to think a 6 month old isn't going to be independent just yet?

(34 Posts)
microferret Fri 12-Jun-15 09:18:25

Bit of background - my dad is a really lovely man and has been a great father BUT in the years since he retired (from a job as a much-loved GP) he has become increasingly hard work. By his own admission he misses having his opinion listened to and unquestioningly accepted, and as a result he is always dishing out unwanted parenting advice to me. He insists I feed the baby too much (I bf on demand), that I should feed her on a four-hour schedule, that it's time to wean her now, that my DH should be bottle feeding her, that she should be becoming independent, that I should leave her to cry etc The first time he suggested I leave her to cry ("it's what she needs") she was only 10 bloody days old.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit tired and frustrated as I sleep lightly now that I have a baby, and she's going through a fussy phase, so I decided to skype my parents to break up the day. As soon as I mentioned how I was feeling my Dad launched straight into the aforementioned unsolicited advice. He also kept suggesting that the reason the baby is a bit clingy right now is that we pay her too much attention (we use the AP parenting style as it feels natural to us). The rational part of me knows that's bollocks as she's still so tiny, but I'd still like to know if others feel it is normal to have a baby who needs constant entertainment and company at 6 months. The way my dad goes on it sounds as if I should be expecting her to be applying for a credit card and taking herself to the theatre by now. AIBU to think he has forgotten what tiny babies are actually like?

BestZebbie Fri 12-Jun-15 09:24:53

I'd still like to know if others feel it is normal to have a baby who needs constant entertainment and company at 6 months.

My 6 month old (this was last month) did/does not need constant company or human interaction. He did need constant entertainment but this could come from eg: playing quietly alone in a playpen with his toys and a parent checking in on him every 5-10 mins (obviously not for hours and hours, he would get bored/lonely eventually, but you could get lots of jobs done in an adjacent room before that happened).

However, I am only offering this because you specifically asked for the data, I think it is totally normal to still want to be around people 100% of the time at that age and a very mainstream way of parenting.

knittingdad Fri 12-Jun-15 09:25:03

There is no one right way to raise a child, except with love, and it's always a bit trial and error.

Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of one parenting style over another, it's rude and unhelpful for your Dad to be so insensitive about this.

Howmanywotwots Fri 12-Jun-15 09:30:39

My 6 month old is starting to complain if she's put down now, this is a recent thing. I remember my eldest being very clingy from this age too.

So yes I think it is normal that a 6 month old needs constant attention.

I think men get a bit opinionated as they get older, it's one of the perks of getting old being able to say what the hell you like to everyone.

microferret Fri 12-Jun-15 09:32:40

thanks all. yep howmany my mum used to be the opinionated one, now she's lovely and

ErrolTheDragon Fri 12-Jun-15 09:34:40

Your dad knows one rather old fashioned way to raise a baby. As a matter of interest, how much was he actually involved in parenting his on children? (I'd guess some but less than he thinks).

What you describe is perfectly normal. Of course a 6 month old isn't in any way, shape or form 'independent'. Some need more active attention than others. It must be pretty boring at that age when they mostly can only just about sit up and not move around much.

How about you tell him that he's raised an independent daughter so he should respect you doing things your way ?

microferret Fri 12-Jun-15 09:36:04

argH stupid ipad. My mum used to be the opinionated one who I was always falling out with, and now she's lovely... She told me she realised she was just wasting her time being too outspoken and starting arguments and confrontations with people she loves. But now Dad has taken up the mantle, and he's much worse. The most frustrating part is that he is terribly sensitive and gets huffy and actually depressed for days when challenged. I texted my mum after the chat to let him know that if Dad is in a confrontational mood to just advise me not to call as it isn't worth the strain on our relationship.

TarkaTheOtter Fri 12-Jun-15 09:36:53

It is still very normal to still constant attention at 6 months. Some like BestZebbie might have babies who are less clingy but that's just natural variation. They also often become clingier as they get older/more mobile and start to realise that you can move away from them. All of mine have been clingier at 1yr than 6months.

microferret Fri 12-Jun-15 09:40:17

heh Errol you might be on the money there. Dad was largely absent from our lives when I was a kid - he left for the surgery at 5:45 am, rarely returned before 8 pm, and was only really available on Saturdays (Sundays he had to dictate his patients' notes). Mum really did most of the parenting. He was great when he was around... But he wasn't around much.

seastargirl Fri 12-Jun-15 09:41:38

My eldest, needed you with him entertaining him constantly, he's 3 now and still hates to play by himself and is very demanding, no chance of doing much without him around.

My youngest, super chilled, happily played by herself from as soon as she could sit up and is still like that now she's nearly 2.

I think it's to do with the child's personality. But your baby do it your way, if you're happy and baby is happy that's what matters.

TitsCrossed Fri 12-Jun-15 09:43:57

Of course you should parent the way you feel is right. Unsolicited advice and lectures are really unhelpful, partic when you are tired.

It sounds like your dad is struggling to adapt to retirement and needs a diversion, something to keep his mind occupied and give him an outlet. Is he in good health? Does he do any activities/clubs/committees etc? Do you think he is depressed?

GoodToesBadToes Fri 12-Jun-15 09:44:01

I don't know. My baby was on a four-hour feeding schedule from 8 weeks, was put down awake from birth and was left to play on her own regularly while I did housework etc.
She's 8 months old now and has woken during the night 4 times since Christmas, rarely cries and is quite content.
So I'd agree with your dad!

WoonerismSpit Fri 12-Jun-15 09:47:04

DD is 8mo and the ultimate in Velcro baby. She is very clingy, will play by herself for 10 minutes but you have to be nearby. She is at her happiest when having a cuddle with me or her dad.

PIL have been going on about us dropping her round there, so we did yesterday, and told them to call us if she cried because she's teething at the moment, so she's extra clingy with me. Went back 45 minutes later, poor baby was sobbing and had been for a long time, yet no phone call hmm

Apparently it's because I still bf and I co-sleep...I think it's just how some of the older generation are wired!

Just smile and nod and carry on doing it your way smile

WoonerismSpit Fri 12-Jun-15 09:49:00

goodtoes DD wouldn't cope with a 4 hour feeding schedule at 8 months, let alone weeks! Just goes to show how all babies are so different smile

freelancegirl Fri 12-Jun-15 09:49:22

Perfectly normal. I'm on my second 6 month old (my first is now almost 3) and I think like pp have your dad knows one very old fashioned way of rearing children. And in the nicest possible way he wasn't the one doing all the baby care! I was an unplanned accidental parent (baby was planned style of parenting wasn't!) due to clingy crap sleeper and he's turned out fine. Cosleeping and EBF on demand with the second from the outset and not worrying about it at all. It sounds like it is hard to ignore your dad if he gets a but huffy about things and it is a shame if you can't confide in your parents but maybe you d be better glossing over details with him!

LaurieMarlow Fri 12-Jun-15 09:49:38

At 6 months my DS needed a lot more attention/entertaining than at 3 months. Sounds like your Dad is reacting badly to his loss of role/status now that he's retired. And this is a way of asserting his authority.

Tricky one, but I'd be clear that you have your own views on how to raise your baby. That's not to say you won't listen to advice, but you will make your own decisions. And be very firm and clear on that.

Sounds like your dad needs a hobby.

microferret Fri 12-Jun-15 09:53:40

Good toes - in general DD is a very happy and healthy child. She sleeps well (from 10pm to 8am) and has since she was about a month old, waking only for dream feeds. She rarely cries inconsolably - that's happened about 5 times since she was born. She is in perfect health, in the 90th percentile for height, weight and head circumference, and she smiles all the time. But she's going through a fussy phase at the moment and she's never liked being left alone anyway. My dad just leaps on any sign that things aren't completely perfect to try to foist his unwanted advice on me, even though by all accounts (friends always comment on it) we have a super chilled out and calm baby.

tbtc Fri 12-Jun-15 09:56:05

It doesn't matter whether it's normal or not, if it's right for you and your family then that's all that matters.

You need to tell him that you need to find your own way as a Mother. He's had his time to raise children and it's your turn now. He needs to know that you are not looking to him for solutions and that if you want his advice you'll be specific about it e.g. Dad, what do you think about.....?

Birdsgottafly Fri 12-Jun-15 09:57:51

I've had a lot of involvement with families and I'm in my late 40s.

Babies are individual and have different needs and need different care needs, the need to be carried about and not left is more common than not at 6 months.

Quite frankly, many babies and children were emotionally neglected and sometimes physically, by the parenting style your Dad is advocating.

It was the reason why many women stopped BF, of course BF was going to fail, the babies wasn't being latched on enough, but the aim was to get the women back doing the housework and servicing their men.

Id say to enjoy your baby, its a short window that you'll never get back.

Has your Dad thought about voluntary work, or getting involved in a club based activity?

Depression is common in retired men and he's still in the adjustment period, but he certainly needs to be planning something, so he isn't thinking this is it.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Fri 12-Jun-15 10:13:43

I'm not sure there is a normal where a 6 month old baby is concerned! They're all so different. I followed a sort of AP style but DD was and always has been massively independent. We've never had a clingy phase. At 6 months she had just learned to crawl and mu problem was getting her to stay nearby! That's just her though, and doesn't mean any other baby is not normal!
Your problem is your dad offering unsolicited advice, not your parenting style. Mine does it too. And FIL sounds similar in that he's a recently retired private school headmaster and doesn't understand why we don't do everything he says as his word is obviously law!
With my dad I just brush it off and say things like 'it's a good job I'm her parent not you then isn't it?' In a light tone, which usually stops him. Sometimes I suggest he looks up the more modern advice which he always does and then looks a bit sheepish! I take it with a pinch of salt.

flimflamflarnfilth Fri 12-Jun-15 10:29:21

My DD was v. clingy.
Almost non-stop, day & night.
My DS (5 months) couldn't care less if I'm in the same room most of the time.
Whether it's a boy/girl thing or a DC1 vs. DC2 thing I know not.
I love listening to all the old style advice. I nod, smile and look interested. Then on the way home me and my partner have a good giggle about it.
As a PP said, some of the old advice was bordering on neglect and on I occasion just plain wrong.
Find your own way, do what works for you and your child and to heck with everyone else.

LST Fri 12-Jun-15 10:31:00

Baby 1.. was happy to play alone from very early on. Quite happy bouncing in his bouncer watching his dangly toys.

Baby 2.. is currently asleep on my knee. He is almost 18 months old. Need I say more...hmm

ouryve Fri 12-Jun-15 10:35:01

I couldn't take my eyes off either of mine at 6 months. DS2 had severe developmental delays, so wasn't like any version of a 6 month old at all. DS1 had already been mobile for 6 weeks and was into everything - and if he couldn't get at everything, he was angry about it and often got himself into dangerous situations. The only time I got anything done was when he was in his swing.

ouryve Fri 12-Jun-15 10:38:07

Realising what your dad did for a profession, he's in doctor knows best mode, isn't he? That's a hard one and definitely not worth engaging with.

Cornettoninja Fri 12-Jun-15 10:43:02

Perhaps you should just sit your dd down on Skype and tell him to have a word since she's not listening to you. Should get the message across.

He just wants to be involved though, you're more than entitled to be annoyed by it but it might help to chant 'it comes from a place of love, it comes from a place of love' (while laughing at him trying to converse with a tiny human on Skype)

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