AIBU to not take 5month old to freezing house for weekend?

(86 Posts)
Camdenstyles Fri 30-Nov-12 00:30:48

We are suppose to be visiting my DH's Aunt and Uncle this weekend in Dorset and taking DD who has just turned 5 months. I get a phone call this evening from the Aunt saying their heating has conked out (since Sat) and they are waiting for the repairman to fix it who may or may not come to fix it on Saturday. They are in the deep countryside and I find their house cold at the best of times. She has warned us but said we can pile on warm clothes and go for walks to warm up! She has no children or her own so has no clue about babies. I don't feel comfortable taking DD there if it's going to be freezing, AIBU?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 30-Nov-12 00:33:19

A bit - it's only a weekend, she can do without a bath if it's too chilly to strip off and get wet, but other than that a few layers of clothes will keep her warm.

On the other hand, is there any reason it has to be this weekend? Couldn't you just go the following weekend?

LittleEdie Fri 30-Nov-12 00:35:18

Why don't you feel comfortable?

AThingInYourLife Fri 30-Nov-12 00:38:32

I wouldn't take my 5 month old to a house with no heating.

redandwhitesprinkles Fri 30-Nov-12 00:45:40

What would you do if your heating was broken? If you would stick it out then you should go. My 6 month old seems ok after we had no heating for a week (waiting for parts) just layered him up and used a fan heater to take the chill off his room before we put him into bed (turned it off when he was in there).

Camdenstyles Fri 30-Nov-12 00:50:38

Suggested next weekend but they're busy, then off to live in NZ for next 5 months (they do this every year).

Not comfortable as been really lucky with DD not getting sick so far and although it's only a matter of time don't want to tempt fate.

Hmm, I hate the cold so probably using baby as an excuse grin.

mynameisalexdrake Fri 30-Nov-12 00:54:14

I'd take a fan heater with me.


She won't get sick from being in a cold house. Illnesses are caused by viruses and bacteria - neither of which thrive in cooler temperatures, central heating is actually their favourite thing as it helps them breed. Not to mention that central heating is a relatively modern thing and some people still don't have it and manage fine.

It is better for babies to be cool, I don't have any heating on in DDs bedroom all year round. It's currently 16 degrees in there and she's in pyjamas and a 2.5 tog sleeping bag. She's lovely and warm even though to me the room feels cold. Recommendations are 16-20 degrees for a babies room, with too cold being better than too hot. You can always put layers on it's how we survived all those thousands of years without central heating.

DD has had one cold in 14 months and no other illnesses so far <touch wood> and I honestly believe it's down to no central heating in the bedroom and plenty of fresh air. Until recently we were living in Germany where it's a lot colder than the UK in the winter - and still no heating in the bedroom.

Put layers on her and she will be absolutely fine - and less prone to catching a cold than in a centrally heated house grin. She'll soon let you know if she wants more layers on.

ll31 Fri 30-Nov-12 01:11:55

yabu,bring warm clothes

We take our baby caravanning too - we're going over Christmas. She has a snowsuit for outside and layers for inside. She'll be grand! As will your DD in a cold house.

BrianButterfield Fri 30-Nov-12 01:19:07

God, I wouldn't. Not necessarily because I'd be worried about the baby but because it's going to be really cold this weekend and I'd be miserable.

HappyJoyful Fri 30-Nov-12 01:19:10

YABU, our DD has was born Dec 2010, very cold winter - we don't have central heating. She's ok... I really don't think one weekend of no centrally heated, double glazed house is going to be of harm to your PFB

AThingInYourLife Fri 30-Nov-12 01:37:55

5 month old babies can't go for walks to warm up.

It's bloody cold at the moment and it will be miserable being stuck in the middle of nowhere in a freezing cold house with a baby.

What you would do if your own heating broke down is irrelevant.

That would be an emergency.

Why would you willingly choose those same conditions when you have a heated house to stay in?

It is absolute bullshit that people were healthier before central heating. Life expectancy was lower and far more people died of respiratory illnesses.

It is not advised that people sleep in rooms below 15C because it affects their health. It could well be colder than that in the house in question.

My 5 month old is my PTB, not my 1st or 2nd, and there is no way I would be taking them to an unheated house in November unless I had to.

People on MN are idiotic about heating for some reason.

Would you take your family away for the weekend to a place you knew woukd not have enough food? I doubt it. This is no different really.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 30-Nov-12 01:44:38

Why don't they visit you instead?

I would not be happy, not because of the baby but because I loathe being cold. I need heat.

AThing - I know, what is that? And I know some people struggle to pay the bills, but with others it is clearly a point of principle. People who work from home who won't heat the house during the day 'just for themselves' - WTF is that about? Are they somehow less worthy of being warm than their husband and children??

HappyJoyful Fri 30-Nov-12 01:48:16

Am not sure what you mean by my 5 month old is my PTB ? so could have missed something but - you can add layers and plenty of warmth without fucking central heating. Sorry, it just irks me that the people actually consider this. NO FOOD, hate to say it but 5 month old would be ok?

Loveweekends10 Fri 30-Nov-12 02:01:04

No they don't give birth in cold countries do they? Yes it's a shame no one has babies in Russia or Mongolia isn't it? Of course you can take the baby. Just wrap up in warm clothes. I think people on here need to travel more. You will then see that babies are fine in most living environments if appropriately dressed.
One of the most ridiculous comments I have ever read is comparing someone heating breaking down to having no food!

DD1 was born in the north of Scotland and often it was too cold in the room at night for the baby monitor to register a temp (ie below 12). We all survived but if I had the choice, I wouldn't take a baby in that temp and I wouldn't go myself. It's not about having to cope, because you don't have to, so chat about Russia is irrelevant. I would postpone rather than being miserably cold.

Life expectancy was lower not because of lack of central heating - but because of lack of modern medicine and no NHS.

We do willingly choose to stay in those conditions when we have a heated house every time we go camping in winter.

That said - I do heat the downstairs of the house whenever it's cold, even if there is only me in. It's the bedrooms I don't heat. DD was considered to be at risk of SIDS so we stick like glue to the recommended room temp range of 16 - 20 with an optimal temp of 18.

We're all fit as fleas and I do think it's down to not heating the bedrooms as it's the only thing we've done differently since having DD.

EMS23 Fri 30-Nov-12 03:04:02

Urgh, I hate the cold. I wouldn't go, YANBU.

LDNmummy Fri 30-Nov-12 03:05:34

I wouldn't take myself there let alone my DD.


Invite them to come to yours if feasible; being cold is very miserable especially when you don't have to be.

LDNmummy Fri 30-Nov-12 03:32:57

I wouldn't compare no heating to not having food though, that's just not the same thing now is it.

But I still wouldn't go.

LulaBear Fri 30-Nov-12 03:54:20

They have done the right thing by calling you to tell you there will be no heating. This is your very small baby that will be cold. I would say, thank you, but no thank you, we will come and visit you soon (when you have heating!). It's already reaching 0c in London. As an adult, if I was invited somewhere that had broken heating, I would make my excuses! Don't feel guilty.

IceNoSlice Fri 30-Nov-12 04:06:22

We have a cold house (DH and I like it that way, hate being too hot) but I was concerned that my 3mo would either be cold or wrapped up like the Michelin man inside. So, rather than have the heating on all day, I got an oil filled electric heater which I move between the downstairs room and nursery (although I note the point about optimal temp for babies, but 19 deg is a lot nicer than 16!)

Could your aunt buy a couple of freestanding electric heaters? Or could you take with you?

We have no heating. (Its temperamental and we cant afford oil)

So we are heating the house with a fan heater and the fire. DD2 is 3 weeks old. Yes its not ideal, but its hardly the same as not having any food hmm

I grew up in a house that didnt even have a heating system plumbed into it, the windows were draughty and the roof leaked. Its really not hard to put on a few extra layers.

CheerfulYank Fri 30-Nov-12 04:23:16

I grew up with only a woodstove in Minnesota where it gets to be -40 in the winter, so I think YAB a bit U. But if you really don't want to go, that's up to you. smile

CheerfulYank Fri 30-Nov-12 04:23:49

Although my parents DID eventually get a furnace...after I was grown and out of the house. hmm

Lavenderhoney Fri 30-Nov-12 04:28:01

You could ask if they have a portable oil heater to move around, for the lounge and the bedroom? I don't think it's very good for babies used to warmth to breathe very cold air but that is just my opinion. 5 months is very tiny as well. She is nice to warn you, so clearly thinking of your baby. Could you stay nearby in a wam hotel? I don't think I'd like to go for a cold walk to come back to a cold house either!

I think I would go, but wrap up very warm and check the weather reports before setting off for snow. Do you co-sleep?

Get a cheap fan heater and go.

Mrsbranestawm Fri 30-Nov-12 04:55:32

I'd go. She was right to warn you, so that you can be prepared. Take lots of layers, and a fan heater as Whistling said.

firstbabyhelp Fri 30-Nov-12 05:12:05

YANBU, I definitely wouldn't go. My in-law's house is often freezing when we go for the weekend and it puts me in a bad mood for our whole stay. There is nothing worse than getting in to a freezing bed at night, and waking up with a freezing face because it is so cold. No need to subject your baby to that unnecessarily.

HollyMadison Fri 30-Nov-12 05:19:35

I don't think I'd do it or I'd stay nearby in a hotel or bring a fan heater. That's because I have been away and stayed in a very cold house when my DS was a little baby. It's the nights which are difficult. You don't want to wrap them up because of the SIDS risk and you may not want to co-sleep if the bed is not suitable. I ended up sitting up in bed all night with DS in my arms and my own shoulders and head extremely cold!!

If you don't go you should be straight up as to why. Before I had DC I would never have understood why they can't just be wrapped up in lots of layers.

BinksToEnlightenment Fri 30-Nov-12 05:28:30

I'm sure you'd all be fine, maybe it could even be an adventure, but it would be a little bleak.

As for comparing it to no food. Personally I'd rather starve all weekend in the warm.

IveNoIntentionOfMakingCupcakes Fri 30-Nov-12 05:32:49

You are your babies champion. If you don't feel it's right for your child then don't do it, regardless of what other people choose for their children.

Besides, if she doesn't settle then you'll be up all night in the freezing cold, which'll be a bit miserable for you too.

Want2bSupermum Fri 30-Nov-12 05:50:08

You are responsible for your babies health. If you don't think the environment is suitable then don't go. I would invite them to your house or do a day visit.

FWIW we had no heat for a week after hurricane sandy as our power was out. DD was fighting a cold she had picked up on the previous Friday and she was over the worst of it by Sunday. Our power went out Monday 8pm and by Wednesday 4pm we were in the ER as her doctor was concerned she had developed pneumonia. She turned out to be fine but she had a serious ear infection as a result of her cold (and a temp of 105F). DD is 16 months old and I was shocked that her health could deteriorate so quickly.

LtEveDallas Fri 30-Nov-12 05:51:36

MILs house was always cold. She didn't get central heating until 3 or 4 years ago. Until then the only heating was a gas fire in the living room. DD was fine from birth - warm clothes, hats and snuggled up in blankets.

We all suffer more now there is heating - all 3 of us get blocked noses and dry coughs whenever we stay.

It's a weekend, you'll be fine.

MightTinge Fri 30-Nov-12 06:00:07

I would buy a heater and go.
They arent that expensive and work very well.

I had my pfb in a very cold flat with no heating for the first year of his life. Heaters are great, you can easily sell it on gum tree afterwards. And you dont need it on at night. Put her in bed with you, she'll be toasty.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 30-Nov-12 06:06:16

Although I'm sure she'll be fine I think it will be miserable. i'm in Doset and there's a hard frost out there at the moment and it's -4 . I just looked out the window as was struck how light it seemed and thought or a moment it had snowed , but it was just the frost . I'd do the staying close by unless she has a fair few portable heaters on the go.

If you ar used to heating it is a bit of a shock to the system without, ours broke down and had to be repaired in the middle of a cold winter and it was pretty miserable. We did an emergency heater run for friends whose heating broke own yesterday. They usually say no to offers like that as they hate putting people out but jumped at it this time so must have been cold and they are pretty hardy and don't have it on much anyway.

Saski Fri 30-Nov-12 06:35:13

That sounds horrible. I would reschedule, very tactfully.

RosannaBanana Fri 30-Nov-12 07:22:47

YANBU, I probably wouldn't go. I hate being cold! Your baby would almost certainly be fine, but you might be worried/stressed and that could spoil things. If they're not used to not having central heating then it may be very cold. Do they have electric heaters or an open fire?

pigletmania Fri 30-Nov-12 07:39:46

YANBU at all. The baby is 5 months not 5 years, their immunity and temperature control not fully developed yet. I wouldn't, a lot of vulnerable people are affected by hypothermia due to lack of heating

AThingInYourLife Fri 30-Nov-12 07:46:35

"Life expectancy was lower not because of lack of central heating - but because of lack of modern medicine and no NHS."

Warm housing was a factor too.

Why do you imagine fuel poverty is a problem?

Hint: it's because being cold for extended periods is bad for your health.

"Yes it's a shame no one has babies in Russia or Mongolia isn't it?"

What can that possibly have to do with whether a woman in England should bring a baby to an unheated house in winter? confused

Do you think the tribes in Mongolia don't heat their yurts?

People who live in cold climates spend a lot of time making sure they are warm.

Oh, and PS I said it would be like going where you knew there wasn't enough food, ie where you knew that basic needs like food and heat would not be adequately met.

A baby can't tell you they are cold, they can't move around to warm up, they can't lie on the floor and kick their legs and roll over if they are wrapped up like a Michelin man, which is about their only fun at that age.

What is the point of all that for a completely unnecessary trip?

I'm the parent who is always getting remarks about not keeping my baby warm enough, and I would stay home. I don't get how it can possibly be unreasonable to want to keep your baby warm.

"DD was considered to be at risk of SIDS so we stick like glue to the recommended room temp range of 16 - 20 with an optimal temp of 18."

Keeping a house that warm frequently requires additional heating at the moment confused

You are telling the OP she is U to take her baby where she will likely have to sleep in colder temperatures than you deem apprproprite for your baby.

EmmaBemma Fri 30-Nov-12 07:54:15

It's much more dangerous for a baby to be too hot than too cold. But in any case there's no need for her to be cold, you can easily wrap her up.

ThompsonTwins Fri 30-Nov-12 07:58:30

I would go, take a fan heater with me and tell the aunt and uncle that I intended to do so.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 08:01:10

Is your DD still feeding at night? If so I would definitely not go. DH and I went to stay with DH's aunt when DS was about 4 months and her DH (who is an alcoholic and has zero sense) turned off the heating before going to bed despite being told multiple times not to. DS woke up at about 2 looking for a feed and the house was like a fridge. I ended up having to get my suitcase and get fully dressed before I could bear getting out of bed to feed him, and even then I was shivering. It was one of the most miserable nights of my life, especially as DS would not settle. His little hands were like ice. I ended up just getting up at about 4:30 because I was so pissed off at trying to get us both warm enough to go back to sleep.

That was in a house where the heating had been on all evening and then turned off. I can't imagine how cold the house would have been if there'd been no heating at all.

AThingInYourLife Fri 30-Nov-12 08:02:44

Why should the baby spend the entire weekend wrapped up?

She also won't be cold if her parents don't take her on a visit to a house with broken heating.

Going on a visit is a choice. You don't have to go.


People are advising that a baby should have cold inflicted on them and spend an entire weekend trussed up like a turkey (which they hate at that age) for what exactly?


Whocansay Fri 30-Nov-12 08:19:15

Why would anyone choose this sort of discomfort for themselves, let alone a baby? Just go another weekend and save yourself the worry / stress / blue fingers. If you went, it would be grim.

QuickLookBusy Fri 30-Nov-12 08:20:44

Agree with youAThingInYourLife

Op do not go, the temps are meant to drop this weekend. It is already freezing here and it's going to get worse. In freezing weather we often wake up to ice inside our windows and we have heating and a wood burner, as soon as that kicks in we can get warm. But you won't get warm, you'll spend all weekend freezing. And so will your baby.

teacher123 Fri 30-Nov-12 08:21:47

If your DD is anything like my DS she won't sleep whilst you're there because of the cold. When we went on holiday and to stay with friends who's houses were significantly colder than ours his sleep really suffered (his room his normally 20/21 degrees, our house is naturally on the warm side, not because we have the heating on 24/7, there the rooms were 16). It is what they are used to. And because they don't move around much in their sleep they cannot heat themselves up, or tuck themselves in snugly. I don't think it will do her any harm necessarily, but it seems odd to put yourself in this position if its avoidable.

Dawndonna Fri 30-Nov-12 08:22:11

Some of us were dragged up in the days before central heating, we are fine. Just use plenty of layers.

AThingInYourLife Fri 30-Nov-12 08:29:27

I mean, if the OP was asking whether she should take her baby to the home of an aunt who had had a fall and needed to be looked after, I would be saying that the baby would be fine for a weekend, bring a heater, wrap up warm.

But this is a social visit. Why would you take a baby to an unheated house on a supposedly freezing weekend for fun?


It's baffling.

MariaMandarin Fri 30-Nov-12 08:29:57

There is no way I would be going. It will absolutely miserable. I really, really hate being cold. I am not sure if it's a health hazard or not, but there is definitely some rubbish being talked here. In Russia, for example, people's homes are heated to a very high temperature inside during the winter.

pigletmania Fri 30-Nov-12 08:33:21

This is a choice, you don't have to go. Why subject a young baby to a cold damp house if you dnt have to. Even though the baby will have ayers the house will be cold and damp

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 30-Nov-12 08:37:25

AThing is right about the amount of attention people in cold climates pay to keeping warm. They have state subsidised heating fuel in Russia, or they used to anyway. To listen to some posters here you'd think they left their babies outside in snowstorms! And even in prehistoric winters, people sheltered in caves with a big fire. That can actually get quite toasty. So OP, if your aunt will let you light a bonfire in her living room to keep warm, it will totally be the same thing. Otherwise, it's completely irrelevant.

There are people who manage in that kind of cold because they have to, and don't die. The issue is whether you want to volunteer for it, though. Oh, and in the middle of the countryside this weekend, 'freezing' is optimistic. At night it will probably be below.

honeytea Fri 30-Nov-12 08:44:09

I think it depends on how warm your home usually is.

I grew up with no central heating and it was fine, but now I live in Sweden and they keep their homes very very warm, in apartments they are not allowed to let it get cooler than 20 degrees it is recommended to be at least 22 degrees.

When I go home to my parents house in the UK they have the heating on for a couple of hours a day despite having a hot tub that surely uses more energy than the central heating? it does feel very very cold.

2 years ago we stayed in a hotel made of ice it was -5 in the room we slept in but I actually felt colder at my mum's.

AThingInYourLife Fri 30-Nov-12 09:08:03

I mean, if the OP was asking whether she should take her baby to the home of an aunt who had had a fall and needed to be looked after, I would be saying that the baby would be fine for a weekend, bring a heater, wrap up warm.

But this is a social visit. Why would you take a baby to an unheated house on a supposedly freezing weekend for fun?


It's baffling.

BrianButterfield Fri 30-Nov-12 09:15:28

Quite a lot of us grew up in homes without central heating and yes, we survived, but I bet we can all remember being very cold in bed some nights and not very happy about it! And that was in a situation where there wasn't really another option. Victorian houses have fireplaces in the bedroom for a reason - they weren't heating those room during the day, you know. I just don't know why you would take a baby to an unheated house in literally freezing temperatures for no real reason. It's not necessary and it won't be nice for her, even if she will be OK. It's not the 1970s!

AThingInYourLife Fri 30-Nov-12 09:18:29

"I just don't know why you would take a baby to an unheated house in literally freezing temperatures for no real reason. It's not necessary and it won't be nice for her, even if she will be OK."


LtEveDallas Fri 30-Nov-12 09:24:03

As long as you don't mind not seeing your aunt for 6 months, then don't go. it depends how much she means to you I suppose.

If it is important to you to see her, then there is no obstacle you cannot overcome for the sake of a weekend. Warm clothes, plug in heater (I prefer a radiator rather than a blow heater) and lots of cuddles.

Remember your DD will be a year old the next time your aunt sees her, she may be keen to say goodbye.

Your choice, being in a cold house will not necessarily make your DD sick any more than being in a hot house would.

I have Russian friends. They heat the crap out of their homes!

I would not take a 5 month old -- they can't run around to warm up, they can't tell you they're too cold -- if she were used to it, that would be one thing, but it will probably be a bit of a shock and not too pleasant for her.

ISeeThreadPeople Fri 30-Nov-12 09:30:43

If you don't want to go, don't go. But don't blame it on the baby.

I don't bother with heating upstairs at all and never have and just light the woodburner when I feel like it, plus I grew up in a house with no heating. I don't remember being miserable at all, just fond memories of water bottles, eider downs, electric blankets eventually etc.

It's not about reasonable or unreasonable. Either you want to go or you don't and either you'll do it or you won't. Cold house won't harm your baby in any noticeable way if you dress appropriately.

Plenty of other sensible suggestions here such as heaters.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Fri 30-Nov-12 09:36:07

THIS is possibly the stupidest thing I have read in a long while:

Loveweekends10 Fri 30-Nov-12 02:01:04
No they don't give birth in cold countries do they? Yes it's a shame no one has babies in Russia or Mongolia isn't it?

Loveweekends, do you think people in Russia and Mongolia dont live in houses, or dont have heating? Even my friends from Ulan Bator had central heating! And their relatives who still lived in Yurts had it pretty nice and snug with fires burning, even if the winds are blowing outside.
They dress in fur and sheepskins, to keep the cold out. Babies sleep in ship skin and other skin sleeping bags in those conditions. check out what scandinavian babies snuggle in

You cant compare like that simply because
a) Russia, Mongolia, and indeed the arctic have DRY cold, and Britain has bone-chilling damp cold. The cold is not the biggest problem but the combination of damp and cold make it a lot harder to keep warm.
b) People in the countries you mention (and indeed the arctic where I am from) wear different clothes and shoes. Layers of wool, and down and fur.

A trip to an unheated house in Dorset, cant compare to Russia, Mongolia or Norway and Finland or Spitsbergen at all.

(I know which ones I would prefer wink )

bondigidum Fri 30-Nov-12 09:37:44


Central heating is relatively new. Not so long ago you had one fire in the front room and often people couldn't afford to light it so a lot of people grew up in a freezing house. My mum said they used to leg it downstairs after their bath because the house was too cold to stand around getting dried so they'd run to get in front of the fire.

Also I reckon a lot of people now probably live without the heating because its too expensive. Our boiler bust in January and we had to live a weekend without it, our DC were 22 months&7 months, I was in first trimester as well. We dealt with it, had no other option. Just layered kids up and on a night lots of blankets/sleeping bags.

If it was a week i'd say yanbu just because its really annoying and impractical filling baths up with kettle water but a weekend will be fine.

shellshock7 Fri 30-Nov-12 09:38:04

The radiator in my 8m DSs room is not working properly the last few days, I tried an electric heater (a fan heater would wake him up) but that made him so stuffy, it's really not good for a baby, so he's back in our room till its fixed....I wouldn't sleep in there so why should he smile

Mumsyblouse Fri 30-Nov-12 09:41:04

People are really daft about the cold on MN. In Russia and cold countries, they understand how dangerous the cold is, to the young (who cannot regulate their own body temperatures) and the old, so they spend a vast amount of their time and money heating their homes. In Eastern Europe, I am never cold in winter, they have extremely effective heating delivered centrally to their flats, or if you go into the countryside, they have wood burners/oil fulled heaters, they would never ever suggest leaving a baby in an unheated house! If they have no money, and are poor, they live in one room and sleep in it altogether, for the entire winter. They don't go upstairs, simple.

And, as for all those saying, we didn't have central heating, what, you had no heating whatsoever for the entire winter? If you have even one room downstairs with a coal fire, it heats the upstairs rooms just a tiny bit. That's why I wouldn't go unless they were heating the downstairs rooms, I'd take a fan heater/oil filled heater and have it on.

But you can end up overheating a baby in a cold house by overdressing/using duvets etc, you just have to be sensible and not over-react.

I wouldn't personally go, I hate being cold and would spend the entire weekend shivering and feeling miserable, as I find once the cold sets in, it's hard to get warm again unless they are happy for you to all sit under duvets!

That's a good point Mumsy, there's a big difference between hardly ever turning on the heat and being in a house that hasn't had any heat at all for days.

I have to say, I prefer spending winter in properly cold places where they take cold seriously, to sorta-cold places where people try to tough it out.

YANBU, it will be miserable.

My DH's brother and family live in the coldest house I have ever been in, and it definitely puts us of visiting. When we go we make sure that we all wear thick sweaters and have been known to even keep scarves on. DD has to wear a fleece and a gilet.

I would invite them to yours.

sad that is a cold face not a sad one by the way!

Camdenstyles Fri 30-Nov-12 09:47:57

Update: have decided not to go and just found out from my MIL the Aunt has a cold too, which she failed to mention on the phone. I too grew up without central heating and we would sometimes get ice inside the windows but it's not pleasant for anyone. I love the fact that the UK has central heating in most houses, it's lovely smile
She'll probably be offended but I will see her in NZ when we go home to visit this summer.

BrianButterfield Fri 30-Nov-12 09:50:33

When we moved into our house it had been empty for a while. It was March but it had been snowing and even with the electric fire on downstairs and a plug-in heater it was so hideously, unbearably cold. There was no residual warmth in the walls at all.

Mumsyblouse Fri 30-Nov-12 09:50:38

dreaming Not Quint I totally agree, my husband hates spending time at my mum's house in the UK because it is cold and draughty and she has the heating on very low so nothing freezes, but not enough to be able to relax. He's from a country where it is regularly -20 or worse in winter, but they alway heat their homes very heavily, it's not an option there unless you want to die of hypothermia/have a heart attack/stroke in the night (which sadly lots of old people do as they are unable to afford heating).

SugarplumMary Fri 30-Nov-12 09:51:49


But I don't think you'll get people to agree with that.

When our first was under 5 months in December - IL wanted us to visit so we could go to their house and turn the heating on and get basic shopping in so it was all there when they returned of their overseas holiday.

We would have had to travel for over 2 half hours in December carrying all the baby stuff - waiting for buses and trains and then walking 45 minutes in freezing cold to get to a house with no heating on and no food.

We got phone calls from friends and family just round the corner from IL telling us how completely unreasonable we were being hmm and the baby would be fine.

We went few days after when the house was warm and we got a food delivery with baby stuff like nappies all waiting for us there – it was still a long cold hard journey.

I think your options are see if you visit another time – mid week, cut the visit short a day visits for a few hours, met somewhere in middle, have them come to you or wait another 6 months to meet up or find a hotel to stop in.

Janeatthebarre Fri 30-Nov-12 10:13:03

YANBU. Not so much because of the baby who probably won't notice if she's wrapped up in layers but because there's nothing more miserable than a really cold house.
I know years ago people didn't have central heating but when you've become used to it, it's very hard to acclimatise to an unheated house.

naturalbaby Fri 30-Nov-12 10:16:01

I get grumpy and miserable visiting cold houses but no heating would be the tipping point for me!

Taking fan heaters is a good idea - our bedroom is toasty in minutes with ours.

Mumsyblouse Fri 30-Nov-12 10:20:55

People used to heat their houses before central heating in Britain you know! In the 1970's we had two coal fires downstairs which were lovely, and a portable electric heater for if we were ill, or it was very very cold at night, otherwise bedrooms unheated, used to dress downstairs, have bed socks on and make a run for it (then do stars with your arms and legs in the bed to heat it up!)

I even remember a horse and cart coming with the coal I must be ancient

People may not have had central heating, but that's why terraces were great, if your neighbour heated theirs, you benefitted!

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 30-Nov-12 10:22:16

The layers is also a good point, and indeed people living right out in the coldest areas in Mongolia and Russia often wear animal skins, furs. They also did this in prehistoric times. Got any yakskins to hand, OP? Or mammoth hide boots?

I'd pull a sickie if I were you. Tell them you and the baby both have the epic shits. People never want to know details if you have the shits.

CheerfulYank Fri 30-Nov-12 10:24:29

It is all what you're used to as well...we turn our thermostat down to 14 in the winter (though our bedrooms are upstairs and small and stuffy, so they probably stay a bit warmer) but we're used to it. Also have lots of duvets, flannel sheets, wool socks, etc. Even then the first few weeks of winter are always takes awhile to toughen back up! smile

Glad you've come to a decision OP...if you were going to be miserable there's no point in a visit anyway, I suppose.

CheerfulYank Fri 30-Nov-12 10:24:48

*turn it down at night, I mean.

pigletmania Fri 30-Nov-12 10:33:11

Your baby comes first and I would not take my 5 month baby to an unheated house, not just for a day but a few. It won't be pleasant for anyone. Op you are doing the right thing

LtEveDallas Fri 30-Nov-12 11:12:34

Does OP say all the heating is gone? Don't most centrally heated houses have a secondary heat source?

I feel a little sorry for the Aunt TBH. There she was looking forward to seeing her nephew and his daughter and now through no fault of her own (unless she took an axe to her boiler) she won't see them for 6 months. Aww.

I can't help but think this is far more to do with the OP than the baby smile

BrianButterfield Fri 30-Nov-12 11:29:22

If the aunt's that bothered, the roads run both ways...

HazleNutt Fri 30-Nov-12 12:39:23

YANBU, I would not go myself, even without a baby. And would move to a hotel if the heating broke in my own house. Nothing makes me as miserable as being cold.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Fri 30-Nov-12 12:42:41

take a heater with you?

LaCiccolina Fri 30-Nov-12 12:45:11

Why don't you just ask her? Say I'm a bit worried that young baby will get cold/ill therefore I'm thinking we might leave it this weekend. Have you already been shopping? Understand we can't see you til X date, which is sad but we think this poss for best. Sincerely hope fixed for you....

If she's been shopping it's harder to say no and would be more u.

rotavirusrita Fri 30-Nov-12 12:45:44

lol is this a good thread to admit we havent had functioning central heating for over 3 yrs? we have a solid fuel fire thing, 2 fan heaters if needed and hot water bottles and 3 children under 8.

I actually hate being cold..... but find it works fine without central heating. put on some extra layers and you'll be fine.

rotavirusrita Fri 30-Nov-12 12:47:40

oh and fwiw the only reason i know it was over 3 yrs agop was that it broke shortly before I gave birth to DS3 3 yrs ago! He disnt seem to get poorly more than other babies

We don't heat our house apart from a few days a year. Now we live in an extremely mild climate but it does still get down to about 9 degrees at night in winter. We do this because DS#1 and I have asthma and all of us have allergies and we have found that we are wayyyy healthier if we keep the house cold. It makes such a huge difference. When DS#2 was tiny we had a hot air blower for nappy changes and bath time but otherwise just layered. I always used the one more layer than I had rule and he was fine. Even when we went up to the snow he didn't need that much bulk, just plenty of light layers. We have always had warm pjs, hot water bottles and good duvets.

Now saying that, I wouldn't go if the cold makes you miserable unless I took a heater and told my hosts that I planned to bring it.

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