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?

ChairmanWow Thu 28-Feb-13 22:19:42

Re the instructions she probably thinks she's helping you by giving you as much detail as possible so there's less disruption and therefore less crying and stress. My mum had my son overnight at 6 months and I left an incredibly detailed list. But my son has always thrived on routine and I kind of accepted my mum would deviate and DS would survive - it was just there in case he was going off his head and she couldn't figure out what to do. TBH I only called to make sure mum was coping rather than DS.

She's obv feeling anxious. I don't think she sounds like a loon. Find a compromise so she's not spending the day worried sick and you're not texting every time baby blinks. Use the list as a guide and maybe arrange a couple of calls at certain times so she knows when to expect to hear from you and isn't constantly checking her phone.

And if she turns out to be a nightmare tell her to find another mug to do it next time!

Passmethecrisps Thu 28-Feb-13 22:06:50

Yep. I would just see it as a "if she whinges at x time it is likely that she will be hungry" sort of thing. At 15 weeks old I still need to leave these kind of instructions with my Dh if he is with DD. it makes sense when you are with then 100% of the time. I know I am a total PFB but I hate the thought that she might cry needing something when a simple clue from me would have helped

MajaBiene Thu 28-Feb-13 18:43:22

Because if you don't know the baby well, it's easier to know they are usually hungry at 9am, eat/drink this, usually sleep at 11am etc then to just guess at what a crying baby wants.

Dromedary Thu 28-Feb-13 18:29:50

I'm surprised by this level of routine! As someone who never managed any routine of any kind, I don't understand why you can't just feed the baby when it's hungry and let it sleep when it's tired? If it asks to watch TV, then by all means...

Chunderella Thu 28-Feb-13 13:36:37

Agree with those who suggest a couple of texts throughout the day just to let her know everything's fine. I've recently returned to work and DD has always been with DH or one of my parents. I have always had every confidence that she's well looked after and wouldn't dream of asking for texts to confirm feeds, but have appreciated getting a couple of updates throughout the day. Its a nice little highlight to hear what she's been doing. There's no harm in that surely?

whistleahappytune Thu 28-Feb-13 13:31:15

I think she is a loon and incredibly anal. Hopefully she'll grow out of it. But it would be very nice and understanding of you to text her once (only once) during the day just to say everything's fine.

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 28-Feb-13 13:28:11

Agree with specialsubject. I never did this as, apart from it being before mobiles were everywhere, my argument was that if I didn't trust the person, then I wouldn't leave DC with them. If I trusted them, then I should leave them to do what they thought best.

In your situation MrsMushroom I would thank her for the list and say that you probably won't have time to text her as you'll be too busy with her PFB. I also agree with others who say that it will fuel her anxiety.

BarbarianMum Thu 28-Feb-13 13:27:28

Thank her for the instructions and gently explain that you will not be texting unless there is a problem- frankly you will be busy enough. If she is not ready to leave her dc without this then she is not ready to leave him.

Yfronts Thu 28-Feb-13 13:26:54

At 9 months mine were all having a midday nap at 12. Everything else was relaxed but the sleep time was essential for my babies happiness.

Yfronts Thu 28-Feb-13 13:24:37

tell her you'll send her one text when you get home but then only text her if there is a problem.

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.

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.

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

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 11:06:15

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)

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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..

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.

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