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to be worried about a friend and her baby?

(31 Posts)
LeftOfTheMiddle Fri 07-Jan-11 21:18:04

Have namechanged because friend knows I'm on MN. I'm not hiding from MNers, but please don't mention my usual name if you recognise my posting style as I don't want this to be searchable. Am being a bit cheeky posting here I admit, but just need a high traffic area for some advice.

The friend has no routine with her baby whatsoever. She thinks she does, but it's more like it's what she intends to do but just doesn't. She regularly has the baby out until quite late at night, sometimes this stretches past midnight. I'm not sure if this is a reasonable concern on its own, but friend does this without a second thought, so baby often goes without her evening food (solids) and bath as well as her cot. It is also not unusual for the baby to not have her solids for breakfast so she can sometimes go without two of the three daily meals. I suspect the baby is being given 'unsuitable' foods as well. I don't know if I'm looking for signs that things are wrong, but tbh the baby never seems to look clean. She is in a problem period at nights at the moment (not a huge surprise really), and my friend is not coping with that at all, going to pieces if there is a prolonged period of crying. I don't think for a moment that my friend is intentionally doing anything wrong, it's all coming from sheer not knowing.

I don't know if I'm being unreasonable to be concerned or not. The baby is just over six months so only just on solids as it is, so probably not so used to having solid meals, but it's the combination of things.

What, if anything, can I do?

SlightlyTubbyHali Fri 07-Jan-11 21:20:33

So I guess you're worried your friend isn't coping?

I'm not sure what I would do in that situation. It's terribly hard to offer advice without coming across as interfering. Does your friend have family support/ a decent DP?

MoonUnitAlpha Fri 07-Jan-11 21:20:38

Nothing you mention seems too terrible to me.

Serendippy Fri 07-Jan-11 21:20:55

Based on your OP, YABU. If baby has only just started on solids, it may be eating hardly anything anyway. A child does not need to be bathed every night, nor does a baby of 6months always need to sleep in a cot, in fact I envy the parents of children who will sleep anywhere.

This all sounds within the boundaries of normal. Don't do anything.

Serendippy Fri 07-Jan-11 21:21:58

To add, I often found I was not coping with events of motherhood but came out the other side. Be there to support her, nothing more at the moment.

suwoo Fri 07-Jan-11 21:22:18

I don't get it? What is the problem here?

TheMonster Fri 07-Jan-11 21:22:30

I think you should take your nose out of someone else's business. The baby hardly sounds like it is being neglected to me.

porcamiseria Fri 07-Jan-11 21:23:05

routine is not huge issue, if the baby is growing and generally healthy

TBH you need to sit friend down and have an honest chat, she might bite head off, but that will acheive more than posting here

she might kick off, but stand your ground and some sensible advice may filter through

kalo12 Fri 07-Jan-11 21:24:13

have you spoken to your friend?
does she have any support?
could she be suffering pnd?

my baby did not eat any solids til about 9 months btw. was not interested at all. mw said this was quite normal so don't think this is a concern in itself.

where does she go out to til after midnight/ isn't she absolutely knackered? does she have a dp?

StealthPolarBear Fri 07-Jan-11 21:26:24

Well you know your friend best and if you have concerns then there's possibly a reason for that, however none of what you describe sounds unusual to me. My babies would get taken out and about - not that late or that often but that was because we didn't go out much! If they slept through breakfast at that age I'd just give lunch, again if no dinner for whatever reason I didn't fret (but we are talking very young - up to about 8 months) - is your friend's baby still having lots of milk?
The only thing I would worry about in your description is the unsuitable food - how do you mean?

Firawla Fri 07-Jan-11 21:26:27

agree with the previous posters does not sound hugely worrying, are you even sure about being out = no food, because it's not that hard to transport food so maybe she does, or will do as her baby becomes more dependant on solid food?
routine is not the be all and end all, it does come across a bit that you may be looking too hard for problems? if you're friend is having a hard time just try to make sure she knows you are there if she wants to talk or wants support, but leave aside the judging about babies bedtimes/routine and all that, as its not really your place if the baby is not coming to any harm

LeftOfTheMiddle Fri 07-Jan-11 21:27:16

I'm glad to hear no one thinks it's too bad. I was hoping for that.

She is not coping some of the time, I'd say it's a 50/50 split tbh. Some days she seems awfully low, others there's like nothing's wrong, very hit and miss. That does worry me.

Baby has been on solids for a month now. So not very long, but I'm not sure of the impact of that. She sometimes has three meals, sometimes two, sometimes one. I think what has been worrying me there is that friend will push aside feeding times if they dont fit in with the rest of the day.

Baby does not usually sleep while out.

Sorry, don't want to be stealthy here, just don't know what is relevant.

Thanks for messages thus far.

StopTalkingAndEatYourDinner Fri 07-Jan-11 21:27:25

yabu - some mums like the whole 3 meals a day, set bedtime, daily bath thing for small babies. Others wing it, and at 6 months I don't think what you are describing sounds worrying. I think you should leave it.

Vallhala Fri 07-Jan-11 21:27:34

Nothing rings alarm bells for me either, but I was of the "world doesn't stop for baby nor does it revolve around her" school of thought when mine were small and mine would sometimes have late nights, as much as a baby can, if I was visiting frirnds, their bed would be a buggy until I got home and transferred them to their cot and a bath would as a result be deferred until morning.

As far as eating, at 6 months these days babes are only starting to be weaned so the quantity of solids would be likely to be minimal anyway.

TBH although I'm not trying to be critical of you, I think that this mum is just guilty of not doing things your way.

LeftOfTheMiddle Fri 07-Jan-11 21:28:39

To address a question about feeding, I am certain about the pattern, she has told me.

KarmaDevil Fri 07-Jan-11 21:31:05

The only thing in the OP that would really concern me is the baby being out past midnight most nights. But then again babies sleep anywhere really so as long as she's being looked after properly and not neglected I don't really see a problem.

Is the baby still having regular bottles or being breastfed? Then not having 3 meals a day a just over 6 months sounds completely normal to me. I did BLW with dd2 and she wasn't on 3 proper meals a day until she was 10 months old. She also ate a whole load of "unsuitable" foods. I never had a routine with either of mine. They never slept in a cot either (not through lack of trying though grin). They would be in the pram, in bed with me or asleep on me.

Is your friend a single parent? Does she have any help from the baby's father, or family? Could you offer her some help if she's finding things difficult?

reinitindear Fri 07-Jan-11 21:31:06

I don't have a hard and fast routine with dd2 17 weeks either 17 and she sleeps through the night no matter what has happened during the day with regards to feeding and napping.I tend to go with what she seems to want to be honest.I did the same with dd1 and it seemed to work.If your friend isn't coping though it could be an idea to ask if she needs any practical help like minding the little one while she catches up with sleep or just some self time? Can I ask what constitutes unsuitable foods in your opinion?

LeftOfTheMiddle Fri 07-Jan-11 21:32:38

I get what you mean Vallhala, and I did wonder myself if she was just doing things very different from me and whether that was the basis for me worrying, but I really don't think that's it.

It's a niggling thing. Friend has said some things that concern me, but it's the combination of everything that's making me worry.

Happy to be told IABU btw, and I'm sorry if this is coming out in dribs and drabs.

TheSecondComing Fri 07-Jan-11 21:33:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeftOfTheMiddle Fri 07-Jan-11 21:34:01

She is a semi-single parent. In an on-off relationship, with limited involvement from the father.

LeftOfTheMiddle Fri 07-Jan-11 21:36:01

I so didn't start this with the intent of a stealth reveal.

Friend has past issues with depression and has made noises about not wanting the baby.

I didn't want to mention that, but that's the crux of what worries me tbh.

reinitindear Fri 07-Jan-11 21:36:01

stoptalkingandeatyourdinner I am a self confessed winger smile

kalo12 Fri 07-Jan-11 21:36:28

i suffered terrible pnd and i was a model mother bfing, tummy time, no cheap plastic toys, fresh air, organic nappies you name it! but still my baby didn't eat solids, didn't sleep (has now never slept through in 3 years),hated baths

was low one day felt/seemed fine the next. it lasted about a year.

could you ask your friend how she is feeling? if she is coping?

thisisyesterday Fri 07-Jan-11 21:41:55

god, if my last baby was smaller i'd think this was about me!!!!

babies are designed to be portable and taken out and about with you.
afaik there is no rule that they HAVE to eat at certain times or HAVE to sleep in a cot or HAVE to have routiness... so that's really a non-issue in my opinion

when mine were first weaned I would regularly miss out mealtimes if we were out and about or if I was busy.
they only really went onto more rigid mealtimes when they started demanding them iyswim?
I found that naps etc regularly interfered with it, so if ds3 took a nap from say, 4-6pm he didn't get dinner. but eventually he got to a point where he was wanting food (more than just breastmilk) when he woke, or earlier on so we started having a set dinner.

That said, I do agree with a previous poster. You know your friend, and if there is something concerning you then there may be something in it especially if you have got the impression that there are times when she is struggling to cope

I guess if it were me I'd maybe start a random conversation about how hard you found it when your baby was that age or something- that would give her an opportunity to open up without you saying "hey, i think something is wrong"

maktaitai Fri 07-Jan-11 21:43:39

As far as the baby goes, presumably at that age it will scream if it's actively hungry or in pain from neglected nappy rash, and fall asleep if it's really tired, so that's not too much of a worry IMO.

It's concerning, though, that you feel your friend is depressed and possibly not coping. Could you offer her some babysitting, perhaps as a late Christmas present or birthday present - maybe from noon to 6 so that she can do what she likes? Depending on her reaction to that you could then have a chat about how she is feeling generally.

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