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To set MiL Straight?(279 Posts)
I’m 19 weeks pregnant with the first grandchild on both sides, so naturally everyone is super excited and it’s all very lovely.
Yesterday, MiL let slip that she’s bought a next to me crib and a load of newborn baby stuff ‘for her house’ for when the baby arrives ... I quite pointedly said ‘oh that won’t be needed MiL, baby won’t be staying overnight with you until they’re too old to use a next to me, he/she will be in their own room by then’
She was taken aback and said I’d need a night off on the first few weeks at least. I said baby will be breast fed until 6 months at least hopefully so whether I want a night off or not, it won’t be happening. I also said that even if I couldn’t breast feed for any reason, I wouldn’t want baby away from me that early anyway.
She then got upset and said she would expect me to express so she could take her grandchild while they’re still a baby to have overnight and I’m cruel for not allowing this. DH stepped in at this point and said we wouldn’t be changing our plans to suit MiL, and he’d be very sad if she couldn’t accept that and made it difficult for us to see her when baby was born. She dropped it After he said that.
She’s also said some other weird stuff like weaning the baby from 3 months is normal, she doesn’t like the idea of breastfeeding and something about giving newborns water as well as milk? Pretty sure that’s not right? It’s making me really nervous about leaving baby with her at all until he or she is a bit more robust!
MiL has a sister who has a grandchild already, but she was born when her mum was only 16 and living at home, so naturally MiL’s sister was very involved from the start. DH and I are in our 30’s, totally independent, mortgage, the lot so it’s a totally different circumstance. I have a feeling MiL is comparing notes and wants to be as involved as her sister was, which obviously just won’t be happening.
I just want to check I’m not being cruel or unreasonable to lay boundaries with someone who is usually lovely and will absolutely dote on this kid?
You actually deserve a medal for sticking up for yourself from the get go!! Good. She’s nuts! Stay firm! Good that you dh immediately supported you too.
Of course you are not. Your wishes come first.
Yanbu at all
Stick to your boundaries
Sounds like your dh is on the same page so let him do 90% of the communication with her
@AlwaysCheddar I was surprised he did if I’m honest, we love MiL and it’s the first time we’ve really had to assert ourselves so I wasn’t expecting him to back me up really. Very very glad he did.
Was I a bit harsh? I don’t know what’s normal?
Also can someone confirm I’m not going mad on the water thing, newborns don’t have water right?
Oh god, you hear of MILs buying cots but a Next to Me?! First few weeks?! Someone wants to play mummy again. Be very firm, do not let baby stay over until you WANT baby to stay over. 6mo is still so early for a sleepover dont make any promises as to when it will be, you dont want pestering that you said she could have a sleepover at 6mo but you still dont feel ready.
Well done for both of you for standing up to her and putting in boundaries! This is your baby, not your MILs. She’s had her chance at having babies, it’s your turn now. I don’t understand this obsession that some grandparents have about having the baby overnight from a young age. My DD didn’t sleep anywhere except directly on us or co-sleeping until she was 5 months of age. She was a terrible sleeper and wanted feeding every 45 minutes at night between the ages of 10 week to 5 months. If your MIL would like be preparing bottles every 45 minutes throughout the night then she’s more than welcome to crack on!
We sold our next to me crib unused because DD would never sleep in it!
DD is 13 months old now and still hasn’t sleep (even for a nap) at grandparents house (even though she naps and sleeps beautifully now) because I just don’t think either she or I are ready yet
You’ve been very sensible, and I’m glad your husband was firm with her too. She obviously has very different ideas about what’s normal / expected these days, so better to set her straight as early and as often as needed!
@Nottherealslimshady very very good point about not setting timescales, didn’t think about that.
I've been reading (also pregnant, May baby) breastfed babies dont have water at all. Formula fed babies do have a little water in hot weather I think.
You were very calm in your responses-buggar off would have been mine ! On a more kind approach maybe ask her about dh as a baby. Remind her she had her time with her own newborn. Now it's your time.
Glad your dh has your back. That's the hardest issue imo..
Also babies should not be given any water until 6 months of age and even then that’s only when weaning age mealtimes. The giving water thing is an old fashioned thing, I’ve had a couple of people in their 60s telling me to give water to ‘fill her up’. I think it was recommended years ago but not now.
Well done for being assertive now!
I don’t think you were harsh - you laid down a boundary clearly, firmly and early. Best way to do it!
On a general level, what IS it with grandparents wanting their grandchildren to themselves? I mean, it’s one thing to be interested and helpful but quite another to act as if it’s their baby
She means well and is obviously super excited but I get your frustration. My mother in law was a bit like this but Dd is 5 now and never slept there 🤣 not because I wouldn't want her to now she's older but there's never any need to...
Just stand your ground. Your baby, your rules. It's great she wants to be involved but tell her it's visits to your home and hers for now and that's it!!
I think she took you by surprise so you set her straight. I'd say next time leave it to DH.
The only thing about what you've said to her is that if you do need her to have baby for whatever reason, then you will have to lose some face as you were adamant on your plans.
You may not end up breastfeeding, or winter flu may strike both of you and you might need help so don't cut it off straightway.
My MIL is very controlling and got her hopes up too, and it's all about managing expectations and showing that we will be reasonable if she is reasonable. It's tough though.
Well done for sticking up for yourself and being firm from the get go. I wish I had been as clued up as you but I didn't recognise the signs of my own MIL being overbearing early enough and I was miserable during my postpartum period I'm afraid due to completely crazy expectations from my MIL which hadn't been quashed.
Your MIL, like mine, has outdated ideas. Mine too said BF was "nutritionally incomplete" and pushed formula, texting me multiple times telling me how small my babies were (twins with perfectly fine birth weights btw) and how worried she was.
Hopefully your MIL will realise that things have changed and our knowledge on things like weaning at 6m, breastmilk etc have advanced far more since then.
Continue to stand your ground from the beginning!
@TheIckabog aaah that would make sense, When she mentioned that to said ‘oh I don’t think they do have water from birth, maybe the guidelines have changed?’
Am I also right in thinking you begin introducing food at about 6 months?
Breast milk or formula is all a baby needs until weaning, then little amounts of (I did cooled boiled) water with their "food". There are some really good sites out there like Kelly's mom that will really give you some good and more up to date advice.
The water thing, at the time dd was born 14 years ago, as she was bottle fed it was advised to give her cool boiled water in hot weather in-between feeds. I dont think that applies to breast fed
Advice changes all the time, very likely that your MIL was told to give baby water and you will be told different, or on the other hand in between her baby days and yours people were told not to give it and now they are. I had babies in the 1970s and 1990s and GC from teens to tinies and trust me the rules are very very prone to change.
Sleep them on their backs, don't, do again, feed 4 hours, feed on demand, solids at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months. Believe me all those rules have applied to mine at one time or another.
If her last baby days were 30 odd years ago there will have been loads of changes, she shouldn't push them on you but you just need to say that isn't what they advise now.
Good luck with the baby and I hope all goes well and MIL calms down, it can be hard having the first GC, I've got six and I can assure you I dread and love sleepovers in equal measure but I've got no desire to do the early days (or nights.)
In general newborns don't need water in this country they get everything they need from their milk, there may be times when you are advised to let them have a little water by hv or doctor.
We were advised to let our newborn have water when we went away to Florida for example due to heat.
No need for water. Breast milk is 88% water! (Obviously formula is high water too!)
In hot weather, a baby which is breastfed on demand will sometime choose to feed little and often. The foremilk (first breast milk to come down, each feed) is thinner - so they manage their own higher water content!
Studies in much hotter countries than ours do not get m dehydrated when breast fed on demand.
She hasn’t made it up though - I’ve definitely seen it advised in hot weather. So - ignore her, but don’t assume it’s her own batshit idea!
The water thing is a generational one - it was pretty standard back in her day, also I don't think babies were breastfed for as long and so were weaned earlier, they also didn't stay in parents room for 6 months - that's all very recent advice. You handled it well but she's not "nuts" for what she was saying it's just how it was back in her day 🤷♀️
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