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Is friend particularly clingy with her baby?

(64 Posts)
Lottapianos Fri 28-Sep-12 14:21:07

My best mate has had a baby recently. She's lovely and I'm thrilled for her. I went to visit her for a full day a couple of weeks ago when baby was 8 weeks old. It was the first time we had spent any time together since baby arrived and we were both looking forward to it.

I had anticipated a day of holding baby while my mate got on with showering or whatever else she needed to do but it turned out very differently. I arrived at 10am and by 4pm I had to actually ask if I could hold the baby. She was fine with handing her over but if I hadn't asked I don't think she would have offered. She took her back when she needed a (bottle) feed - I would have loved to feed her but didn't say anything.

I know it's a different experience for every parent but do you think this is unusual? I'm not a parent but I work with babies and young children so she knows I'm not clueless around them and wasn't going to break her! I have spoken to two parents I know who were really surprised about this, one said my friend sounded 'possessive' of her baby.

I'm not going to say anything to her about this but I just wanted to pick some parents' brains - I don't know if I am a bit unreasonable but I was disappointed at not being allowed to hold her more. I know it's not the end of the world either way, just curious smile

mummybare Fri 28-Sep-12 14:30:19

I'm not sure it's possible for a mother to be too 'clingy' with their 8-week-old baby, frankly.

And besides, she probably didn't think about it much as she will have assumed you were there to see her.

If she still insists on cuddling the child all day in a year or two then you have a point, but at this stage just let her get on with bonding with her new baby, support her and let her know you are willing to help out.

colditz Fri 28-Sep-12 14:32:10

Sounds normal for a first baby. You'd never have been offered ds1 but I'd have thrown ds2 at you

BobbysBeardOfWonder Fri 28-Sep-12 14:32:11

Maybe she just loves holding her tiny baby smile They're not tiny for long.

diyqueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:32:55

Sorry, this sounds pretty normal to me and I can't see what the problem is - you asked to have a hold, she let you have a hold...?? I would actually find it quite strange to have a visitor so desperate to hold the baby for hours, most visitors are happy with just a quick cuddle - and some babies don't particularly like being cuddled by strangers anyway.

Pancakeflipper Fri 28-Sep-12 14:34:44

Oh I used to love just sitting cuddling my babies.
It wasn't that I was scared of anyone having them. Just I loved doing it and I don't consider myself an overprotective mother.
It actually becomes second nature, sit down, baby in arms.

googietheegg Fri 28-Sep-12 14:34:53

How mean you sound! Just let her enjoy her little baby.

Indith Fri 28-Sep-12 14:36:18

Sounds normal to me, doesn't really occur to me to pass the baby over. Anyway is your friend supposed to be a mind reader? Not everyone actually WANTS to be handed a new baby so how is she supposed to know you want a cuddle unless you ask for one or actually say "shall I take the baby while you shower?".

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 28-Sep-12 14:39:26

Agree with the other posters. It is not possible to be too clingy with a baby. They need the love and security and why is it a problem if you friend is providing it?

It is possible to be too judgy though.

DuelingFanjo Fri 28-Sep-12 14:42:33

you went to see the baby or her?
I agree with the others, she sounds fine and you sound a bit judgy.

MichaelFinnegansWhiskers Fri 28-Sep-12 14:44:22

OP didn't say friend was too clingy. Just asked if particularly clingy.

Am relieved by answers though, as I was just like this and thought everyone was going to say I was unusually clingy...

lola88 Fri 28-Sep-12 14:45:46

Everyone different. I personally would have handed DS over and went for the longest shower in history and a lie down.

I have a friend in our mother and toddler group who was gossiped about by other (friends too) for leaving her 7 week old DS with a play worker for an hour to go play with her 1 yr old, there was alot of 'i couldn't leave my baby for that long' but she was in the same room playing with her other child. everyone will have a different view on it.

Lottapianos Fri 28-Sep-12 14:47:59

Ok thanks for your refreshingly blunt responses. I may have worded my post badly - I don't think there is anything wrong or unhealthy about cuddling your baby, I was just surprised that I had to ask to hold her especially when we are such close friends and she knows I love babies. Just wanted to ask about other people's experiences.

UsingAPsuedonym Fri 28-Sep-12 14:53:32

Completely normal of her. However if you'd offered to wash up /cook etc that would be fab but why on earth would she have given the baby to you for the day at only 8weeks! Holding and looking after the baby is what mum's do!

becstargazeypie Fri 28-Sep-12 14:57:58

"Refreshingly blunt" - that should be Mumsnet's new advertising slogan!
At 8 weeks you wouldn't have prised DS off me, even if you'd asked! If a friend came over I'd be praying she was going to do some washing up or cooking, or make me a cup of tea. I'm sure you'll get lots of opportunities to hold her baby later on when they've had more time to bond.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Fri 28-Sep-12 15:00:50

People used to have to ask me for a cuddle of DS too when he was tiny, I just instinctively kept him with me all the time and was always useless at thinking "oh they might like a cuddle here you go " it never crossed my mind in the new born fog!!! It was just a really normal thing to have him literally ON me 24/7.

She's not clingy IMO just a normal new mum.

Chandon Fri 28-Sep-12 15:03:28

I was like your friend!!

Some weird biological instinct must have kicked in.

It is nothing personal, and not a slight of you

Lottapianos Fri 28-Sep-12 15:04:38

I actually did make myself useful while I was there - amazingly! I made my mate's breakfast, hoovered, made up bottles for the rest of the day and sorted out all baby's clothes for the next 6 months, all of which I was politely asked to do by my mate and all of which I was more than happy to do. I went round there expecting to help and had assumed that some of that might include holding baby while my mate did some things for herself. It wasn't the case, but fair enough.

Seeing my mate with her baby has been a very emotional experience for me and I have very deep feelings about parenthood due to my own family situation. I wanted to check other people's responses so I could put my own feelings in some kind of context of what is reasonable. So it's actually not a case of being judgy, just wanting to find out other people's experiences. As I said, I'm not a parent so don't know how this feels from the other side.

Lottapianos Fri 28-Sep-12 15:05:27

'It is nothing personal, and not a slight of you'

That actually means a lot Chandon, thank you
'

HandHolding Fri 28-Sep-12 15:05:50

Well, I have to say if a friend is coming to see me after I've had a baby, I am expecting that friend to come to see ME, not the baby.
I would NOT be expecting that person to be happy to have the baby, feed him/her etc... whilst I am having a shower. But would rather hope that friend to be considerate enough to see that I might not be able to concentrate fully on her as I have now a baby to look after.
So rather exactly the opposite view than the one you had where you expected to hold the bay, feed him/her (basically looking after him) whilst mum has a bit of 'me time'.

Perhaps a good starting point would have been to check the point of your visit ie you coming to help by looking after the baby for a bit whilst she has a shower or whatever else or you coming for a visit to see HER.
Also bear in mind, she might have looked for your visit as a friend so she could actually have adult company for the day. I know that by that stage, I would have been very happy to have a bit of that too.

headfairy Fri 28-Sep-12 15:08:49

I'm with chandon I don't think your friend was unusually clingy with her baby. I was like that with ds. I felt distinctly uncomfortable for the first few weeks handing him over to anyone other than dh or my mum. I don't know why, probably hormones grin It would never have occurred to me to offer him to other people to hold either.

Baaartimaeus Fri 28-Sep-12 15:11:59

It's hard to imagine if you've never had a baby but for me at least it just felt right to have DS in my arms whilst chatting to other people, I didn't think to offer other people a "go". He's my baby, he's not there to be passed around like a parcel for cuddles.

Pudgy2011 Fri 28-Sep-12 15:12:09

I'm with Lola - I flung DS at all and sundry when he was tiny, not that I was eager to do something else but he was so easygoing and it was nice to see how happy other people were when they held him - plus it minimised the risk of him shitting on me again for the umpteenth time. When I was indoors by myself I would hold him all the time, staring at him and stroking his little face but when I was out and about he was anyones!

In the past I've been a bit hmm about mums who don't let their babies be held by anyone else but there are definitely extremes of this and your friend doesn't seem too bizarre. I heard of one mum here who would barely even let her DH hold the baby, became very fixated on being a perfect 'earth mother' and now said child is 2 years old, hates other people, wakes a million times a night and won't sleep anywhere except on his mum's chest. Suffice to say her relationship with DH is suffering which is sad.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 15:18:55

I let other people feed newborn DS a few times.. then limited it to only my mum or DH, everyone else (including close ILs) kept sloshing air in even after being shown how and I can't be doin with that with a gassy/colicey baby!

a lot of people's idea of helping is just a hinderance TBH, you shouldn't go to a newborn house with an idea in your head of what help is needed unless you've already asked! perhaps the help she wanted was a chat not a shower? the people who decide in advance what you need are annoying and always wrong!

Some people are baby jigglers (not helpful if your baby is refluxey), some people wear tonnes of jewellery and beaded tops to visit babies and you don't want to hand them over to be "sanded", some wear strong perfumes (which really upset my DS), some cough in their ear and frighten them etc.. they all think they would make very useful baby holders of course!

There is no such thing as "clingy" at 8 weeks BTW, you're still pretty much one unit!

Francagoestohollywood Fri 28-Sep-12 15:19:53

Don't tell her anything.

I wasn't like your friend, no. I loved cuddling my babies, but also loved when other people offered to hold them. People usually like cuddling babies.

Plus, not sure about the other posters, but when I go and see friends who have recently had a baby I go to see the friends but also the baby.

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