What would you do if a university student wanted to bring her newborn to class?

(369 Posts)
camaleon Tue 21-Jan-14 17:04:49

That is really. I have to make a decision regarding this. I need advice. I want to accommodate this student as much as possible but I am very aware of disrupting other students' learning experience.
What would you do?

OneHolyCow Tue 21-Jan-14 17:26:45

My friend had a baby going through teacher training college. I looked after her 2 other boys and she took the newborn to class. Never an issue, it was like Procrastreation said, no hassle. Let her take the baby. If it doesn't work out, I'm sure you can talk.

funnyvalentine Tue 21-Jan-14 17:26:46

I wouldn't mind a newborn as they mainly sleep and feed, though older babies can be far more distracting. Read this yesterday

theconversation.com/women-at-work-should-be-able-to-breastfeed-and-succeed-22150

PeterParkerSays Tue 21-Jan-14 17:27:46

Our university has no changing facilities for a baby, does yours? Just something else for her to consider in case there's a poonami.

HannahG315 Tue 21-Jan-14 17:27:49

Please could you let us know how it goes? I had to defer my university place in 2013 after finding out I was pregnant. Hoping to go in 2014, worried about child care.

smile

frogwatcher42 Tue 21-Jan-14 17:28:13

I was put off by the baby 5madthings. I couldn't stop watching it and all my instincts wanted to play with its fingers!!!!! Funnily enough after the meeting a male colleague couldn't remember a thing about what was said and all he could talk about was how the baby looked so like one of his dds as a newborn!! I think we all ended up watching the baby and listening to its little grunts and watching its stretches and smiling to ourselves.

The meeting was pointless really - no one concentrated!!!

Thats why I think it is distracting.

annieorangutan Tue 21-Jan-14 17:29:17

We were allowed to if needed. Its how I passed with a 2.1 with only 10 days maternity leave. We had a few people in our class do it Our course was all women though so its much more of a normal occurence.

MissMilbanke Tue 21-Jan-14 17:29:19

I did a part time degree and one woman did just this .

Wasn't a problem for anybody - but this was a loooong time ago

Sirzy Tue 21-Jan-14 17:29:19

We are allowed to take children in with us if needed. Its not allowed as a regular thing and they have to be kept occupied (if older obviously!) and not allowed to disrupt the lecture.

The only time we have been asked not to is when the lecture was talking about sexual abuse as it wasn't appropriate (again wouldn't be an issue for newborn)

kelda Tue 21-Jan-14 17:30:42

I wouldn't worry too much about baby changing facitilies - I had a fold up changing mat in my bag that went on the floor.

Procrastreation Tue 21-Jan-14 17:31:47

Frog - I hear you - but that's a weak reason to bar the baby's mother from completing her module.

I'm sure the 'distracting' argument was trotted out when women started to attend universities.

Peter changing facilities are really not such a big deal. I easily nappy change in a regular cubicle. But - FWIW - my uni does have changing facilities.

camaleon Tue 21-Jan-14 17:32:14

I will report back.
No, there are no breastfeeding/changing rooms, etc. at University. Which I find is incredible taking into account many of our female students would not feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. I have a real issue with the Health & Saftey policies justifying policies that in practice involved discriminating women and access of women to education (particularly those with less resources).
I have suffered this myself as a breatfeeding mother in the UK. The irony of it all is that the University has a nursery (!!!) so it is actually impossilbe to implement a 'no-child policy' on campus.
But that is another story all together

5madthings Tue 21-Jan-14 17:32:25

peterparker my uni didnt have changing facilities but they quickly put some in as i had my ds1 and a few mature students started and their partners had babies plus lecturers with kids etc.

i changed ds1 on a bench (with a mat) and one person complainef. i pointed out there were no facilities anywhere and they were installed pretty quick.

the university also had a nursery used by staff and students, it still does. ds1 is 14 now and we still go to campus to walk around the lake and reminise re student days.

students with babies/children is not that unusual now i would expect most places to have somewhere they could change a nappy.

lilyaldrin Tue 21-Jan-14 17:34:36

So long as she is happy to step out if the baby is unsettled, I can't possibly see the issue confused

"Someone might be distracted by the baby's mere presence" is a pretty rubbish reason.

SantanaLopez Tue 21-Jan-14 17:34:37

As a one off, sure, but I think a regular thing is taking the piss.

5madthings Tue 21-Jan-14 17:34:48

well as an adult that is your issue tbh frog you should be able to cope with a baby in near vicinity without being so distracted. yes they are cute and lovely but come on!

Procrastreation Tue 21-Jan-14 17:35:19

I think you're overthinking this. The mum in question will have her own comfort level on things like bf and nappies - and I'm sure she'll investigate & plan accordingly. The neutral assumption would be to nappy change in the loo and breastfeed anywhere she likes.

annieorangutan Tue 21-Jan-14 17:35:28

None of the students on my course used changing facilities as you dont actually need them. I have been in lectures with breastfeeding mums as well. My course was an all female course so we could do what we wanted, and all the mums on it didnt take any time out just because they had a baby. Thats the way it should be.

How long for? Because whatever the arguments for bringing a newborn are (and I tend to agree) will all be pointless in 3 months or so

HereIsMee Tue 21-Jan-14 17:36:00

I don't think it's a problem with a young baby. All she needs to do is sit near an exit in case it cries or needs changing.

MaddAddam Tue 21-Jan-14 17:37:18

It happens occasionally to me (I teach postgrads in a university and they are constantly reproducing!). I'd permit it as a one off or just for a few events, if the university allowed, assuming she took the baby out if it cried.

I have taken newborns to events in universities, just occasionally when there was something specific while I was on mat leave. I was very careful to leave the room at the first hint of a wail.

annieorangutan Tue 21-Jan-14 17:37:22

Stealth once they are 3 months they can go to full time nursery if required.

frogwatcher42 Tue 21-Jan-14 17:37:22

5mad - easily distracted me!!! I get distracted when the window cleaner zooms down on his rope from the roof, when I am in meetings too!!!

camaleon Tue 21-Jan-14 17:38:12

In 3 months time University term would have ended. Last lecture before Easter.

FruitbatAuntie Tue 21-Jan-14 17:39:51

Hmm, I could have taken DS1 along to classes easily. He would just sleep or feed in the sling. DS2, however, I wouldn't even want to take near the building as he is so bloody LOUD, never ever naps and needs lots and lots of attention!

lilyaldrin Tue 21-Jan-14 17:40:16

Managing distractions is a skill we try to teach in the EYFS - I'd expect adults to be able to manage themselves.

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