to have taken my baby into an outpatients waiting room?

(127 Posts)
FannysYourAunt Thu 09-May-13 18:12:28

DH had an appointment at the ENT department of our nearest hospital, around an hour away from us.

He doesnt drive so I picked him up from work and took him to the hospital with our dd, 12 months. When we got there the waiting room was packed full so we took a seat. Dd is very ahem, vocal at the minute so was doing a LOT of loud babbling, not crying or shouting just baby chatter.

The amount of dirty looks and tuts I got were unbelieveable, I could help but wished I had stayed in the car.

Was I being unreasonable.. Is it the done thing notto take young babies to these places or was these people being grumpy?

Grateful for any replies as DH has a few of these appointments in the near future..

jellybeans Fri 10-May-13 09:50:56

I always took my DC so YANBU. However if they got noisy I would walk them about or find a play area and tell receptionist where we were.

But why should children be quiet?

Children are children. People going to hospital appointments should expect that children might be there. The last time I checked there was no such thing as a child free zone.

Says more about the adult in the situation the OP describes, if they are annoyed by a child.

Sirzy Fri 10-May-13 09:54:22

Everyone should be quiet in a hospital waiting room, not just children. Its about basic consideration for others, especially as hospitals come with alsorts of worry and pain for people.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 10-May-13 10:03:29

It's ENT - there will be people with gearing problems who need to concentrate quite hard to hear their name called, or are in physical pain made worse by loud noises.

We have a lot of audiology appointments and have to take the kids, so I know this well!

I don't think it's a big issue if kids are there, can't be helped most of the time, but if you can keep them reasonably quiet it's all going to go much more smoothly.

Mutley77 Fri 10-May-13 10:32:28

Tewisavestheday - I actually take offence at your post. I know ultrasounds are a very serious issue and actually there is something wrong with my baby (I am currently pregnant), diagnosed at the 20 week scan. I have a follow up on Monday at 34 weeks and dread to think what I will hear. However I am going on my own because we have no childcare for DS and I think it is far more inappropriate to take him (and for him to potentially be upset/scared by my reaction) than for me to prioritise myself and my feelings - which would obviously be to have my DH with me. Therefore DH is staying at home with DS. It is precisely because it's not just a "wave and say hi" that I think ultrasounds are totally inappropriate for children to attend - and the same with other antenatal appointments. For DH and I our priority is our children and 1) not putting them through the boring wait or 2) anything inappropriate they might hear in an appointment rather than worrying about our own feelings and both "needing" to be there together.

Gibberthemonkey - see above - why do people think their feelings are more important than the experiences of their existing children - I simply do not understand.

Hospitals should supply cages for annoying loud children. Throw some blankets over the cages and other people won't have to see them either! Hurrah!

Fakebook Fri 10-May-13 10:40:54

I think you get a lot of grumpy people at hospitals. You don't know what kind of trouble they're experiencing or what kind of diagnosis they've received.

I remember waiting for an appointment at the women's centre in our hospital and there was a 2 year old running up and down the area with big thumps and laughing loudly when sitting down. Whilst many of us just smiled at him there was a woman next to me who kept tutting and then put her bag down in the place where he was running and tripped him up.

Novemberish Fri 10-May-13 10:54:22

Surely there is not right or wrong answer to this and it is just a case of looking around and being aware, considerate and respectful of other people?

Any spouse or other family member/close friend should be able to attend medial appointments to support the patient without judgement and often this will mean that small children have to tag along but if there is an obvious feeling of discomfort in the waiting room, then the considerate thing to do would be to take the child somewhere else even just temporarily.

It does also depend on location and department. I was going to start an AIBU recently but was too scared of the flaming blush but it ties in here so I'll share a recent experience:

I regularly attend an out patient clinic for specialist gynae problems. The wing of the clinic I attend takes in women with fertility problems, other gynae conditions, offers counselling and treatment for a variety of things including rape trauma, terminations, gynae cancers, infertility, sexual dysfunction and other things. I will not say the reason why I attend.

Often the women in the waiting room as visibly nervous and stressed. On three occasions in two years I have seen people come in with babies, oblivious to others discomfort as they are paraded around. Obviously the mothers have genuine reasons and every right to be there as everyone else but I do think a little discretion and respect would go a long way.

A couple of weeks ago, I turned up to the most unholy racket in the waiting room. There were two women, one with a child or around three years old who was obviously there to "support" a friend. The child dragged chairs across the waiting room, screamed, tantrumed, threw toys, bashed into other women trying to wait quietly with their own thoughts... The woman who was attending the clinic was clearly embarrassed and perhaps had not expected her friend to bring her child - to be honest she looked in need of a good hug but the friend was too distracted with loud parenting to pay her any attention. Several times the receptionist helpfully suggested that there was a children's play area in the main clinic area and perhaps they would be more comfortable there but the child's mother brushed her off until it all got too much at the point that the child started loudly asking her mother's friend "will the doctor give you a jab? Will it hurt? Will she cut you open? Will there be blood?" and eventually another patient snapped and spoke up firmly but politely to say that the play area is in the main reception and not the specialist area for a reason and these were not really suggestions but demands to remove the child from that area. They left - the mother looked like she was going to pick a fight but thought better of it.

I could have kissed that woman.

Obviously there is a difference between a three year old and a baby and the mother should have at least tried to encourage the child to be quiet or brought quiet toys and books to distract her. A baby's babbling cannot be muffled.

On another day the OP might find that other patients in the same waiting room are charmed and grateful for the distraction of her baby. At the same time, even the grump folk in the waiting room should be a bit more considerate to others, including the babbling baby who, as it has been pointed out may be there as a patient in his/her own right. I suppose this comes down to whether the baby's guardian is visibly tried to reduce the noise or acting apologetic to others rather than encouraging it or seeming oblivious.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 10-May-13 11:24:46

Mutely - we are in a similar situation right now then. There is no fucking way I am going through the next 20wks without DH. I have arranged a babysitter because I don't want to take my DD either. I have no family nearby, but friends and DDs pre-school are helping us. Would this be an option for you?

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 10-May-13 11:29:44

Mutley, sorry. I have also taken the kids before and they stayed in the waiting room with DH until the sonographer gave the all clear. Lots of people do this if they can't get childcare.

MidniteScribbler Fri 10-May-13 11:38:32

But why should children be quiet?

Because this may come as a shock to you, but they aren't the centre of the fucking universe.

megandraper Fri 10-May-13 11:52:17

People in ENT are not typically going to have the sensitive issues that are likely to be found in ultrasound/early pregnancy units.

Quite a lot of children have to attend ENT clinics too. I did, and two of my children have appointments for one next week.

It's really not an issue, OP. If people were grumpy, it's only the way people can be grumpy anywhere. If you were taking good care of your baby/child, then it's really not your fault if someone didn't like it.

To be honest, you might even have been over-sensitive, and their grumpy faces were nothing to do with your baby. I probably look quite grumpy in hospital waiting rooms, because I spend/have spent a lot of time in them, and I'm bored/zoning out/thinking about various things. I'm not grumping at (or even noticing) the other people, of whatever age, in the waiting room.

Iggi101 Fri 10-May-13 11:53:09

Nor are the people chatting on their mobile phones, or talking boringly to eachother about football/Auntie Mabel/Eastenders.
Let's just have the whole country take a vow of silence.

There is surely a big difference between a badly parented, shouty toddler and a 12 month old making baby noises. Just as there is a difference between a couple talking quietly together or talking loudly enough to involve the whole room usually about something offensive

Cravey Fri 10-May-13 12:13:29

I don't think you were wrong its a hospital not a bloody library. I can see that if ou are ill a baby crying may bother you but it's not your fault if a child is making noise and its not like you can reason with the child. For those telling her to take a taxi maybe she hasn't got the money. Ether way it's done now don't worry about it .

GibberTheMonkey Fri 10-May-13 12:14:27

Mutley that's not what you actually said though.
All said I hope all is alright for you.
I know the worry, my daughter was born three months early after a horrendous pregnancy with far too many hospital appointments (and I don't drive so dh had to take me)

Mutley77 Fri 10-May-13 12:30:54

Gibberthemonkey - No I didn't disclose my personal circumstances but on the original post as it wasn't relevant, what I said is I don't understand why children need to go to a hospital waiting room to wait for an appointment unless a) it is for them or b) it is for the adult responsible for them who is unable to gain childcare and then has no option but to take them.

TeWiSavestheDay - I don't see how waiting outside with a child changes the situ as if if the mother were upset and needed partner to comfort her he would still have the child with him and that doesn't really change. In terms of my options, unfortunately we only arrived on the other side of the world 8 weeks ago and I don't have the sort of support network I would have had at home, hence I'm on my own for the scan. If the baby needs treatment/surgery after birth it will be largely the same story (other than having family to stay for 3 weeks over the time of the birth as I'm having a section) - if DH is off work it will be to deal with my other 2, not support me. I'm not making this "poor me" as it is the way it is and that is fine - but I won't prioritise my support needs over (IMO) inappropriately taking one or other of my children into the hospital when that is potentially going to be difficult for them.

notso Fri 10-May-13 12:32:30

I don't think YABU.

DH was asked to take 7 month old DS2 out of the waiting room by a woman when we were waiting for me to have a scan on a lump in my breast. She said it wasn't the place for a baby and he might cause upset to people. I was nervous obviously especially as my Mum has had breast cancer. I was pregnant with DC4 which added to the worry and the emotion and I wanted DH there with me.
Our babysitter had let us down last minute and we were forced choose between cancelling the appointment or bringing DS2.
DH told her that we had tried to get a babysitter and we didn't want to upset anyone I would be upset by him having to leave and he didn't want that either. It was a really difficult situation.

EssexGurl Fri 10-May-13 12:46:58

You can't win in these situations. I am having to see a consultant currently and he only does one day a week at local hospital. Of course that is 1 day DD is not at preschool. She is 4 and sits beautifully waiting playing on the iPad. The tutting that went on as she was on the iPad was incredible. But it kept her quiet during a long wait and consultation so best for all I would have thought. Not according to the old dears on their moral high ground tho!

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 10-May-13 12:48:12

Mutley - child outside gives you a bit of time to compose yourself, but mire importantly you can explain what us going on to them in your own way, not have then gear it + all medical details from hcp.

But honestly, this must be really, really tough for you. Honestly I am finding life hellish atm. I am a SAHP so the kids are around all the time. DD knows I am sad, and she's seen me cry, I cannot hide that. She is very lovely about giving hugs, and we both cope better than when I pretend everything is fine. Me bottling everything up isn't going to help.

Is your DC using any kind of childcare? Because staff/play group leaders there may well be able to help, or point you in the right direction of good baby sitters, also I have heard religious groups like churches can also help in these kind of situations. I guess you haven't met many people yet, but if I was your neighbour I would want to help too. You need support to! I hope you find a way to arrange some.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 10-May-13 12:49:29

Sorry, appalling typos on phone.

Mutley77 Fri 10-May-13 13:09:39

TeWiSavesTheDay - I see what you are saying about having a child outside but I would still rather deal with it alone and then explain to the child at home. IMO it is more straightforward to deal with a situation alone then speak to DH on phone for support (with DC distracted somewhere within the home) and then deciding how to discuss with the children, rather than being put on the spot and trying to get my support/explain to a child concurrently.

I am in no way bottling things up and my children have seen me cry (largely due to homesickness!) - both of them are very sweet and empathetic. However I don't want to put them in a position where they potentially see me very frightened and unhappy (they will have understanding of a threat to the baby given they are aged 4 and 8) - I firmly believe that children need to have situations managed for them as far as possible so that they can learn to deal with emotion in a calm, managed way - rather than feel that their parents (on whom they are totally reliant) can't cope with a situation. I remember the scariest times of my childhood being when I felt my mum couldn't cope with something - and that was only something minor like being locked out of the house!

I am sure DS's pre-school would help (or one of our neighbours, all of whom seem lovely) but I am not prepared to unsettle DS by leaving him with a babysitter he doesn't really know and isn't used to being left with. He is only 4 and has, in the last 8 weeks, left everything he knows. I am therefore totally comfortable that going alone is my only option and accept that I will manage whatever is thrown my way - I would feel more concerned if, at the back of my mind, I was thinking about how DS was feeling with a stranger.

Iggi101 Fri 10-May-13 13:20:42

The worst thing for me after being informed of mcs was having to tell DH myself - the ones were he was at the scan with me were easier as I could just have my own feelings and not feel guilty for hurting him too. This applied when he was waiting outside, the midwives still told him before he came in to see me.
(Obv off the point of the thread, but in line with the present discussion!)

ReindeerBollocks Fri 10-May-13 13:24:38

DH and I often had medical appointments when DC2 was little. When we could get her minded we did. But if not we took her with us. Often with snacks to dull the shrieking noises at that age. People were normally more bothered that we had aisle seats due to the pram.

Unfortunately as we were both waiting to be seen there was little we could do, but hospitals normally have cafes where you could sit and wait until your DH has finished, is that an option?

*But why should children be quiet? 

Because this may come as a shock to you, but they aren't the centre of the fucking universe.*

No, and they arent second class citizens either.

FannysYourAunt Fri 10-May-13 16:26:24

Wasnt expecting this thread to gather so many comments!

Thanks everyone though for your thoughts and opinions, been an interesting read.

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