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..

HollyBerryBush Thu 09-May-13 18:14:15

Depends how ill people are waiting. Ill or worried people do not want to be disturbed, just left alone with their own thoughts.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 09-May-13 18:25:13

If they were feeling ill they were probably feeling anxious or irritable.

I'd wait elsewhere if you can.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 09-May-13 18:26:13

Can he get a taxi home so you can just drop him off. Hospital waiting room isn't much fun for a baby or a mother who has to endure dirty looks

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 09-May-13 18:29:39

ENT as in ears, nose and throat?

Anyone with ear problems will hear her a thousand times louder than you do. Anyone seriously ill will hate being disturbed, even by an adorable baby. They want time with their own thoughts.

I'd drop him off in the future, or get him to get a taxi or train.

HollyBerryBush Thu 09-May-13 18:30:50

Baby may not be crying but babbling - both yours and hers - would sadly drive me to distraction, if I was wanting quiet time.

Really, treat a waiting room like a you would a library, unless its paediatrics of course

TwinkleTits Thu 09-May-13 18:32:01

It may have been the 'ears' part of the ENT to blame.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 09-May-13 18:32:34

There may be a play area and normally a cafe somewhere else in the hospital, if your 1yo is anything like mine have been it will be easier to wait there in the future.

Sorry if they were grumpy, but they may well have been in pain.

PrincessScrumpy Thu 09-May-13 18:32:41

Dh took me to hospital and waited with me (for 3 hours) with our 10mo twins. There was no phone reception so he needed to know when I'd gone in so he could plan collecting me and dd1 from school, plus I was nervous. Clearly i'm selfish as I didn't give 2 hoots what others thought... I needed dh there and there are very few people confident enough to baby sit 10 month old twins (I have found). Do whatever you need to do and makes your life easier. Babies cry (unless you DH is having treatment for migraines! ;)

PrincessScrumpy Thu 09-May-13 18:34:39

Do people really go to hospital expecting peace and quiet?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 09-May-13 18:35:08

Admirable honesty there, Princess

Iggi101 Thu 09-May-13 18:36:09

I have had ear problems in the past that resulted in all sounds being muffled, so during my trips to ENT I wouldn't have been very disturbed by your wee one! I think you encountered an unusual group, I usually find people keen to talk to my baby (or to tell me about their grandchildren) in waiting rooms. Still, I wouldn't bring him if I'd any choice.

FannysYourAunt Thu 09-May-13 18:57:02

Thanks everyone for your opinions.

Think I will find the cafe next time and wait there instead, was our first time there today, wasnt expecting the waiting room to be so big and busy.

DragonPaws Thu 09-May-13 19:28:11

I suffer from an inner ear problem and have real difficulty with loud noises. For me, loud noises causes agonising pain, dizziness and vertigo to the extent that I would struggle to stay in the same room as I would feel so ill. ENT generally take 3 months for an appointment so leaving isnt an option. It also could take me some time (i.e. days) to recover.

Having said that a baby babbling wouldnt cause this, but if your baby shrieked, even occassionally, it would be agony for me.

As it is an ENT waiting room -with people with ear problems - and it isnt your appointment, taking your baby to the cafe may be a better idea and your DH can meet you there when he is finished.

FannysYourAunt Thu 09-May-13 19:33:08

Thanks for your input DragonPaws, looking back it was probably insensitive of me to take her in, she can be quite loud.

Glad I posted because it helps to see different perspectives, and issues I woulnt have necessarily thought of myself.

Oldraver Thu 09-May-13 19:33:58

FFS with the 'get a taxis'. If the journey by car is an hour away, a taxi would cost a fortune...and lets not forget the DH may of been in pain himself.

Ignore the grumpy looks, its a hospital, they are busy and noisy, not akin to a library. I would probably find where the peadiactrics waiting room is as they tend to have decent facilities

Sirzy Thu 09-May-13 19:34:40

I think sitting in the cafe, or walking around the grounds is the best idea if at all possible.

Delayingtactic Thu 09-May-13 19:36:13

Or go to fracture clinic - there's always a child play area there!

AuntieMaggie Thu 09-May-13 19:46:51

I think in that situation as you noticed there were a lot of people that were disturbed by your dd I would've gone to the cafe to get out of their way. Some people's pain may have been made worse by the noise (unfortunately ent is all about the head so this is a real possibility) and others may have been waiting for worrying results so a bit stressed iyswim.

I've been an ent patient 4 times... the last time I had a serious ear infection in both ears which we think I picked up on my 3rd visit so the other thing to consider is that some of these people may have illnesses you don't want your dd to pick up.

apostropheuse Thu 09-May-13 19:56:39

I have to say I agree with most of the posters on this thread. Next time perhaps take the baby for a walk round the grounds while your DH is waiting for his appointment. It can be very frightening waiting in hospital waiting rooms, particularly if you're going in to hear the results of tests. The people waiting probably just wanted a bit of quiet.

In saying all of that, if someone absolutely has to take a baby to the hospital because they have an appointment themselves, and cannot find childcare, then I think it's entirely appropriate to have a baby in the waiting room. That would be beyond the person's control.

andubelievedthat Thu 09-May-13 19:56:44

If people want/insist? on silence they can go private,its a public place,they cannot be so ill if a child's natter bugs them!

Sirzy Thu 09-May-13 20:02:53

ye coz everyone can afford to go private can't they.

Is it really unreasonable for someone in a clinic dealing with ear complaints to not want to listen to a baby who the mother admits can be quite loud? If you think they are being unreasonable I can only assume you have never had any problems with your ears!

LouiseSmith Thu 09-May-13 20:04:20

I would say they are unreasonable. Your child is a baby, not a toddler. You can hardly control it.

ShadowStorm Thu 09-May-13 20:06:04

I think that it's best to wait elsewhere with the baby if possible - say in the hospital cafe, or have a walk around the hospital grounds. Or possibly the paediatric waiting room, if the receptionists there are okay with that. Paediatric waiting rooms usually have toys / play areas in the waiting room for the kids.

Having said that though, ENT departments do give appointments to babies - DS had to have an extra hearing test in the ENT department at our local hospital when he was about 8 months old - so having a noisy baby in the waiting room is sometimes unavoidable, even if it does upset other patients.

TheRabbitCatcher Thu 09-May-13 21:40:47

I attended outpatients once a month for about 6 months and always took my little baby along in the sling. I was pretty poorly and needed to see my gastroenterologist. It has never occurred to me that I (or she)may have offended anyone.


Tbh I think its ridiculous to expect silence in any public place. Maybe a library is an exception but the ones near me arent that quiet.

Your DD had as much right to be there as anyone else. And your DH had the right to have his family with him.

I though we had moved away from the "children should be seen not heard" way of thinking.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 09-May-13 21:51:09

Why did you have to sit there with your DH? confused Did he need his hand holding? I would have left with the baby...gone to the cafe or for a walk.

Why shouldnt she sit with her DH?

BackforGood Thu 09-May-13 21:53:24

I don't think it was ideal for your dd or the patients in the waiting room. I would have looked into other options - maybe train or bus for dh ? or maybe someone to look after your dd for a few hours ? or maybe you dropping him off and going out with her for an hour ? or maybe someone else driving him to the appt ? In an emergency situation, then sometimes you have to do what you have to do, but with an appt, you have notice, so it would make more sense to look for an alternative.

Bogeyface Thu 09-May-13 21:55:47

I had to take DS to ENT appointments and had no choice but to take baby DD with me. Should I have left him, aged 6 on his own and taken her to the cafe?

My father has serious hearing problems and with his old aids in he had big problems with noises like that, so he would turn them off. Not ideal but then dragging a pissed of baby to yet another ENT clinic isnt ideal either.

No one is there because they want to be, we just have to accept that sometimes we may have to put up with things that we would rather not.

poppycock6 Thu 09-May-13 22:10:19

It's what you expect in a busy outpatients clinic and whether you feel unwell or not, people do have to bring their kids sometimes as there's no alternative. No point getting grumpy about it.
Don't worry about it OP. If your baby gets loud next time, you could wander outside for a bit.

fallon8 Thu 09-May-13 22:15:31

I would be worried the child could have picked up an infection.
Tbh..I wouldn't have wanted a "vocal" child near me..wouldn't it have been more sensible to him out for a walk and get your husband to phone you? I love children,,but not necessarily yours!

maddening Thu 09-May-13 22:22:04

of course you can take your dc with you - a) I am sure dc have to see ent RSS so from the people giving you evil looks pov your dc may have been a patient for all they knew. B) what if you are the patient and have no one to look after the dc.
I realise that the op fits neither scenario but the other patients giving her evil stares didn't know that so they were bu to do so.

sashh Fri 10-May-13 01:14:52

If people want/insist? on silence they can go private,its a public place,they cannot be so ill if a child's natter bugs them!

Yes actually you can, you can feel that 'natter' as piercing ear ache.

Thumbwitch Fri 10-May-13 01:20:00

I think you were unlucky that it was an ENT appt, where it's likely people might have been caused pain by the noise of your DD. Normally people can cope with baby chatter, and if they can't it's likely they're just being grumpy - but in ENT, it's a bit different.
I used to have to take DS1 to the anti-coagulant clinic with me when I went in the UK - he was a tiny baby (<3mo) and not always quite, but I didn't get any dirty looks or tuts from anyone. Occasional sighing, perhaps! But mostly lots of smiles.

I think the café is a good idea next time. smile

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 10-May-13 01:22:31

I think it was fine for you to take her and people need to learn to be tolerant. I had a major op when DS was 8 months and countless appointments in the run up. As DH had a vile employer who refused all requests for holiday and we have no family closer than 300 miles away DS came to the hospital with me every time and no one turned a hair.

MidniteScribbler Fri 10-May-13 02:49:13

I'd find something else to do with her, because I don't think waiting rooms are the best of places for children when you can avoid it anyway. Better to find somewhere she can run/crawl around and not pick up any bugs.

But then, I'm still jaded from the times I had to sit in an IVF waiting room and someone would bring their children along and think it was just adorable as they ran around getting the faces of women with fertility problems.

Mutley77 Fri 10-May-13 04:01:21

If a child needed to be there fair enough and people just have to cope (i.e. if it was your appointment and you didn't have anyone to look after her)! But otherwise agree with most others - wouldn't take them to sit with my DH while waiting and "impose" them on a whole waiting room full unnecessarily.

I find it a total pain having to entertain a child in that kind of set up anyway so I wouldn't have chosen to do so - never understand why 2 parents go to things like baby ultrasounds/appointments with their toddler - just leave the toddler at home with partner and go on your own smile.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 10-May-13 07:49:59

wannabe well for one thing hospitals are not ideal places for babies because they are full of germs....that's from my friend who is an ITU nurse. Another, it's not somewhere where everyone is in the best of moods...some people may have had bad news...

wonkylegs Fri 10-May-13 07:59:44

I am a regular hospital goer (musculo-skeletal unit) and I like having baby/ kids babbling away. Often we are waiting an age for appointments or due to the nature of the department you are in and out of dr/x-ray/blood/nurse so you can be in half a day - which is deadly boring. The majority of patients are older due to the diseases being treated but occasionally there are kids and it brightens the wait.
I've only taken DS rarely as since he got bigger he freaks out whenever they do my blood tests and he wants to protect me. Which is funny because he's not bothered when he's had them hmm

Bunbaker Fri 10-May-13 08:14:58

"If people want/insist? on silence they can go private,its a public place,they cannot be so ill if a child's natter bugs them!"

I can't believe the sense of entitlement and selfishness of some of the responses on here. Isn't being in a public place all about being considerate towards other people?

IMO hospital waiting rooms aren't the best places for babies and toddlers unless they have to be there for an appointment. I suspect a lot of patients will be feeling stressed, anxious or unwell and don't need the extra annoyance of a noisy child.

GibberTheMonkey Fri 10-May-13 08:23:14

Never understand why two parents go to ultrasounds?
Um because it's both their babies and they want to know everything is ok. And just possibly because if there is worrying/bad news they can be there to support each other?

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 10-May-13 08:30:17

Seriously Mutely? Ultrasound are not 'routine' wave at the baby sessions for everyone, if you're going to be told your baby has a health problem or has died most people would want their partner there.

5madthings Fri 10-May-13 08:48:43

Sometimes these things cant be avoided and thats life. I try to avoid taking kids if i can but you cant always and tbh the op and her dh have every right to take their child with them.

midnight re the ivf clinic i donated eggs last year and that meant going to yhe ivf/infertility clinic three/four times a week for scans etc and for some of those app i had to travel over two hours away. I got as much childcare as i could but for some of the app i had to take ds4 and dd who were 4 and 1. I didmt particularly enjoy getting the rush hour train to london and having to dash across london to get to the app with two small children in tow but lots of the app times were given with less than 24hrs notice etc. I did feel.comfortable sat in the waiting rooms with my children but there wasnt much i could do about it and the hospital ataff said it was fine and they were understanding of childcare issues. I actually spoke to a few couples whilst there as they chatted to my toddler. I apologised for taking them with me (couple had no children ans were going through ivf for second time) and explained i was donating eggs. They told me not to be daft i was a patient at the hospital like them and if i needed to take my children with me so be it.

There are often reasons for people to take children, lack.of childcare is an issue for lots of people. Partners may need support etc. Most parents dont like taking their children to these things and arent doing it for fun.

megandraper Fri 10-May-13 08:50:29


People are being absolutely ridiculous on this thread. Of course you can take your baby or child to an ENT waiting room. Not many germs there either, I shouldn't have thought, not like an acute ward.

I attend regular ENT and other hospital appointments and usually have a baby/child with me. It is absolutely fine. No reason at all that you need to take your baby elsewhere - of course if you/baby get bored, it's fine to take them for a walk/to the cafe/playroom as well.

Babies are a fact of life! You don't need to hide one away. For everyone who is grumpy, there'll be someone else cheered by seeing one, and about 20 other people who don't really care either way, because it's just normal, frankly.

Might as well say that no one attending a hospital appointment is allowed to bring a friend/partner/supporter into the waiting room, and they're not allowed to speak, cough, etc.

5madthings Fri 10-May-13 08:51:11

Yeah i am massively fucking entitled bunbaker how dare i donate my eggs a childless couple, put mysrlf through invasive medical treatment AND have the audacity to take my children to some of the appointments....

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 09:23:34

Were you parenting loudly OP? grin

I can't believe the sense of entitlement and selfishness of some of the responses on here. Isn't being in a public place all about being considerate towards other people?

Why were the grumpy people not more considerate to the OP then? It works both ways. And I dont feel its being at all entitled to expect to be able to take your children to a waiting room. hmm

Whoever made the comment about going alone to ultrasounds, you are being absolutely ridiculous.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 10-May-13 09:47:48

I don't think you did anything wrong OP. But given that you do have an alternative of taking your DD to cafe or out for a walk I think it is probably easier to do this.

Sirzy Fri 10-May-13 09:48:55

To be fair you if you are feeling ill and worried your consideration for other peoples "loud" children is going to be minimum.

I don't see why it has to be an issue it seems simple to me. If you can avoid taking a child to a hospital appointment with you (as the OP could have) then you do. If you have no choice then you have to do it but you have to make every effort to keep the child entertained and quiet.

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.

Sirzy Fri 10-May-13 16:33:22

Its not about being second class citizen though. NOBODY should be so loud in a clinic that they disturb others.

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 16:38:05

Its not about being second class citizen though. NOBODY should be so loud in a clinic that they disturb others

^ this

Flosshilde Fri 10-May-13 16:39:36

I took my premmie DS to his follow up appointment at paediatrics. He was 10 weeks old. We were waiting to be seen and he starting crying for a feed. So I breastfed him. I honestly thought I had been wiped off people's shoes, the looks I got. It remains the only place I have had any negative reaction to me bfing, and I've fed all over the place. It was utterly bizarre.

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 16:42:04

Floss When I BF ds in SCBU, yes I did say SCBU, the nurse went and got a screen 'in case any of the dads were looking'

I told her I was sure they were more interested in their own babies than looking at me!


I really find that attitude bizzare. A 1 year old baby shouldnt disturb others? It just doesnt make sense.

Bunbaker Fri 10-May-13 17:43:06

"But why should children be quiet?"

Because people who aren't their parents aren't oblivious to the noise they make.

"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."

"Its not about being second class citizen though. NOBODY should be so loud in a clinic that they disturb others."

I agree with both

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 10-May-13 17:49:38

Me too Bunbaker

This thread has moved from the particular situation in the OP to general claims about unfairnesses to babies and children

The OP can avoid waiting in a busy waiting room with ill people and a noisy baby, so she should. It's not an infringement of anyone's Civil Rights ....

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 10-May-13 17:51:20

"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?"

That about sums it up.

OP has acknowledged there were issues she hadn't thought about, and now she has.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 10-May-13 17:59:24

I'm really surprised by this thread. I have always been tolerant towards children in public places, and now I have children I expect the same tolerance, as long as they are well behaved. We can't alway make small children stay quiet. I'm shocked this would be an issue!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 10-May-13 18:01:04


I agree.

But in a hospital, tolerance is a bit stretched.

Sirzy Fri 10-May-13 18:06:14

xmas, it has to be a 2 way thing and parents have to show some respect to others who may not want to hear their child screaming/babbling loudly

Also, with a hopsital you have to remember you don't know what is going on. When DS was 8 weeks old he was in HDU and it was touch or go if he would survive. During that time I developed an ear infection and was sent by the staff to go down to OOH GP based in the hospital, there was someone with their "happily giggling" baby around 4 months old in the waiting room and for me at that point it was the worst noise ever. Thankfully the OOH were great and rushed me through but at that point I didn't have much tolerance for anyone!

Sirzy Fri 10-May-13 18:06:51

(of course I am not saying that parent shouldn't have had their child there, just explaining that its not always easy to smile at a baby!)

Theres a difference between not smiling at a baby and giving someone dirty looks though.

Should all parents keep their children locked away incase someone is having a bad time?

Sirzy Fri 10-May-13 18:31:35

No parents should try to minimise the distruption their children cause. Surely that is something every parent does as stanard?

Yes. But when the child is too young to understand why does the tolerance of others get removed?

Sirzy Fri 10-May-13 18:35:38

The child is too young to understand not the parents. In the case of the OP the parent could have removed the child from the situation and should have out of respect for others who had to be there.

If you have no choice but to be there then you should do everything you can to entertain the child in a quiet way

Bunbaker Fri 10-May-13 18:40:18

"Yes. But when the child is too young to understand why does the tolerance of others get removed?"

The child might be too young but its parents aren't. I think other people mind less about babies/toddlers being noisy as long as it looks like the parents are trying to calm them down. It gets really annoying when parents seem oblivious to their children causing problems for everyone else.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 10-May-13 18:48:51

Yes, I do see the point about people being vulnerable. I suppose I was thinking more of a doctor's waiting room which seems very family friendly where I am, but of course, hospital patients are potentially suffering a lot more.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 10-May-13 18:50:24

I was thinking OP could go to the canteen until DH is called, but often mobiles don't work in hospitals so I'm not sure that would work.

I still dont think that a parent should leave though. They and their child have as much right to be there.

I agree that it is annoying when the parents dont try to amuse the child, instead letting it run riot. But that does not mean that all children are banned from a waiting room because they might be a bit noisy.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 10-May-13 19:28:04


no I don't believe dirty looks are necessary, but then nor was it necessary to bring a noisy baby into a place where people's ears are hurting.

It's not about rights it is about the consideration of one person towards the few.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 10-May-13 19:29:29


few should read many

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 10-May-13 19:30:11

Stop trying to make this about children needing to be seen and not heard. It's not about that. It's a bout a specific scenario

So should buses stop running?

Should roadworks stop?

Everytime soneone has an ear problem should the world stop turning?

Its a fact of life that there are children who make noise. Just as there are adults who talk painfully loudly (like in my dentist the other day) or machinery that creates a racket.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 10-May-13 19:36:17


those are unavoidable.

OP waiting in another place is not

<resisting temptation to roll eyes as that would be rude>

Well I would not expect anyone to leave a waiting room on my account.

I am just confused as to why we are supposed to be tolerating others but that doesnt extend to children in a waiting room.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 10-May-13 19:42:36

It isn't because they are children. It is if they are noisy children, and you are feeling ill, stressed and worried.

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 10-May-13 20:03:24

Children are part of the community and I can honestly say that even before I had DS I never felt annoyed by them in dr or hospital waiting rooms.

ShadowStorm Fri 10-May-13 20:45:44

I wouldn't expect anyone to leave a waiting room on my behalf either. And in many cases, the parent will have no option about staying in the waiting room - the appointment may be for the baby itself, or the parent who's got the appointment may have no-one else to leave the baby with.

But that doesn't mean that parents should keep a noisy baby in the waiting room, where they may be upsetting ill people, if there's an alternative option. In the OP's case, there was an alternative - the OP could have taken the baby out of the waiting room, as the appointment was for her DH.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 10-May-13 20:50:17

I agree Shadow

idiot55 Fri 10-May-13 22:03:24

Of course you werent being unreasonable.

In my experience having a baby / small child in a hospital waiting room is entertaining to those waiting!

I am always glad to be entertained by small people!

Bunbaker Sat 11-May-13 06:59:26

But not everyone wants to be entertained by a small child, no matter how cute and adorable it might be.

megandraper Sat 11-May-13 09:27:02

I find unattractive people off-putting. I think they should be banned from hospital waiting rooms in case they disturb me when I'm feeling vulnerable.

Oh, and old people too. Shouldn't be allowed in hospital waiting rooms in case they remind people of getting old.

Most people in this thread are bonkers.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 11-May-13 10:58:31


making extreme straw man comparison is also "bonkers" IMO

Even the OP admits maybe SWBU

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 11-May-13 10:58:44


crashdoll Sat 11-May-13 11:21:16

For those people who think it is acceptable to have a loud baby in a hospital waiting room for an appointment that is not theirs (the baby's), I can only assume you've never sat waiting for potentially horrific news and felt physically unwell, as well as terrfied? The lack of empathy of some parents is astounding.

It is not the same as 'older people' (WTAF?!) because a baby can and should be removed by an adult. I don't care if your baby babbles or screams in Tesco but when I am sitting waiting in a hospital, I do care if I feel unwell and you do nothing about it when there is something you could do e.g. leave the room with the baby.

hackmum Sat 11-May-13 11:30:11

I would be quite cheered by the presence of a babbling baby in a hospital waiting room. They're normally fairly dismal places. I would probably engage it in a game of peek-a-boo. But then I don't hate children, unlike half the people posting on this thread, apparently.

I am a nervous wreck at any hospital and sorry but think would have been irritated by a noisy small child.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 11-May-13 11:37:58


That's a low blow.

crashdoll Sat 11-May-13 11:38:54

Babbling yes but loud noises, NO NO NO! Although I'm just a child hater, so what do I know? wink

Bunbaker Sat 11-May-13 13:40:16

"But then I don't hate children, unlike half the people posting on this thread, apparently."

I don't hate children, but I don't particularly like other people's children. I am just not a child orientated person. So flame me.

ShellyBoobs Sat 11-May-13 14:19:45

megandraper I think your post could be misinterpreted and if so you could possibly come across as being thick as shit.

Dominodonkey Sat 11-May-13 15:40:44

No the op was not really being unreasonable but if the baby does not really need to be there as its not their appointment it might be considerate to other patients (and the baby) to take it somewhere where it can babble loudly and no one would mind.

It is nice if people are considerate and if people (like the op in this case) can be considerate without causing major stress to themselves then they should.

Those who say the baby can't help it and so should just be allowed to make as much noise as it wants as its a free country are the reason why people give worried or dirty looks when people bring their babies into restaurants or confined spaces- they give responsible, considerate parents a bad name. (Not saying the op isn't responsible or considerate especially as she has taken thread comments on board.

2rebecca Sat 11-May-13 16:20:11

I agree with Dominodonkey. The appointment wasn't for the mum and baby so there was no reason for them to hang around in a crowded waiting room. It's not much fun for anyone. I'd have asked the receptionist when she thinks your husband will be finished with and return then and go off for a walk. There isn't enough room in the waiting area for whole families to hang around.

Novemberish Sat 11-May-13 17:20:52

It is not unreasonable to take a baby to a hospital waiting room

It is not unreasonable for other patients to become irritated by noise and other distractions.

It is unreasonable to continue making the noise, or allowing it to be made, when others are clearly uncomfortable.

It would be unreasonable for another person to verbally abuse a child for making noise in this situation.

Somewhere in among this mess of human interaction is a fine line that needs to be followed. On another day with other patients, it would probably be fine to stay in the room with the child. If the child is a patient, and therefore also likely suffering some degree of discomfort and/or apprehension, the others will have to deal with the situation. it comes purely down to judgement and respect and in the situation outlined in the OP, I personally believe the baby should have been taken for a walk or to another location, at the very least for the duration of the husband's appointment.

We often pride ourselves on a society that protects the most vulnerable, and for very good reason, this is often equated with children. In my opinion and experience, there are many people who take this to the assumption that children must always be protected, indulged and put first in all situations. In some situations however, there are people who are more vulnerable that the child and I believe this would apply in a medical waiting room where the comfort of an adult, who is worried and possibly in pain should be respected over a happy, healthy, babbling baby.

Joiningthegang Sat 11-May-13 19:55:03

This thread is odd.

Loud babbling is one thing - not the same as persistent crying or screaming.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 11-May-13 19:58:54

The fundamental problem is that we've become a society where not having children around is perceived as an option. I can't think of any occasions when I've been bothered by kids anywhere, pre of post dc.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I can't imagine in Scandinavia that people would complain about children being present in a hospital.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 11-May-13 20:06:12


I don't agree. I think you are trying to make a philosophical point about a pragmatic problem relating to a particular venue in particular circumstances

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 11-May-13 20:16:21

..and not having children around is an option. It's normal and desirable in many places.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 11-May-13 20:20:05

No Jamie, to me there is no pragmatic issue. People use hospitals, families want to wait together whoever is having the appointment and I can't see any reason, whether philosophical or pragmatic, for dc not to be there.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 11-May-13 20:21:28

Well I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

SirChenjin Sat 11-May-13 20:22:32

I've been visiting ENT departments since I was a toddler, thanks to meningitis at 18 months, and have waited for all sorts of results. I don't need peace and quiet anymore than anyone else, but I have noticed that a lot of people in ENT waiting rooms tend to be elderly for obvious reasons, and therefore prone to tutting over the little things - esp. as babies and children that make a noise didn't exist in their day.


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