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How to be flexible and not fight with my DH over baby care details?

(30 Posts)
Elastigrrrl Thu 13-Mar-14 16:25:04

I was always worried that my DH and I, who often have different ways of approaching problems and questions (though love each other deeply), would find child-rearing a never-ending battleground. At 28 weeks pregnancy with DS1 it�s already started!

Things we have disagreed on, sometimes more heatedly than others:
-Keep some formula around in case BF�ing doesn�t work well to begin with; or try to stick it out so we don�t resort at the first hitch?
-Is a used car seat OK for the first two months? (his point: we rarely travel by car and we are moving in two months and it is unlikely someone would unscrupulously sell us a dud; my point: everyone says not to do that because the seller could be lying!)
-In general I am pretty low-key when it comes to technology and buying things�not going to buy many clothes, fancy stuff etc and trying to get some used stuff�but he is uber-low-key and wants to get pretty much everything used (even things we�ll use a lot like the pram). I should add we aren�t under such constraints that this is a financial necessity.
-He�s been really busy so hasn�t had the time I�ve had to research things; even rather important issues like circumcision. That said, he�s not willing to listen to me saying �but everyone says on mumsnet!� but wants to make �our� own �logical� decision. But I feel this is unknown territory and we�re better off listening to people who�ve been there.

I sense I�m being a bit controlling, but also I think my views are more informed by the research I�ve done. I don�t see a good reason to do things in ways I feel are likely to fail. Except if keeping DH happy is supposed to be enough of a good reason!

Please advise if you�ve been through anything similar. Thank you smile

nc060 Thu 13-Mar-14 16:32:13

-2nd hand prams dont necessarily mean poor quality - I got a silver cross travel system 2nd hand from someone locally, she had it for her grandchildren and unless she had spent a fortune fixing it up(which I certainly didnt pay her enough to do) you can tell its only been used a few times.

- I think its important to have a bit of give and take as the baby is your partners child aswell. I know for a fact when it comes to childcare we will disagree but we will need to find some kind of middle ground!

To be honest there are VERY few things that I am buying new as I just feel that if something is in good condition what is the need to send it to landfill? For example my mum got a moses basket for free in perfect condition, £8 for a new mattress instead of £50 for a new moses basket, just doesn't make sense to me.

Each to their own though, I hope it doesnt come between you too much, its not really worth letting it cause rows.

bouncysmiley Thu 13-Mar-14 16:38:48

I would insist on new mattresses and car seat but no reason everything else can't be second hand. Nothing wrong in being controlling regarding your baby!

Essexgirlupnorth Thu 13-Mar-14 16:43:53

Formula I did have some ready made cartons in which I was glad I did as had supply problems and needed to top up baby and if we hadn't had some in the house hubby would have to gone to the supermarket in middle of the night while baby was screaming the house down.

I would rather get a new car seat as you don't know if a second hand one has been in an accident. A second hand pram is fine and it you get a second hand crib/Moses basket or cot you need a new mattress for it.

sleeplessbunny Thu 13-Mar-14 16:50:22

i think there should be room for compromise on 1st/2nd hand items, how much stuff you buy, but you just dropped the issue of circumcision in there alongside all that. For me that is something much more important and really does need proper research and informed discussion between the two of you. In 3 yrs time you'll have forgotten about clothes, car seat and prams but circumcision is a decision you make for your child for life.

(But FWIW, I wouldn't personally buy a 2nd hand car seat unless I knew the vendor.)

LadyInDisguise Thu 13-Mar-14 16:54:54

Tbh apart from the car seat, both your pov are totally ok.
I would agree with him about making own choice/decision rather than following MN though.

One thing the fact you have done more 'research' doesn't mean you are right and he is wrong. You might have read all the wrong. When it comes to parenting, there are very few hard rules and you are likely to change your mind often before finding what works best for you and the baby!

Ime what works best is to say 'this what we are aiming for but we'll see if we need to change because it doesn't quite work as we thought it would'.
Having formula in the house won't make a huge difference. There any enough supermarkets open now at any timd that you could just as easily pop round. Pushchair: the one you will buy will probably not be the best one for your needs (I found it impossible to know until the baby was there and I had a better idea of what I wanted to do)

Some issues , that you don't mention, might be worth talking about: co sleeping and who is going to get up I the middle if the night are 2 important subjects IMO.

peeapod Thu 13-Mar-14 17:08:56

ah ha. I see your dhs problem. your research? Your opinions? Sounds like you need to sit down together and write a list of pros and cons and do your research together.
If he doesnt have time then you need to do more comprehensive research covering both angles to find a solution.
For example, smacking. My dh thinks its ok in some situations, i dont so instead of leaving it there we are going to look at why he thinks its rights, why i think its wrong and see if theres a middle ground or effective altnerative..

Martorana Thu 13-Mar-14 17:14:09

Don't buy a second hand car seat or mattress. Apart from that, buy anything second hand that you want to- or new if you prefer and can afford it.

Don't lump circumcision in with buying a second hand pram. Why are you even considering it?

Thurlow Thu 13-Mar-14 17:18:00

It's not controlling, but I agree it's a bit "my research, my opinions" - but I did it myself as well grin

There's nothing wrong with doing the research but also nothing wrong with his opinions too.

Can you make a date to go shopping and start viewing prams, cots etc? Then even if you decide to get 2nd hand ones you'll have both seen lots of different pushchairs together and will be able to make a joint decision.

Babies really don't need anything for the first few weeks so I would hold off on buying very much at all. I know that's hard to do when you're excited but you don't know what size clothes your baby will need, whether they will be happy to lie down on the floor and so a baby gym would be a good spend, or whether they'll be a velcro baby and you need to invest in a decent carrier or sling.

It feels like you have to have everything ready before the baby comes but actually you don't, you can get everything delivered in a day if you need it.

Elastigrrrl Thu 13-Mar-14 17:20:00

I'm getting a very strong "I need to be more flexible" vibe, which is probably fair. I think I'm struggling more with how. It does make sense to me that the child rearing reality will look very different from the perfectly researched world; and I think I get that, I just want to set us up for success where possible.

I really am cool with almost everything secondhand by the way...just would feel more confident getting for example a pram with great reviews, and happy to pay more to get that new if need be (neither of us is likely to trawl eBay or jumble sales enough to get both used AND one that we think is ideal/semi-ideal). And I'm afraid he is being pretty stubborn about the used car seat thing, and yes I know that is probably a bad idea, but this is the kind of thing I can't seem to budge him on (he probably feels the same way about me).

Yes, fair cop, I did kind of casually drop in the circumcision issue, but more to illustrate I don't feel he's properly looked into the important things as well as less-important.

You're probably right that we need to form more of these views together. Hard.

Elastigrrrl Thu 13-Mar-14 17:22:21

PS good idea Thurlow on making a date to check things out. And yes we will go minimal, but funny how even a few bits are becoming problematic...makes me wonder if we have underlying power issues if I'm honest sad

I dont understand what sort of point he is trying to make about the carseat. He wants second hand for two months....then what? Buy a new one? Why? Just buy a new one from the off. (1) safer and (2) less fuss.

ScarletStar Thu 13-Mar-14 17:23:31

If you're looking for a cheap but good car seat, Halfords have one called Pampero for about £50 that lasts from birth to 1 year, that's the one I have. They also take it out to your car and fit it for you, for free. We got our pram and buggy for free 2nd hand, and got a loan of 2 different moses baskets (although the mattresses and covers were brand new.)

Looking back now, I'm glad my DH wasn't as involved as yours before the birth because I was able to get on with sourcing all this stuff by myself (apart from the pram and buggy; that was gifted to us by his boss.) My husband likes being in control though and he was a pain in the bum about me eating healthily whilst pregnant! If all else fails, fake a pregnant lady tantrum. grin You're allowed at least one!

Thurlow Thu 13-Mar-14 17:29:44

The car seat one is non-negotiable really, unless it is from someone who know and trust a lot - I had a 2nd-hand seat but it was from a colleague who I knew wouldn't lie to me. I would ask him why he is so struck on that particular thing being secondhand...

Fairylea Thu 13-Mar-14 17:35:34

I think it leaps out that he's a bit of a tight arse as you say it isn't for financial reasons... nothing wrong with second hand at all but on car seats and prams it's worth buying new for a new baby if you can (my silver cross tank has just broken but they have an excellent warranty and will send courier to collect and then bring back within 3 days - you wouldn't get a warranty on a second hand pram and more likely to go wrong!) Car seats always buy new unless you are absolutely stone broke and willing to take a calculated risk.

Circumsion ?! Holy fuck, no. No need at all unless absolutely medically necessary. I couldn't sit in the same room as someone who thought it was okay for sheer religious or cultural reasons, let alone have a baby with them. So good luck with that one if your views differ !

Martorana Thu 13-Mar-14 21:35:14

If he's not shiftable on the second hand car seat, just go out and buy a new one. Sorted.

Martorana Thu 13-Mar-14 21:36:23

Is it him wants to circumcise?

magicalmrmistoffelees Thu 13-Mar-14 21:50:00

Confused about the two month thing... Will you not need a car seat after two months? Or will you be buying a new one?

LittleBearPad Thu 13-Mar-14 21:54:14

What's the deal with the car seat? What is the importance of 2 months. Will you only need it to move?

alita7 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:10:57

Car seat, mattresses and bedding must be new imo!

You both need be be more flexible, don't spend more money than you have to but equally he should let you enjoy the fun of going shopping as a first time mum!

I'm lucky, he's already got kids, one of them lives with us, so I know we generally agree about child rearing. The only problem I have is he's very forgetful and has a tendancy to be late with things so I end up basically acting like her mum (washing pe kit, enforcing bed time and some of the rules, making sure home works done and her school bags packed) which I don't mind as I want all our kids to be treated the same and I'm very maternal anyway, he's a good dad he just doesn't do dinner til bedtime if I'm out cos he gets distracted which I guess is the only worry I have about dc1.

Circumcision should only be done if you both agree imo.

lighteningmcmama Thu 13-Mar-14 22:24:20

I bought a car seat on eBay. I did it because I sold dc1s on eBay and it was in EXCELLENT condition and I didn't even get half what I paid back. So I figured, there must be other ppl selling great ones, well get a good deal for dc2.

How wrong I was. The one we bought-which the seeker had the cheek to email us about when we'd win to say we got a great deal!-arrived stinking of cigarettes. sad seriously, don't do it.

But most other things, only other exception being a mattress, are fine second hand.

Elastigrrrl Fri 14-Mar-14 09:50:33

Thanks ladies. Though I agree with you on the the secondhand car seat issue, his view is probably less horrifically stupid than it sounds: we will almost never travel by car (maybe 5 times?) and then move to the US (two months post-birth), where we'll need a new one anyway to comply with regulations. So I think, because he's got a mathematics background, he is thinking more of probabilities than anything else, though I still don't agree with him and will take your advice.

Good point about the warranty on new ones, though I doubt (as we're moving abroad) a warranty would do us much good anyway. And in a way (trying to be more flexible as advised!) - because a couple of you have said you didn't really know what you needed until the time came - it may be useful to get something a bit cheaper that wouldn't be a financial burden to replace if it turned out our needs were different.

:D "tightarse" ... I know it sounds like it, but funnily enough he's generally very generous, just very stubborn too (like me I suppose), and doesn't like to march to the popular/consumerist beat. Maybe sometimes to his own detriment.

The circumcision issue is highly divisive in general. I'm not an advocate on either side (and don't want to turn this thread down that path) but wish to be fully informed, if you see what I mean, keen for him to be the same.

Thanks again for your views.

whereisshe Fri 14-Mar-14 10:48:38

It sounds less like a "how to parent" issue and more like a conflict resolution issue. You need to find a way to compromise between the two of you or the next 20+ years will be awful. It should be about a mutual decision making process, not getting your own way.

Can you explain to him which of these things are (for you) not negotiable and why, to open up the conversation?

For me, for example, a new car seat. The risk may be low but a car seat that's been in an accident will not protect your baby and for me the cash saving just isn't worth the risk. Some things you just don't penny pinch on.

eepie Fri 14-Mar-14 16:06:58

Sounds similar to me and my DP sort of.....I think this is probably more an issue of - you are keen to make decisions and get stuff ready (not sure how pregnant you are but I was thinking about all of this stuff from super early on - that's just how I am anyway - I like to plan and feel prepared and like I've researched the best/most cost effective/most useful option so we don't waste money on things that have a design fault or that we'll end up not needing but also because I want to choose what colour and what type of stuff we have to a certain degree - it's nice to have that input as a new Mum and exciting. BUT my DP was of the mindset that we had AGES to think about all this stuff as he has taken longer to get his head around the concept that there is a real life fetus/baby growing bigger each day inside me..... I think when I got my proper bump and he started feeling kicks then it started to be more real for him...but he's still so laid back about getting things ready for the baby and I feel like he expects everything will just fall into place or people will just give us everything we need as hand me downs or presents 'closer to the time' ....but for me because I can feel the baby moving inside me constantly..and wanting to take advantage of 2nd trimester energy I am suddenly wanting to nest and get everything together and ready so I don't feel unprepared but he is more like 'ohhhh it's fine we've got ages' and he has only NOW started to do his own research on stuff like birthing pools, encapsulating the placenta...things that a few weeks ago he told me we don't need to think about - funnily enough it's only when HIS friends mention these things to him that he pipes up and says "Oh actually I think we should think about ...." But when I mentioned it he kind of poo poos it as if I'm being too forward planning and baby obsessed !! I just tease him about it and say "You'll be thanking me when you come to open the changing bag or have a poo explosions and eeeeeeverything you need is perfectly stored within easy reach of the changing table, and eeeeevery baby product we have works perfectly alllll because of my impeccable research and resource gathering !" ha. In the first trimester though I was really annoyed with him that he didn't seem excited about choosing baby things or thinking about what stuff we needed/what things we were going to move around in the house....I was hormonal so I saw it as him being blase and not caring about the baby but I have realised now that it's just not real to him yet and that's fine....I'll just make the decisions and he'll thank me for it later MUHAHAHA ! (That's the plan anyway).

If you want to get stuff ready but he can't be bothered/hasn't got time/isn't interested in researching stuff then just tell him - "OK unless you'd like to do some research and add some suggestions in NOW, I'm going to do it myself & start getting stuff, as it would make me feel a lot calmer to start getting things ready and being prepared. I don't want to have to be panicking that we don't have a steriliser in the house when I'm going into labour I want it all to be in place and I need you to support me on this."

Also - I always thought I'd want to choose everything new but actually you can get some amazing almost new stuff or brand new stuff at charity shops that are sooooo cheap - it's great ! And secondhand pram is great - no need to spend a fortune on a new one if you can find the same one on ebay - some haven't even been used much and people have bought 2 prams and ended up using only one kind.

Circumcision you need to thoroughly research and decide upon together. If there is one person who feels very very strongly it should NOT be done - then it should not be done. Some people see it as mutilation and un natural and to go against these primal feelings that it's wrong... seems unforgivable to me. Only my opinion !

good luck !

MummytoMog Fri 14-Mar-14 16:25:10

Was reading along thinking 'oh yes, all very familiar' until circumcision jumped out at me! Leaving that aside (and I don't honestly see why you would want to unless you think your child is going to be having a lot of unprotected sex in countries with a high HIV infection rate or is likely to have an overly restrictive foreskin or for religious reasons) I think given that you've done the research and he hasn't, you should get more of a say. But fathers often feel like their views aren't taken into account during the pregnancy and newborn stage, so perhaps if you share more of your research process and conclusions, maybe a collaborative decision can be reached more easily? I used to have to explain stuff to DH a LOT, but he would normally see my point of view in the end. I did buy a second hand car seat, it was fine, but I've had such duff stuff from eBay, I won't have things like that delivered, I only go for local collection.

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