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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Friend's baby is going to be born with a few problems, I'm worried about how DD will react and don't want to upset friends, any advice?

(28 Posts)
Aimsmum Sun 07-Dec-08 14:37:55

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beansontoast Sun 07-Dec-08 14:56:44

off the cuff...my instinct would say what is most important is how you react to how your dd reacts...iykwim...?

so as long as you are positive,sincere, gushing,honest etc counter her shock with reassurance,explain that a cleft palate 'happens' and baby will have an op to help her.

talk about the things that make this new baby the same as other new babies...like what a love magnet little schnuffy it is x

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TheNewsMongersGeansaiNollag Sun 07-Dec-08 15:03:37

I agree with MMJ, my dd is 6 and I feel she could deal with this with aplomb (despite being far from perfect at home). She does understand about feeelings.

devoutsceptic Sun 07-Dec-08 15:09:38

Maybeyou could look at some pictures of babies with cleft palates beforehand I've just done a google and the babies look terribly sweet.
I'm sure your dd will be lovely, but sometimes our faces express shock or surprise even when we don't want them to, if we are unprepared.

devoutsceptic Sun 07-Dec-08 15:10:37

I googled baby cleft palate by the way.

VirginBoffinMum Sun 07-Dec-08 15:14:40

I think just explain to DD beforehand and show a couple of pictures. Then it shouldn't be a problem.

When DS2 was 5, one of his classmates got leukemia and had to wear hats, tubes and so on, so a special nurse went into the school to explain to his class what they were all for, with a teddy for demonstration.

The kids were absolutely fine about it and weren't traumatised at all, because they had an idea what was going on and the need for 'strong medicine' in such cases. In fact DS2 became very good at taking medicine when necessary, because his attitude was that his friend's medicine had to be worse than his, so the least he could do was to take his without protest.

Kids are very resilient about such things.

StarlightWonderStarlightBright Sun 07-Dec-08 15:15:11

I agree with beans on toast. Also, in someways I think it would be a good thing to (provided it doesn't come as a surprise) let your dd act in whatever way comes naturally. She may well surprise you.

The last thing you want is your dd tripping up because she is trying so hard to pretend/act because you have pressured her into it.

Your friends will have to get used to reactions from other people, some not so naturally taken with the baby. Far better for them to have some practise runs with people who are on their side and will love the baby anyway! Your dd will have to ask the awkward questions in order to make sense of it and accept the situation.

MadamDeathstarOverBethlehem Sun 07-Dec-08 15:20:24

I think children are a lot more accepting than adults of new situations because everything is new to them. I agree that it would be a good idea to look at pictures of babies with cleft palettes and missing arms. You could try googling about thalidomide to see how it might look.

I have seen a woman who had been affected by thalidomide. She is a great horse rider despite having no arms. She used to guide the horse using her feet. Stories like this may be of help to your daughter and to you as you will have a more positive view of how the baby will be able to cope growing up than if you go into it completely raw.

MadamDeathstarOverBethlehem Sun 07-Dec-08 15:20:57

By 'it might look' I mean the arm, not the baby.

purpleduck Sun 07-Dec-08 15:28:44

I would be very matter-of-fact about it, and explain the facts when you can.

I would ask your friend if it is ok for your dd to ask questions if she wants to - your friend may find it a relief to TALK about it, rather than deal with polite silence/stunned stares.

Good luck to your friend

ChristmasCakeYerbouti Sun 07-Dec-08 15:43:31

My youngest son was born with a hand deformity, which we didn't know about until he was born.

DS1 started to notice it when he just turned 3, but older kids of friends were happy with the explanation that some babies grow a bit differently then others, so they look different, but they will still be able to play and do things that other children do (not sure if this is a rubbish explanation or not, but it's always worked OK for us) We have then answered each question as honestly as we can.

I don't have a lot of knowledge about cleft palate, but know a bit about limb deformities etc etc from reading up of DS2's issue (which was caused by amniotic banding syndrome)

Also, tell your friends about Reach who helped us ENORMOUSLY when DS2 was a baby.

Aimsmum Sun 07-Dec-08 15:45:51

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ChristmasCakeYerbouti Sun 07-Dec-08 15:45:57

Yes, agree with purpleduck that your friend won't mind discussing it - I'd much rather people ask than just stare (which you need to prepare your friends for too - because people will, unfortunately.)

ChristmasCakeYerbouti Sun 07-Dec-08 15:48:27

This is a good website about ABS

Aimsmum Sun 07-Dec-08 15:49:01

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ChristmasCakeYerbouti Sun 07-Dec-08 15:51:59

Triplets shock

Feck, they will be busy!

Reach v. good

If they want to e-mail someone, they can e-mail me at intergalacticwalrus @ hotmail . co . uk because it's sometimes nice to chat to someone in a similar situation (although the extent of my DS2's ABS was fairly mild)

ChristmasCakeYerbouti Sun 07-Dec-08 15:54:27

Meant to say Reach v. good for providing info about getting equipment their baby might need as he or she gets older (like one handed recorders!)

LoolaBoys Sun 07-Dec-08 15:55:35

Wow triplets. I think your DD will be so excited that there are three babies tbh. I'm sure if you show her pics she will be fine, but I wouldn't tell her how to act. If she has seen pictures it should prepare her enough imo.

Good luck to your friend on the triplets smile

Aimsmum Sun 07-Dec-08 15:57:25

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Aimsmum Sun 07-Dec-08 15:59:35

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thenewme Sun 07-Dec-08 16:06:24

Children are very accepting of things and I think you should worry less tbh. tell her before hand that the baby doesn't have two full arms but s/he is still a normal baby and your dd will just accept that.

purpleduck Sun 07-Dec-08 16:08:42

i think your dd will be so mesmerised by 3 babies, that the cleft palate and arm problem will probably not be the centre of her attention.

Aimsmum Sun 07-Dec-08 16:29:30

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sweetgrapes Mon 08-Dec-08 10:50:22

Triplets!! Wow!
Your DD will be so excited she won't notice a thing.

Don't lay it on too thick for her, she'll be fine.

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