In-laws don't engage with baby!(33 Posts)
I'm frustrated on behalf of my beautiful daughter! I get on with my in-laws, but they really struggle to have any kind of connection with my 5 month old daughter. They aren't used to babies so they're not comfortable to pick her up and chatter away, make silly noises or sing songs. I try to model good behaviour by being relaxed and having fun with her, and I hand her over to them a lot, but they're just so uptight with her! This weekend my brother in law came round, and he didn't say a word to her, he wouldn't even speak to her or pick her up when she was crying. It makes me so sad and frustrated; I want her to have fun uncles and grandparents who make her smile and show their love for her, but it just feels like they're not interested. I don't know how to make them engage with her, I worry that she'll be 20 and they'll have missed her amazing life just by not being brave or bothered enough to engage! I know I can't force them if they don't want to, but any ideas what I can do?!
Some people are just awkward with babies perhaps because they are not used to them. Maybe they'll come in to their own once your Dd is older
I agree that to not even acknowledge the baby is a bit rubbish though
You can't make anyone be a fun uncle if they don't want to be
My in laws were the exact same but it had been over 30 years since they were around babies.
Now dd is older and can chat and do jigsaws etc they are more interactive with her.
Hopefully yours will be the same.
I have a four month old. They're not really much fun at this age, and some people find them difficult to engage with. They might be better once your daughter is chatting / mobile.
Agree with jollyjester my inlaws were very cautious around dd when she was a baby. Now they are inseparable. It will come as dd gets older
Some people just aren't good with babies and are much better when they're older & they can hold a conversation and do stuff. Just keep encouraging the familiarity - it's their loss really that they don't take this chance. Hopefully your own family make up for their short-comings?
My inlaws are not interested in dd whos 3.
They have seen her approx 4 times. I refuse to take dd to visit them as why should my dd be bored sat in a car for 2 hours each way to see people who are not interested in her.
Everyone drives yet no one bothers to drive to us unless we pay for their petrol which i refuse to do!! We even had to pay their petrol and meal costs when they attended our wedding!
Everyone else paid for their own meal (I couldnt afford to pay for everyone at the time) yet we had to pay for theirs! There was only 3 meals we had to pay for but i dont see why we had to pay for theirs when everyone else had to pay for their own. DH says its because they are skint and they claim poverty all the time but we booked the wedding a year in advance and they can afford to drink and bloody smoke so they arent that fucking skint.
Some people aren't good with babies but come into their own once the children can talk and interact a bit more. I don't think my brother ever held my DCs as babies. He was afraid he'd hurt them accidentally and he said babbling In baby talk made him feel
like a twat silly. But he's brilliant with them now (they're 6 and 3). Last week he played football with them for hours.
It sounds like they want to see her if they're coming over etc but aren't quite sure what to do. It can be quite difficult for someone who hasn't sung nursery rhymes in 30 years to feel comfortable doing so in front of an audience (you!)
I would just relax a bit. It sounds like they love her but you can't force them to be hands on immediately if they're naturally reserved.
Even I was a useless plank until DS was around 2yo
I'd stop tryong to 'enforce fun' and expect them to pick her up. Hopefully they'll be more interactive when your dd is older.
Neither of my parents -actually, nor DFil- picked up our ds when he was small. DS is now 4yo and adored by both grandads. My DM not so much, she prefers her other grandson and makes no secret of it.
Thanks for all your replies, they were so helpful and have made me feel loads better! I was just about to get in bed stewing over it all, but checking the thread has calmed me down a bit!! I'll just wait and hope; we have terrific friends and (my) family who play and have fun relationships with her, so she can get it elsewhere if not from the in-laws. I'm new to mums net and never posted before, so thanks for being generous with your time and replies, they really helped
I am intentionally childfree and irrespective of family or friend connections, I have no interest in anyone's baby.
This next is not meant to sound aggressive but I don't know how else to word it - why should I want to interact with a baby that YOU have decided to have?
I feel embarrassed holding other peoples babies in my family, I feel like all eyes are on the baby because everyone in my family is fascinated by them, my Mum makes constant stupid noises and gurning faces at them and no one knows how to just be in a room with one without making them the focus.
I even forgot how to talk to my own baby round my Mum's house when he was small because her showboating her fantastic baby fun made me feel I didn't know what I was doing if I acted normal.
FWIW I took him home, acted normal around him and he developed normally and knows I love him, so I'm sure your baby wont feel rejected by them in the long run.
5 month babies are pretty dull, especially if you don't know them that we'll so can't easily prompt laughs and smiles. They may well be much better later on
You are lucky. If I could swap places with you instead of having in laws that take the fuck over, I would. In a heart beat.
That's slightly different meow - grandkids go with the territory of having kids (usually/eventually), and the parents in law are by definition not "child-free".
OP maybe they are generally awkward and expect you as mum to pick up the crying baby, and / or they don't want to tred on your toes? Hand her over occasionally (" oh let me make a cuppa for everyone ") and hope that as she gets more interactive and fun they play more.
My FIL's wife is the same way.
FIL + SMIL have seen DD a handful of times in her life (she's nearly a year old), and when they have been around her, SMIL makes it obvious how little she is enjoying it. Even on the phone, if FIL is asking about DD, I can here SMIL in the background trying to change the subject..... It's very bizarre to me!
It used to make me very angry, but now I just think that it's their loss! If FIL continues to take orders from his wife, he will miss out on the his DGD - and that's their problem, not mine.
This is so sad. On one thread the poster hates the idea of her MIL touching her baby, and here the OP would love her baby to be picked up, and played with etc. I suppose there's no chance of swapping in laws
Seriously though, I agree with what others have said. Some people just aren't that comfortable around tiny babies. It will probably all change once she starts to do more meaningful things. Good luck!
I try to model good behaviour by being relaxed and having fun with her
But I suspect you might go a bit ott when they're there, trying to be more fun to compensate, and that just puts them off more in a "I can't be like that, I'll just let her get on with it" kind of way.
Some people just don't get on with babies.
I don't go all gooey eyed with babies, I find them quite dull actually
I've worked in early years for 25 years and have always tried to avoid working with the babies
I understand you want your relatives to interact with your DD. However you can't force them. I'm someone who is awkward around babies and young children. We are a v small family and even my mother isn't keen on babies.
I'm 45 and intentionally child free and would find it incredibly uncomfortable if someone expected me to talk to/hold their baby. especially the holding - I have never held a baby and wouldn't be happy to do it now!
And can you really 'model good behaviour' for fellow adults? That's an odd turn of phrase to use.
If they aren't interested then please don't force them to interact with your DD. They probably feel silly doing the singing/noises etc and it's bound to be awkward for them. Maybe like PP said, they will get better as your DD gets older, maybe they won't. But their relationship with her has to develop naturally.
The fact of the matter is, babies are pretty boring to everyone bar their parents, who find them endlessly fascinating.
They become a lot more interesting once they and talk and do funny stuff, so they may take a more hands on approach once she's actually doing interesting stuff and not just sitting there
As awful as it is, I find other people's babies incredibly boring and have to remind myself to actually ask about them and appear interested, because it just doesn't come naturally
And if someone isn't comfortable with babies, I would imagine the last thing they would do is pick them up when they are crying (assuming they aren't in danger of course!).
Perhaps if you stop trying to force a relationship, one will develop naturally.
I don't mean that to sound harsh but I have had to walk away from friendships with people because of this type of thing!
Rabbit I think you are a bit harsh about your mum who was just behaving like many people do when babies are around. I have children and grandchildren but still feel a bit awkward when holding non-family babies especially if the new mum is hovering protectively. It is not helped by the fact that advice on baby rearing/holding/feeding changes by the week!
Thanks for your response, I'm gradually understanding that they probably are just not baby people, and they won't have much relationship with her for a few years.
The thought of just saying 'sod it' and not bothering to involve them just makes me so sad, they're not a huge family and they were so excited about her birth, it's a shame.
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