Dealing with family members saying I hold baby too much!?(52 Posts)
My dd is 8 weeks old and I've discovered that nothing on earth makes me happier than having lots and lots of cuddles! However, certain family members are constantly telling me that I hold her too much. I personally don't understand how you can hold a baby too much- you see women all around the world that have their babies strapped to them until they can walk and I far as I know those children aren't suffering any maladjustment.
I don't know how to react when they say this to me, as I feel like I should justify my actions and I know I should be made to feel that way. Another issue I'm having in addition to this is that I'm 18 years old and this is my first child- so its very difficult to come across as level-headed and calm when any counter arguments I make are brushed off as me being an 'obtuse teenager who thinks she knows everything'.
If anyone can relate in any way your input would be much appreciated!
It is your baby, she is weeks old and you should treasure these moments. Your family are being ridiculous. You should not have to explain why you want to hold your baby, but if you really feel you must I would talk about 'skin on skin' which is extremely good for your baby. And you.
I was shocked when I read back and read you're 18. Not to be patronising, but you sound very articulate and strong minded and I hope you can put your family straight. You're doing fab. You are NOT an obtuse teenager. You are a young woman, a mother who is doing what you know is best for you and baby.
You could always try and twist their minds by talking about 'attachment theory' and how forming a good bond with mother provides long lasting positive results for the baby long term. Very simplified explanation of course but it sounds like these people know nothing anyway!
Enjoy your baby and well done xx
Tell them to fuck off.
No, but really, judgy comments like this are absolutely ridiculous. There's an old fashioned view that you can somehow spoil a baby - you can't.
You shouldn't have to and do not have to justify your actions and parenting choices. However, if it helps, you can tell them that research shows that close contact and a strong attachment between mother and baby is the best for healthy development and lends itself to emotional and cognitive development.
Or a simply, "I make the choices I know are best for my baby." And repeat as many times as necessary.
Thank you MorphineDreams - I've only recently studied attachment theory and I did try to explain it to them, but in spite of Bowlby's best efforts they wouldn't listen! Haha oh well, there's no telling some people!
"Are you holding that baby again? Don't you know you'll spoil it blah blah blah"
"Oh, do you think so? Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion."
Just keep turning it back on them. Don't defend or explain... Unless you sense there's real interest.... But if they're just commenting to criticise, bland disengagement every time! Good luck!
"Nothing makes me happier" and a happy mum usually means a happy baby. Stick to your way of doing things. It's only the beginning of weighing up all the risks and benefits for your little one of every course of action for the next couple of decades. Enjoy every moment and deflect them with the very wise responses above. I'd use something like "Each their own. We're happy enough."
I'm having the same here at the tender age of 36 . Personally I ignore people as I think the first weeks are precious and go so fast! But I'm loving some of the PP advice.
Personally I think it's good to put the baby down quite a bit from an early age so they get used to settling/entertaining themselves, so I can understand where they are coming from. However, it's your baby and your decision. Just tell them you're happy as you are, thanks.
I'm afraid it goes with the territory of being a mum, if you breastfeed because your baby is obviously not getting satisfied and you should top up, if you bottlefeed, you are a terrible mum who should be breastfeeding. You are going to have to develop a thick skin and only take advice you ask for.
Congratulations on your baby, you sound great
I always used to be told that I played with my children too much!!? I remember sarcastically telling my mum that "yes, actually playing with my children was something that I would most likely regret on my deathbed." That did shut her up, because I think she realised how ridiculous her moaning was. Would that work?
Look up the 4th trimester too.
Baby was so recently part of your body, makes perfect sense that the next place she should be is on your body.
I was the same (at 26, age makes no odds) and we co slept too.
Just stay calm, remind them they made their own parenting choices, and tell them you are sure she won't still be clinging to you 24/7 when she is at uni or married. Parenting is a long (long, loooooong) road of defending every single choice you make. Might as well learn good techniques to deal with it early on!
And all parents of PFB know everything, it goes with the territory till PSB comes along and shatters all the theories.
I have actually been in that position and told people quite blatantly that I'm the mum and I know what's best for my baby. I mentioned the research about attachment , bonding , and self confidence. It fell on deaf ears. I didn't care. These days are previous and they go too quickly. Babies need love and more love. They have been cuddled and carried around in the warmth of your womb to suddenly be thrown out and be independent . It's a bit shock to their system . Enjoy cuddling and smelling your baby. There's nothing on earth that equates to this feeling ! Congratulations
Ps just a thought : even adults like to be cuddled and loved , why do they think that babies are different?
I had similar comments and couldn't have cared less what other people thought. For me, cuddling non stop was a perk of having a baby, and the baby was too happy to oblige. Now he couldn't get away from me fast enough but that's another debate!
Seriously, if your baby is happy, you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do. Baby crying? No. Looking neglected? No. Your family are interfering with something that is working very well. Shame on them.
They are only this little for such a small time, enjoy your cuddles.
A reply such as, I'm glad you don't want to cuddle then that's more for me
I was going to say get them to look at the 4th trimester too. at all the newborn cuddles.
The advice is well meant so try not to get too irritated. They don't want you to never be able to get on with other things because your baby won't be put down. Maybe that happened to them.
Enjoy doing what's right for you.
Remember Bowlby was working a very long time ago - born in the early 1900s so his "science" is not necessarily that good. The government of the time seized upon his theories so that women would give up work and let the men returning from WW2 have their jobs.
Oh my goodness, it's not possible to hold a baby too much is it You should absolutely ignore them! Do they want more time holding the baby perhaps, or do they think the baby should be lying down more? It's just weird.
My dd is 6 months old and I held her as much as I could - firstly that time passes so fast and newborn snuggles should be enjoyed while you can, and secondly, a baby has only just come out into the big wide world, and needs to be with his or her mummy as much as they can! I like to think that dd started out her life feeling loved and safe in my arms, and so far seems a confident girl who is happy to be passed to anyone.
Go with your instinct - if you want to hold your baby, do!! And enjoy every second
I hardly put any of mine down in the first year! Smile back patronisingly and then talk through the baby - "oh bless, silly nanny (or whoever) Do you want me to put you down? No? You do seem quite happy with mommy don't you - We shall stay as we are then" Smile and nod
I am neary twenty years older than you and I had these comments too.
You know what's right.
Unfortunately comments like that are very common when you have a baby, as someone else said it comes with the territory. Some people believe it is their right to give opinions, advice and help to new mums, regardless of whether the new mum has asked for it - it is so rude. Some people really struggle with the idea of letting you get on with it - even though that is exactly what you want.
She's your baby, you know her best, do what you feel is right for the both of you. It sounds like whatever you say back to them they will just dismiss it, it happened to me in in early 30's and I had been a nanny for a few years prior to having DS. I found saying "I am doing it this way, I am happy about it and if I want your opinion/advice/help I will ask for it" smiling sweetly.
By the way it wouldn't matter how old you were they would still say it
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