To say something to this babies mum (a friend)

(98 Posts)
HopAndStop Sat 15-Jun-13 14:08:01

A friend I knew reasonably well before she had DS 2 months ago, and I now see 2-3 times a week seems to be struggling
Her partner has a child from a previous relationship and she is a lot younger than him so I think she feels 'he knows best' and has said a lot of things like 'DP told me we had to put him in his own room from day 1, he knows already from DD' and similar.

We met up yesterday and she ended up crying saying he just won't stop crying, and he won't sleep. I asked what he's usually like going to sleep, and she said she puts him in his room, closes the door so she can't hear him then goes to see DP as he needs to relax after work. Apparently he usually cries for 20 mins-an hour but last night was still crying after 2 hours and she said 'I just get really annoyed at him if I have to hear him crying for ages' (but she seemed upset not angry with him)

I said that I ended up having to co sleep with DD as she wouldn't settle herself so not to worry that he's being unusually clingy, and that he might just need a bit of reassurance from her popping back into the room when he's still crying every few minutes while he's this young so he knows that she's still around, but she said 'DP said they taught DD from day 1 that she couldn't get her own way by crying, so I don't want him to learn bad habits'

Is there anything I can say to help, or should I just listen and let her work out what to do for herself?

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 15-Jun-13 14:10:14

Tell her to talk to her health visitor or her mother or any other older parent she respects.

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Jun-13 14:12:01

Fuuuck - poor baby. sad
I'd be suggesting to her that she should listen to her own instincts first, not her "D"P - and ask her what those are. If they are "My baby needs me and wants to be held and comforted" then that's what she should be doing. If those aren't her instincts then you might want to suggest gently that it could be the reason her DS is sobbing his heart out.

"She goes to see DP as he needs to relax after work" - fuck me again. The man's a self-absorbed selfish wanker. She needs to leave her "D"P to look after himself, as he's a fully grown male (although poss not an adult hmm) and look after the tiny baby male who needs her.

5madthings Sat 15-Jun-13 14:12:42

Is the baby only two months old and they are leaving him to cry for up to two hours?!!!

I dont know i would be inclined to say advice is not to let a baby tgat young to cry and that he is too young to manipulate. Plus sids risk in being in owm room.maybe ask if she bas heard of pick.up put down or gentler sleep training methods?

Poor baby sad

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sat 15-Jun-13 14:16:44

Poor baby sad

You are just going to have to be straight with her and explain that although her P may have had another child he is clueless and that he is damaging their child. That she is going to have to take control here and not listen to him.

Direct her here?

DeepRedBetty Sat 15-Jun-13 14:18:09

Next time you see her, steer conversation round to something like "how amazing it is that all babies are different, yes it would it be lovely if they all behaved identically, then everyone would know straight away what to do when each thing happens, but it doesn't work that way does it?" If you keep it general she won't feel like she's being got at.

I think if it were me I would say something along the lines of "Well yes, that may have felt right for his DD, but every child has different needs. If you feel you want to do something a different way, go ahead. He is YOUR son." and just try and bolster her towards knowing that she can do things her own way if she chooses.

It can't be helping her feelings of desperation to leave him to cry like that. Plant the seeds, encourage her gently to pick him up. Rather than criticising her DP's approach which will make her feel worse I imagine. Good luck.

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 15-Jun-13 14:21:58

Fuck me, I think some people have watched to much family guy and think all babies are evil geniuses not little creatures surviving on instinct alone with no concept of 'their own way'.

She sounds like she has a severe lack of confidence to me, I would be shocked if this and other advice from her dh has gone completely against her gut feeling and just completely shattered her ability to stand up to him. Clearly he has more influence living with her so I'm not sure you'd be able to sway her.

Maybe it's worth giving her a couple of books or pointing her in the direction of here or even [whispers] Netmums, I think she needs a few people to over-ride what she's hearing at home.

It's so difficult to broach this without seeming to criticize her or her partner. I agree with some of the suggestions about trying to give her the confidence to follow her own instincts and talking about how all babies have different needs.

Something to make her think about what she is doing along the lines of, " babies that young ony cry when they need something. Yes, needing to be cuddled and comforted is a need."

Something that always stuck with me is that babies will cry less if they trust that you will come to them if they need you. But you have to attend to all the cries in the beginning to build that trust.

noblegiraffe Sat 15-Jun-13 14:36:26

Look horrified and say you can't teach a baby bad habits and that they need cuddles and love, not to be abandoned in a room to cry.

Or you could suggest that the latest research shows that leaving babies to cry is bad for their brain development and maybe her DH didn't know because it wasn't around when his DD was a baby? (Diplomatic route).

IvanaCake Sat 15-Jun-13 14:43:41

I'm sure many will disagree with me, but the poor baby is being neglected.

I would suggest very strongly to her that she speaks to her hv ASAP. She needs to know that its not acceptable to leave a tiny baby to cry for 2 hours.

I'm not against cc by the way, but this isn't controlled and the baby is too young.

mumofweeboys Sat 15-Jun-13 14:51:19

Perhaps suggest she should talk to her hv if baby is crying so much (then hopefully.hv will set her straight). You could chat about night time routine, bath, cuddles while feeding in dim bedroom - my own wee one has to be swaddled as his arms always wake him up.

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Jun-13 14:54:05

I don't think anyone who has posted so far will really disagree with you, Ivana - I think he's being neglected too. He might be having all his physical needs met but not his emotional ones.

RagamuffinAndFidget Sat 15-Jun-13 15:00:58

Ivana I think it's clearly neglect too. It sounds like something you'd see on an NSPCC advert.. a tiny baby crying himself hoarse alone in a bedroom.

That's really sad OP, it sounds like your friend is severely lacking in confidence and is getting some very bad advice from her DP. I think, if I were in your position I would say something like noblegiraffe suggests (the diplomatic option!) and take it from there. Suggest your friend speaks to her HV to find out about the best way to introduce a bedtime routine, if that's what she wants to do. Hopefully they will be able to advise her on how to get him to bed and off to sleep without all the upset.

FobblyWoof Sat 15-Jun-13 15:45:32

I think the next time she mentions something you need to stress that this isn't recommended. Tell/ask her to see a HV and offer to go with her for support.

She does sound like she's got no confidence and her so blinding following what her partner tells her does make me question what their relationship is like.

It's a good sign that she's open with you, I think she wants help.

If she doesn't want to see the HV I think you're going to have to call them yourself.

FeegleFion Sat 15-Jun-13 15:54:53

Even supporters of controlled crying say never to let a baby under 6 months cry for any amount of time.

I'm not surprised your friend was in tears.

Call her and say you've been really worrying about her since she let you know how upset she was. Tell her you've been looking on the Internet for tips that might help her and that you've come across a site that explains that such a tiny baby should 1) be sleeping in the same room as the parent(s) for safety reasons (and also that it's easier on the parents for night feeds)

2) babies this young really shouldn't be left to cry at all.

Poor woman, poor baby.

I'll try to find some links.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 15-Jun-13 15:58:27

Could you suggest that as her DS seems to be crying an awful lot maybe she should take him to see HV/GP?

HibiscusIsland Sat 15-Jun-13 16:07:58

How horrible. I would want to report her to help the baby, as just telling her to speak to her hv may not work. Her dp might convince her not to.

HibiscusIsland Sat 15-Jun-13 16:08:23

Report them i mean.

Mintyy Sat 15-Jun-13 16:08:49

I agree. Get her to post on Mumsnet! Not in aibu, but in sleep or parenting. No one will advocate leaving a newborn to cry for hours alone in a bedroom. She will soon see that her dp knows nothing.

Can you do something quite urgently op? I hate to think of that poor baby having to endure another day of being ignored when he is desperate!

FeegleFion Sat 15-Jun-13 16:34:22
FeegleFion Sat 15-Jun-13 16:39:28

I doubt very much this is an issue for SS.

I'm with Mintyy on the suggestion she joins MN for support and tips.

Please keep us posted OP.

I'm extremely worried about both mum and baby.

pigletmania Sat 15-Jun-13 16:50:38

You need to help her op, you need empower her and help her seak up for and think fr herself.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 15-Jun-13 17:41:36

If she talks to her health visitor directly about this issue she will receive hopefully decent current advice.

Chances are she hasn't even mentioned it as an issue because she's so stuck on her fuckwit of a DP's idea that he knows all about it and she may be quite frightened of sounding like she doesn't already know.

Sparklymommy Sat 15-Jun-13 18:02:04

Bless her ds! Certainly you need to let her know that her baby needs her and her dh might be mistaken on this one. So hard to do cc with a child this young, and shutting the door so she can't hear him is NOT controlled! Maybe go with her to discuss the issue with her hv.

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