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Picking up a sleeping newborn - AIBU or PFB?

(58 Posts)
KittyChat Tue 02-Aug-11 15:07:44

My dd is two weeks old. She is the first grandchild on both sides, and the first baby born within our group of friends. She has so far been a chilled out, relaxed little thing who sleeps a lot.

We have had a stream of visitors who naturally all want to cuddle her. This was fine at first but lately it's been upsetting me. I hate seeing her passed around the room like a new toy while she sleeps, and picked up out of her moses basket while she is sleeping peacefully.

It would be a bit easier if I was breastfeeding as I could legitimately take her away to feed her but bfing hasn't worked out for me (not for lack of trying - a whole other story). So now everyone can feed her and I have no real excuse to take her away on my own.

My DP has been understanding but I think he thinks I'm being a bit PFB. We are about to be descended on in a matter of hours by my ILs, a cousin and a couple of brothers for a few days and I am starting to feel panicked about watching dd getting bundled about and not left to sleep in peace. If I don't say anything she will be held all day long.

I am not scared to say 'put that baby down!' but first I would like to know if I am being insanely PFB about this or are these feelings are normal?

Please be gentle as I am a bit of a hormonal mess right now but don't be afraid to give your honest opinions.

ShowOfHands Tue 02-Aug-11 15:11:09

Oh congratulations. 2 weeks is brand new and you'll be feeling really fragile. That fierce, protective instinct you're feeling is normal.

You know what, there's probably not an issue with a sleeping baby being passed around if it's not affecting her BUT in this instance you're 2 weeks postnatal and it's upsetting you. And I've been there. It seems irrational looking back but at the time I found it really flipping hard.

Say something. Just gently. Not when she's sleeping is fine. It's also fine to want to have your baby close to you, where she belongs, bfing is irrelevant. She's part of you, she lived inside you. Gently take her back and cuddle her as necessary.

DedalusDigglesPocketWatch Tue 02-Aug-11 15:11:29

Let sleeping babies lie!

Yes everyone wants a cuddle, but you, dh and the baby are kind of priority atm, still need time to bond etc.

I think you are mad having people to stay so soon tbh. Definitely not pfb.

Pootles2010 Tue 02-Aug-11 15:11:35

Maybe when she needs a nap, put her upstairs in her room? Just say you want to get her in a routine or something, gp's love that stuff grin

ContraryMartha Tue 02-Aug-11 15:11:35

H held DD constantly when she was born and after a while she got used to being held to go to sleep.
Not so easy for you when she is bigger and all the visitors have gone home.
Can't you just put her in her room, and ask visitors to let her sleep?

And I hope all those people descending on you shortly are staying in a hotel?

ShowOfHands Tue 02-Aug-11 15:12:35

Oh yes, agree with that. Having people to stay is madness. Point 'em at a Travelodge.

MissJanuary Tue 02-Aug-11 15:12:39

Take control, she is your baby.

When the visitors arrive just say you've only just got her settled and would like her left to sleep, as she's already had a lot of cuddles this week.

repeat ad infinutm until it sinks in.

I think people get a bit excited with a baby, when its the first in the family, and forget what its like for the Mum & Dad.

I personally would never dream of asking to lift a sleeping baby (and that applied before I had my own son) a peep in the moses basket will do them fine.

littlemisslozza Tue 02-Aug-11 15:14:42

I think your feelings are normal and I wouldn't want people picking up an already sleeping baby out of the moses basket either. I would also not be encouraging other people to feed her because even though you are not bf you are still her mum and it's up to you to decide whether to ask someone else to give her a bottle, not for them to assume that they can. Don't give them the option.

That said, you need to strike a happy medium I think, otherwise you will come across as being PFB when really it's just an important time in your daughter's early days when you are bonding and getting used to being a family. Hormones don't help but because she is the first baby among most of your friends they probably don't have a clue how you feel.

KittyChat Tue 02-Aug-11 15:14:52

Thanks so much for your replies, I was beginning to feel a bit mental.

Should've said - the ILs are staying with BIL, not us. No, no, no way could they stay here.

I have never been the 'maternal' type which is why these feelings are scary.

MissJanuary Tue 02-Aug-11 15:14:54

PS just noticed your post said these visitors are for a few days? Are you mad?

I think you will regret it - a B&B would be a better solution for them, with little visits to yours in between.

What the fuck comes over people wanting to stay for days with folks who have just had a baby - for FS give them some space!

Tanif Tue 02-Aug-11 15:16:49

I don't think the cuddling is going to be disturbing your baby, they seem to sleep through hurricanes at that age. However, if it's disturbing you, you have every right as her mother to tell people when they can and can't hold her. YANBU for expecting people to accept that sometimes you just want her near you.

littlemisslozza Tue 02-Aug-11 15:17:51

I would also hope that they are not staying with you.... and if they are that it is made clear that they look after themselves and you rather than enjoying your hospitality! You should be sat cuddling your bay while they make dinner, not the other way round.

KittyChat Tue 02-Aug-11 15:18:00

lozza - Thank you, I think I needed to hear that re: the bottle.

With friends it's fine and I think it will be easier to be firm with them. But quite difficult with ILs ... they raised four kids back in the 70s when it was still ok to wean babies at 5 days and blow secondhand smoke in their faces so I think I might be up for some flak with my 'put baby down's.

littlemisslozza Tue 02-Aug-11 15:18:09

oops, 'baby'

MissJanuary Tue 02-Aug-11 15:18:12

Your maternal instinct to protect her is kicking in - embrace it. Yes it is overwhelming all these feelings and dropping pregnancy hormones.

Thats great they are staying with the BIL, phew.

Enjoy your baby - and just go with what you want to do.

ShowOfHands Tue 02-Aug-11 15:18:45

Prep your dh in advance. Don't let people stay too long. We had visitors turn up and stay for hours and I just wanted them to go. I needed to be still and sit with the baby. The hormonal transition into motherhood is loopy. I went from not maternal and a bit unfussed by babies to utterly consumed by a fierce and protective love. And then people kept moving around and turning up and drinking tea and juggling dd between them and squawking on about things and I just wanted to scream STTTOOOPPPPPPP. Your dh is your ally. He needs to be gently shoving people out the door if they're outstaying their welcome. And he can help by getting your baby and handing her over with a firm 'I think she needs her mum right now'. You're a team in this.

And you're not going mad, it's ridiculously overwhelming.

ShowOfHands Tue 02-Aug-11 15:20:08

Oh and you will feel normal again. Like yourself again. It's just hormones. The weird fog and feeling like you're somebody else is temporary. I remember being frightened I'd never feel like me again.

InTheNightKitchen Tue 02-Aug-11 15:25:28

YANBU. The baby is not a toy, I don't get why anyone would want to risk waking up a tiny baby because they want a cuddle.

Also agree that maybe only you and DH should feed her while she's this little. FF is mega important bonding time that is teaching her that her parents are looking after her, just as much as BF.

Ephiny Tue 02-Aug-11 15:25:37

I know what you mean - I don't understand the obsession with 'holding' other people's babies. Personally I would be happy to look at her sleeping in her cradle, and think 'aww, how cute'. There's no way I'd just pick up someone's little baby without the mum/dad saying so.
Don't see the need for them to be picked up and passed around from person to person like a little parcel - don't suppose it does them any harm, but it's a bit silly and annoying IMO.

Anyway, she's your baby, if you want to say 'no, leave her for now, she's sleeping' then that's totally reasonable IMO. Maybe offer them the chance to hold her at a time of your choice, so they don't feel they're missing out!

happygilmore Tue 02-Aug-11 15:26:10

Def get your DH onside, we let people stay far too long out of politeness when DD was a newborn - it was awful. They all stayed far too long despite saying it would be for 30mins only!

One tip is not to get dressed and say you and the baby need to go back to sleep now, and DO IT after 30mins or whatever - get up, take your baby and go to bed.

Congratulations by the way!

Iggly Tue 02-Aug-11 15:26:22

I'd sit and cuddle your baby. Letting her sleep on you won't make her used to being held for sleep - we put DS down for naps at that age but he soon changed grin

If anyone wants to hold her, fine but have no fear in taking her back. She's your baby and it's your job to protect her. Also give your visitors jobs be it making tea etc - you've just had a baby so need rest! That way they can't hold a baby and a cup of tea etc etc

InTheNightKitchen Tue 02-Aug-11 15:26:48

However if your family want to share a special moment with the new baby perhaps nappy changing could be available to them? smile

KittyChat Tue 02-Aug-11 15:28:27

Thank you, ShowOfHands. Your post really resonates and made me a little teary (again!). 'Loopy' is right. I loved having people over to visit before! They are all so well meaning but I just really want my space.

DP is so laid back he's just about lying down, but will give him the firm word.

Very glad to hear I will feel normal again - er, when will that be, please?!

KittyChat Tue 02-Aug-11 15:30:35

I never thought about the feeding/bonding issue, NightKitchen. I will make sure only myself or DP feed her. I've felt bad enough about not being able to bond through bfing as it is.

MrsBaggins Tue 02-Aug-11 15:30:53

Goodness I would have murdered anyone who picked up my sleeping babies - are they bonkers ?

I would suggest they they could give her bottle and if they get a bit much that you are popping upstairs with the baby "for a lie down" -that always worked for me grin

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