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Worried about strangers baby

(108 Posts)
Dolliedaydream Mon 29-Oct-12 20:10:35

I can't get this experience today out of my head and not sure what if anything I can do about it.

In tescos this afternoon I heard very loud continuous crying, definitely a baby but really distressed. The mum slowly passed by with a newborn and a girl of about three in a double trolley, baby in the blue reclining section, not a car seat, she didnt seem to be paying attention to the baby at all and was looking at the products. The crying continued and was really distressing, an employee on the shop floor said she heard the mum say to the baby 'well pull yourself up then'.

I went up to her, the baby was all crumpled up and clearly uncomfortable he had no blanket or warm clothing, I asked how old he was and she said a week, I said he sounds unhappy maybe he's hungry, she said he had been fed before he came out. I asked if she wanted to pick him up and I would push her trolley or the other way round, she said no it's fine. Then her mum appeared and said I can carry him if you want. She lifted him up and kind of slung him on her shoulder. It didn't look ideal but it was better and he was quiet.

I know we all have times when our baby is crying but this crying was like nothing I have heard before especially for a newborn and I couldn't ignore it like these two could.

Would it be a waste of time reporting this?, I don't know who she is, where she lives and she hasn't done anything exceptionally wrong but it is really bugging me, I keep thinking that child welfare is everyone's concern. So many people were looking and some of us talking, none of us doing.

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 20:24:11

Not sure what anyone could do to trace her now - maybe ring he NSPCC helpline and get their advice?

VirginiaDare Mon 29-Oct-12 20:26:11

You want to report a stranger because her baby was crying? To who? and For what? And how would anyone know who she is?

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 20:27:40

I think what the op describes is more than just crying.

Bigwheel Mon 29-Oct-12 20:28:24

So she had a crying baby in a baby seat in a trolley. Presumely she was trying to get round the supermarket as quickly as possible so the baby was distressed for as least time as possible. How do you know she wasn't talking to her 3 year old?

wilkos Mon 29-Oct-12 20:30:07

but you did try and do something, you offered to help.

realistically there is nothing you can do now, you never know she may be struggling (or not) and already be on the radar of healthcare professionals.

Bigwheel Mon 29-Oct-12 20:32:56

If it was more than just crying what was it? Babies don't tend to like those seats, bright lights in their eyes, hard plastic, loud noises. Most 1 week babies would cry.yes perhaps the baby might have been more comfortable with a blanket or in a sling. But to be fair to the mum it's probably the first time she's been to the supermarket with 2 children and she had probably forgotten what a nightmare taking a newborn to a supermarket is, never mind with a 3 year old as well.

addictedisback Mon 29-Oct-12 20:36:40

My dd2 screamed like nothing you would believe. There was nothing I or anyone else could do to comfort her at times. And I did occasionally have to go shopping with a shreaking baby crumpled in that blue seat as I also had a toddler (only the twin seats recline properly)

Does this make me a bad mum too? Others may have thought I was ignoring my DD but I needed to shop.

Oh and at times the only thing that would comfort her was to put her tummy on my shoulder so I'm sure when I did this people like you judged me for it.

Thanks op.

Catsmamma Mon 29-Oct-12 20:40:50

oh c'mon....tell us what she was looking at

was it baby wipes or gin?? Or pot noodles?

Please do phone social services, I am sure they have nothing better to do that search the locale for a harassed mother with two preschoolers and a laissez fair attitude to screaming and baby seating.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Mon 29-Oct-12 20:44:50

I can imagine that it wasn't nice to see.

However, DS was a really unsettled baby who cried loud and long. Trips to the supermarket/Drs/wherever were an endurance test (for both of us!) I was so paranoid about disturbing other people and them judging me. To be honest if anyone had come up to me and suggested that DS might have been hungry I think I would have either cried or told them to fuck off! And I never swear!! The thought that random strangers in the supermarket might have been considering reporting me to anyone is really unsettling!

The mum/gran did quiet the baby down in the end...

Flojo1979 Mon 29-Oct-12 20:48:11

How many DC do u have OP? Maybe just a PFB.
This poor woman had a toddler and a baby and was trying to whizz round and get her shopping done, totally sleep deprived with a distressed baby who didn't like a plastic seat and bright lights and some stranger comes asking questions like is your baby hungry? I think I might have been tempted to slap u at this point.

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 20:48:25

God you lot are harsh tonight - I don't think the op has done anything to deserve these kinds of replies!

bellabelly Mon 29-Oct-12 20:53:59

Sorry OP but you are overthinking this. Babies cry. Some babies cry a lot. Loudly. Their mums still have to do the shopping.

missymoomoomee Mon 29-Oct-12 20:55:09

Her baby is a week old, the poor woman probably hasn't slept in a week, has a toddler to look after too, then get judgy people coming up to her in the supermarket telling her how to parent because she is ignoring a crying baby and trying to get on with her shopping.

I have asked my kids all sorts of things as babies while we have been in the supermarket, I've told them to put their own socks on, asked them if they want steak and chips for tea, told them to jump out of the trolly and push me around instead, I obviously didn't mean them.

You say she was ignoring her baby but then when you were gossiping talking to the member of staff she said that she had talked to him, albeit not words that you approve of.

Good job it wasn't me you came up to with your 'helpful' hints, I would have told you exactly where to shove them.

VintageNancy Mon 29-Oct-12 21:02:41

I was walking my then 4 month DD around the block to settle her as she was crying & overtired. A stranger stopped and said is that your child, she's been crying for ages, there must be something wrong with her & that I should listen to her. I was so upset; I just needed to get out of the house & do the best I could to settle my baby (had tried everything else). I was convinced she was going to report me for "ignoring" my baby. I presume she thought she was being helpful by stopping and offering unsolicited advice.

This is my long-winded way of saying I know you wouldn't have intended to upset the mum but I've been judged by strangers when dealing with an upset baby and it isn't a nice experience (understatement).

Dolliedaydream Mon 29-Oct-12 21:10:48

Pretty harsh, genuinely can't get this out of my head.
I am a teacher and have plenty of experience dealing with parents and my gut tells me there was something wrong here. It is so totally out of character for me to do this but it was so bad I did rather impulsively and wish I had done things differently now. Fwiw I did try to strike up a conversation and I wasn't as pushy though my original post sounds.

For those of you who are personally offended sorry but this is concerning me, I did witness this and found it worrying. I have done and am still doing the supermarket with baby, toddler, screaming, rushing, stressing it's hell at times and I can see it and empathise with other mums in the same boat..this didn't feel right that's all.

Big wheel this sounded like an animal in pain, extremely loud for a week old baby and there was no hurry slow sauntering round the aisles.

Just wanted some useful advice hopefully from someone with experience. I have 4 dc the youngest 12 weeks, as I said this was not regular baby crying, even at the extreme end. I have 4 ds my youngest is 12 weeks Flojo.

missymoomoomee Mon 29-Oct-12 21:28:54

Her baby could have a medical condition that she didn't want to share with a nosy stranger in the supermarket, or it could just be that her baby cries differently to yours. She may have had a bad birth and physically couldn't rush around the aisles. You didn't even hang about long enough to see she had someone else with her before sticking your beak in.

Seriously, the only useful advice you need is to concentrate on your own shopping and stop getting involved where there was no need, and it sounds particularly mean to have then been discussing the woman with a member of staff too.

MaryShoppins Mon 29-Oct-12 21:39:36

I think some of your replies on here OP are unjust. She clearly felt it was more, and sometimes we bloody should trust our gut instinct. Maybe then, we would hear less horrific child abuse cases in the news!

Maybe it was nothing. I too have been there, in similar situations because of tiredness etc. and on reflection, realised how bad a situation looked and that I could of handled it better. BUT, if op felt there was MORE, she absolutely shouldn't be flagged down for airing her concerns and contemplating taking action. Better to be wrong then right and not take action..there should be a few more people out there like op to be fair.

RubyrooUK Mon 29-Oct-12 21:41:41

I think there is nothing you can do here.

My DS used to scream like he was being murdered when small. Strangers used to approach me in public places and offer help. He was breast fed on demand but basically wanted to spend all day being fed and not being taken to the supermarket. People couldn't believe he could make that noise. Even my MIL who had four kids said she had never seen or heard anything like DS. All it did was stress me out massively when strangers came to offer their helpful advice when they didn't know me or my baby.

So maybe there was something wrong, but this mum was out shopping with her mum so clearly has some support. The shop assistant may have overheard wrong (why were they passing this on to you anyway?). So it's difficult to know if anything was wrong or it was just a bad day for trip out with a very young baby.

Put it out of your mind. You can't do anything and have no reason to report her for anything. Of course it is good to look out for child welfare, but it is not at all clear that anything terrible is occurring here.

SchrodingersUndeadMew Mon 29-Oct-12 21:42:56

There is no way I could have rushed around a supermarket 1 week PP. I was in total agony and anaemic.

She said the baby had been fed, she would also have been facing her, with a trolley and a toddler there isn't much else she could really do is there? She could have picked the baby up but she would have had to put it back down anyway to finish her shopping and the baby would probably just have started crying again.

Some babies cries are horrific, if my DS was getting quite hungry he would proper scream, to the point of practically making himself sick. It sounded like he was in agony but he wasn't and I am sure I was probably judged for that cry, I do remember getting some stares.

MrsDeVere Mon 29-Oct-12 21:52:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RubyrooUK Mon 29-Oct-12 21:54:29

I don't think the replies on here are harsh mary. I just think that on an internet forum, something which may have felt alarming in real life reads like a situation that may have had many understandable causes.

So people are finding it hard to support the idea about "reporting" someone for something very vague.

That isn't knocking the OP, just making clear that to other people, the situation is not as obviously concerning as it is to her. Perhaps that's because we can't perceive the subtlety of the situation on here; perhaps it's because the OP has never had one of those babies that screams like a mental demon.

MaryShoppins Mon 29-Oct-12 22:06:45

Well I think some were rather harsh indeed. Mocking someone for having a concern over a child! Whether the OP is right, wrong or over reacting is something we won't know because we wasn't there. But what I gather from her post, is that she felt there was more. Her gut instinct told her something wasn't right. I'd say that is more than just a babies' scream to give her that vibe? The fact op is a teacher suggest to me she has done a Child protection course? So she would know what signs to look for.

OP, as some poster have said, there is probably nothing you can do now. But don't beat yourself up about it. Hopefully it wasn't what it seemed. I for one am pleased that there are people out there that think the way you do.

MrsDeVere Mon 29-Oct-12 22:09:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MistyB Mon 29-Oct-12 22:12:06

This takes me right back to the days of screaming babies where I could have readily punched any well meaning stranger who suggested that my child might be hungry, tired, need a nappy change or needed to be picked up and obviously judged me despite having no idea what it was to walk in my shoes for even five minutes let alone the hours and hours I spent with a less than blissful child. I did once let rip at one woman who failed to take the hint at my "No it's fine" comments hissed through my teeth.

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