To expect family to follow our parenting choices when looking after DS?

(209 Posts)
tiredmama2020 Tue 27-Jul-21 06:55:43

Will be going back to work 3 days per week in a couple of months. Husband works away from home for weeks at a time. Very lucky that my sister and MIL have offered to look after DS - it works out they’ll cover 6 days per month between then and DH will be there the rest of the month so won’t need their help.

If family look after your child - how much do you expect them to follow your parenting choices?
I’m very grateful that MIL has offered help but she’s making comments already that are making me a bit nervous that we’re going to have issues when the time comes 😓

A few examples:
- weaning is going well. Home cooking all his meals and he’s eating a great variety and loving his food. MIL “can’t wait until she gets to be in charge and can finally get some ‘proper’ baby food into him” - she absolutely insists that baby’s NEED jars of puddings and Rusks after each meal. Obviously the odd one of these things isn’t going to do him any harm if she did give him one but personally, I don’t believe he needs any.
- he’s 9m old currently and napping twice a day. He’s definitely a baby who thrives off routine. I’m not super strict on it at all but. If we’re home, as soon as he shows signs of being tired I’ll get him in his sleeping bag and put him down in his cot with white noice and he’ll fall asleep - occasionally he’ll need rocked to sleep. MIL says he’s being “spoiled” and that a tired baby should sleep anywhere. No reason for him to be rocked/go to his cot. At that age hers would have just fallen asleep on their mat on the floor. If I’m out a walk with him and he’s not awake by the time we get home/back to the car and I have nothing else I need to be home for them I’ll keep walking with him until he wakes up - he sleeps better when the pram is moving. I don’t see an issue with it - he gets a better sleep, I get a bit more exercise, but MIL thinks it’s absolutely ridiculous.
- I’m also very much “baby comes first” so if I’m in the middle of doing something and he cries/fusses/wants fed etc then I’ll stop what I’m doing. MIL believes that baby should fit into your life so should be left until you’re finished what you’re doing.

There are also another couple of issues regarding car seats (she says she doesn’t want him in the backseat of her car as she’ll find it easier to have him in the front. And she thinks rear facing is ‘ridiculous’) but she won’t be looking after him at all if she doesn’t follow car seat safety so they’re not an issue.

Obviously he needs to fit in with her day but she’ll be looking after him from our house - I’ll have his meals all prepared just ready to be heated etc. AIBU to expect her to feed him what we want and to follow his normal nap routine if they’re in the house?

OP’s posts: |
MrsN100 Tue 27-Jul-21 07:00:28

I think it would be better for him to go into childcare. I would expect some sort of routine but if I'm doing you a favour it would need to be on my terms. His routine would need to fit into their lives. I agree about the feeding stuff and would worry about that.

Postdatedpandemic Tue 27-Jul-21 07:02:24

You can try to get her to follow your choices but don't expect to succeed. She raised your DH and will see no need to change. Pudding three days a month is just fine, different food may even be a good thing. Free childcare comes with a lot of catches.

The hill to die on is the car seat. Turn her airbag off for her.

sailmeaway Tue 27-Jul-21 07:04:48

Depends - the sleeping thing, she might actually help you out. Having a baby that sleeps anywhere = very handy. If he's knackered, she'll learn to do things more your way.

Food - mmm. It needs to work for her, so if you want home-made food all the time you might need to prep stuff she can heat up to avoid baby jar food. If you don't want sugary crap like rusks tho - put your foot down.

Carseat - ABSOLUTELY none negotiable. And if you think she might break that one then read her the riot act.

Your baby will benefit from interaction with her, and you will have to let her just get on with it for the most part.

Datingandnoideahowto Tue 27-Jul-21 07:05:56

Yeah the hill to die on is the car seat.

The rest, for 3 or 4 days a month, I’d suck up for the free childcare.

PermanentTemporary Tue 27-Jul-21 07:06:29

I think there are things to have a battle about and things not to - it does actually sound as if you know that - car seats are a deal breaker, rusks aren't. But I'd agree that this sounds like it's going to be difficult. 3 days a week is a lot for 'granny's rules' which is probably the reality.

ShinyGreenElephant Tue 27-Jul-21 07:07:54

I wouldnt risk it tbh. As soon as she even suggested forward facing him she wouldn't have been having him alone ever. The other stuff is less essential but she just sounds like she has no respect for your choices so other issues will arise - not worth it imo. Just pay for childcare and they will do as they're told.


nc8765 Tue 27-Jul-21 07:08:48

I'd just pay for proper childcare for 6 days of the month.

BusyLizzie61 Tue 27-Jul-21 07:08:57

There's such a difference between weaning 40 years ago and today. She may well decide to try a risk or similar. But tbh given this is a max of 6 days, is care in your home and free, I can not see any benefits of getting get up!

You can't expect anyone else to run around the exact way you do. As long as lo gets sleeps, is content, changed, well cared for, that should be the priority. You can choose to put in the cot or walk for hours when you have your child again.
With only your lo, mil is genuinely unlikely to leave them crying for long, beyond is in the loo etc, whereas in child care this is reality. Even if she believes you helicopter parent, it will be different when she is looking after lo.

Car seats seem to be an issue for many of the older generation. I had extensive discussions regarding my expectations. I understood their concern re not seeing as well etc, but stuck to my guns and they had no choice given it was the only car seat!

Notimeforaname Tue 27-Jul-21 07:10:54

As he is not their child and they are helping you out..I think in this instance his life has to fit around theirs.. sorry.

Of course you cant mess around with car seats or anything unsafe!! But I think giving him a jar of food or rusks...or letting him fall asleep on sofa is not something you can control. Dont go away if you want every minute of his day to go exactly how it would when you have him...

Crispyturtle Tue 27-Jul-21 07:12:31

There’s no childcare setting thats going to look after your kid like you do, unless you pay for a nanny. For a few days a month I wouldn’t sweat about naps or food. As a pp has said, it’s really useful for a kid to be able to sleep anywhere.

But totally agree that she follows proper safety advice re the car seat. If she won’t do that you definitely need to make other arrangements.

riotlady Tue 27-Jul-21 07:14:22

The food I would let go of, prep some homemade meals but expect her to be giving him some rusks

The napping is her problem really as she’ll be the one dealing with a tired baby

readwhatiactuallysay Tue 27-Jul-21 07:15:12

You sound pretty sensible and fair.

As you have she is doing it from your house, im assuming the food you want your DC will be ready for her.

Its annoying when people constantly try to go against your wishes, as you have accepted she will try and get rubbish food in your DC at some point, its only a few times a month. It still would have been infuriating to me though and a complete lack of respect.

I would have to choose a different route for childcare (if you could afford it obviously of not you will just have to keep asking her sadly) if she is showing this lack or respect now, it will only get worse.

mayblossominapril Tue 27-Jul-21 07:15:35

The only thing that would worry/stop me from using MIL for childcare is the car seat. If she uses yours fitted properly fine
If you have another you wouldn’t be able to keep a todddler walking round whilst the baby slept
Food, jars won’t hurt one of mine still eats them and once they eat school/nursery dinners they eat all sorts of cheap crap you wouldn’t want them having!

riotlady Tue 27-Jul-21 07:16:16


I wouldnt risk it tbh. As soon as she even suggested forward facing him she wouldn't have been having him alone ever. The other stuff is less essential but she just sounds like she has no respect for your choices so other issues will arise - not worth it imo. Just pay for childcare and they will do as they're told.

This is fucking nuts. Why would you not just explain about the car seat? Fair enough to not let her have him if she pushed it but banning someone from having your child because they suggested having him FF (which was very common for the older generation) is massively OTT

endofjune Tue 27-Jul-21 07:16:55

My baby wouldn’t be going there.

MarleneDietrichsSmile Tue 27-Jul-21 07:17:08

Yes, the car seat situation has to be safe

But the rest, you seem very control freaky about grin Either you are ready to let granny look after the baby, or you are not wink

It is hard, I know!

Dontforgetyourbrolly Tue 27-Jul-21 07:18:18

This comes up time and time again, other than the car seat your choices are suck it up or pay for childcare
My own mum had ds every Wednesday for years, she gave him treats that I learned to relax about and a lot more independence like playing in the garden ( I was a nervous ftm) ! In the long run it was good for him and they are very close now it's lovely
I'm still saying " please don't tell me how much chocolate he's had " lol

mrsrichardsglasses Tue 27-Jul-21 07:18:49

I've been a very similar situation with my MIL and honestly it has ruined our relationship. I can't trust her at all, I let her have the DC as little as possible and when I do (and I absolutely have to) its very stressful.
This is things like taking DC out without a car seat at all- held on her lap in the front seat with FIL driving them across town. Giving them meat when we're vegetarian. Keeping them awake for hours past their nap or bedtime because she wanted to show them off to her friends. So we're not just being overly fussy parents.
I would honestly avoid giving her the opportunity to undermine you and just send your baby to childcare.

Sirzy Tue 27-Jul-21 07:20:17

The car seat is the only non negotiable from those things.

BUT if small things like your list are going to be issues for you then I would be looking for alternative childcare as it’s obviously going to frustrate you which will only get worse over time

Katedanielshasakitty Tue 27-Jul-21 07:20:58

I would absolutely out my foot down on the car seat situation.

The rest of it, let it go.

My mum did things differently to how I did them. My opinion was that if I trust her to look after my daughter, I trust her to make decisions she thinks is best at the time. If she mentioned something and it wasn't something I was happy with, I would te her what I prefer but back that up with 'but I wasn't there, so if you think that's the best thing that's fine'
She didn't get all offended if I said it.

If you can't trust her to to make decisions for herself, then it's probably best she doesn't have your baby.

I do think expecting people to drop everything because your baby is moaning, is a bit ridiculous. If you choose that, that's absolutely fine. But not even a nanny would do that, every single time.never mind chdminder or nursery.

TidyDancer Tue 27-Jul-21 07:21:30

The car seat is the only thing I would be concerned about here. The rest of it just isn't that important.

user1471457757 Tue 27-Jul-21 07:22:50

The car seat thing is ridiculous! In the UK babies have to legally be rear facing until 15 months and after that it's much safer for them to continue to be rear facing.

AuntieStella Tue 27-Jul-21 07:23:48

Pay for proper childcare

You will suffer the same loss of day to day control, but you'll find it much easier to deal with when it's not a close family member. And if you have to change childcare because you don't like how it's going, it won't have anything like the fallout of a dispute with DGM. So don't get into the position in the first place.

Save DGM for the odd extra day when your regular childcare is unavailable. Granny doing idifferently doesn't hurt one iota when it's only now and again.

LonstantonSpiceMuseum Tue 27-Jul-21 07:26:44


I wouldnt risk it tbh. As soon as she even suggested forward facing him she wouldn't have been having him alone ever. The other stuff is less essential but she just sounds like she has no respect for your choices so other issues will arise - not worth it imo. Just pay for childcare and they will do as they're told.

Definitely this - the issue here is she's not respecting your choices - while you might change one thing like the car seat, imagine if there was something else too? Like he had an allergy and she decided not to believe it.
If you can pay for childcare, then she's not doing you a favour, it's not going to help you out if your child is tired and grumpy from changed routine and poor diet the rest of the week. It will be better in the long term.
If you can't afford it, then this makes the situation different obviously.

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