's charged...

Sounds like my bil who's dc self combust (according to parents) if their routine is 5 minutes late. Of course the routine is entirely for the child's benefit. hmm

Nicolaeus Thu 28-Feb-13 11:06:15

My parents look after DS whilst I'm at work and have done for nearly a year.

I still text a couple of times a day to ask how he is - cos I miss him and care about him. I love knowing if he enjoyed playgroup or going to the park or the shops.

Also hes an awful sleeper so I like a heads up if Im going to get a grumpy toddler back or not. Similarly when I hand him over I always say what kind if night we had, what time he woke up, if hes eaten well...

For one day at 9 months I would have appreciated a couple of texts to let me know hes ok, mainly concerning his sleep (as DS is such a bad sleeper)

SusanneLinder Thu 28-Feb-13 11:07:19

MIL, on the other hand, has phoned me every night for 24 years to check DH has had his dinner.

Nearly wet myself at that one grin

My DD gave me a list of instructions for my grandson her PFB, some of them I quietly snickered at, but her rules,her baby, and it was a bit helpful to know his general routine and what he likes cos all babies are different. Me and her MIL did have a silent giggle sometimes, cos I have 3 kids and she had 6!

She is 4 days overdue with DGC no 2.Hoping she will chill out with this one a bit!

Nicolaeus Thu 28-Feb-13 11:08:35

Oh and hes been ill on and off for a couple if months so I text to see how he is

Pigsmummy Thu 28-Feb-13 11:14:42

The list of timing for sleeps and naps to be more seems completely normal, you don't know the babies routine, the tv bit is a bit odd but maybe she is just thinking of you, as you have a bit of downtime whilst baby stares at a cartoon or whatever. The text requests however are OTT, tell her that you will be ok, that you will text to let her know how it is going, seriously once she see's a text saying everything is good then she will be fine.

specialsubject Thu 28-Feb-13 12:22:45

list of baby's routine is helpful. Micromanagement is not.

if she doesn't trust you to do what she says, then she can find another babysitter.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now