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Help! Son so unhappy with grandparents!

(7 Posts)
beccii161016 Mon 27-Mar-17 09:51:50

My son is 5 and a half months old & has been really uncomfortable with my grandparents since he was 3 months. He's usually fine when I'm holding him and talking to them, but not always. The problems really start when they hold him. He screams & screams in a way that he doesn't for any other reason. The only thing I can compare it to is when he was a month old & had terrible colic.
The biggest problem with this is that my grandparents are supposed to be helping with his childcare when I return to work. I work part time but 4 hours Monday-Friday. I can only afford 2 1/2 days of nursery a week; my grandparents were going to look after him for the other 2 1/2 days. Due to work commitments we have no other family able to share childcare. DP and I are starting to have talks about whether or not I will be able to return to work - I need to really for money & I do love my job but this situation is making us seriously consider me staying at home.

It's worth noting that he doesn't act like this with ANYONE else. Strangers or familiar faces; in fact he loves people and attention! He also sees them more than any other relatives except me & DP (at least 4 times a week) as they are retired and so help out by taking us shopping & on days out. We've tried observing their behaviour with him & noticed a couple of things they were doing that we asked them not to as he was becoming irritated (e.g..shoving toys in his face when he's upset). They stopped this & everything we noticed that may have been contributing to the issue. We also tried showing him that we are around, leaving him with them to calm as well as us leaving the room but either way he just gets so worked up that we have to go back in and take him. He immediately calms down when myself or my partner have him but can't catch his breath from sobbing so hard! We can't really understand the issue as it's solely with them.
If anyone has any advice on what we can do to help the situation or why it may be occurring I would be so very grateful!!

beccii161016 Mon 27-Mar-17 09:53:51

Not sure it's entirely relevant but would also like to add he is such a happy, smiley, chilled and easily pleased baby. Everyone who meets him comments on this so it's even more puzzling when he acts like this just with them smile

Wittyfunnynamehaha Mon 27-Mar-17 10:15:01

Do they smoke or wear strong perfume/aftershave? My ds has issues with strong smells and won't go to people if there is an overpowering smell. Otherwise he's a content chilled out baby.

beccii161016 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:09:10

They don't smoke but I've never really considered the perfume angle! His dad wears aftershave that doesn't bother him but maybe their perfume does! Or maybe it's their smell in general; they don't smell haha but maybe DS doesn't like their natural scent! Thank you! smile

Myu5ername Wed 29-Mar-17 00:37:24

You have basically described my dd1 with her grandparents.
Dd1 had a bit of separation anxiety but definitely didn't seem to like her grandparents which sounds a bit harsh to say. Like you I was relying on them for part of her childcare. They also used to do lots of stupid things that aggravated the situation even though we'd asked them not to and explain why. I think older generation don't know or can't remember how to handle babies so small ... ?! I dunno. Anyway, 2.5 years on and dd1 gets on great with her grandparents ... In those early days when I went back to work I just had to leave her and apparently she would be upset for 5-10 minutes then was fine. Although my mil did force me to give her a dummy which ended up the worst decision ever but we did it to keep gran happy and sane at the time as she complained a lot about dd1 being upset round her.
Anyway, now I have dd2 who is 5.5 months. I've left her twice now with grandparents for couple hours and she has cried almost the whole time - she is a super smiley, placid baby, happy to go to anyone. Same situation where grandparents aggrevate things and don't listen when we ask them to do things differently. No idea what it is they do to get such a negative response from their infant grandchildren.

So sorry, that was a very long way of telling you I feel your pain but don't really have a solution. I'll be watching this thread closely X

beccii161016 Wed 29-Mar-17 08:51:15

Thank you so much Myu5ername the feeling of not being alone is very comforting!

Unfortunately I am much in the same boat as you where the advice is being sometimes heeded and sometimes not! The trouble being that, we haven't had the heart to tell them it's just them, so now nanny is kindly telling everyone it's my fault! "He won't go to anyone but you, I told you, you'd make a rod for your own back if you kept picking him up and holding him"! I never tire of hearing that phrase grin

Also discovered yesterday that DS is not happy being fed by her either. They popped round whilst he was in his high chair being fed and if there's one thing my boy loves it's food! Haven't come across anything he doesn't like! He won't take a bottle or fruit/veg from them, just screams and that's just completely out of character. Apart from them I could pass him to a random stranger on the street and he'd be happy with them feeding him!

Let's hope someone has come across a possible solution because I'm running out of patience being told it's my fault grin

Myu5ername Wed 29-Mar-17 11:32:15

Yes beccii161016!! We hear the same all the time ... It's all our fault. I'm not sure if it's just the differences between old school parenting and modern parenting.

Nowadays we take time to read our children's body language, understand their moods, listen to them ... And in my experience it makes all the difference in getting to know your kids and make life a pleasure for the family. Old school parenting is a bit harsh and that's what we sometimes notice with the grandparents even though they are still gentle and caring towards my kids. I do find they don't take time to work out what's wrong with them or the best way to do something ... It's just a case of granny knows best and that's that. But for us we have found granny doesn't know best.

Our solution for dd1 was just to keep leaving her with granny and hope for the best ... Although I did wait until she was a year old before I did it for an extended period of time (I have been very lucky with maternity leave). Eventually dd1 got used to granny's ways in particular and isn't phased at all.
Dd2 is like going back to the start with it all. I guess our kids will come through the other side stronger and more resilient for it? I hope! One thing I will say is dd1 still loves her grandparents to bits despite the rocky start.

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