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Baby doesn't like Grandma!

(15 Posts)
WildKiwi Sun 15-Oct-17 21:26:44

Just wondering if anyone has any advice on how to cope with their baby not liking a grandparent?

DS is now 1 year. We don't live near any of our family, so he doesn't see his grandparents much. But he's decided that he really doesn't like one of his grandmas (typically the one who lives closest and could give us a break occasionally!)

It started when he was about 3 months. The problem was she arrived when he was napping and when I brought him out she pulled him off me for cuddles - result DS screaming his head off.

Since then he's always been wary of her, but when he saw her at the weekend he took one look and started screaming, even though she hadn't done anything apart from say hello.

He doesn't see her very often. I think part of the problem is she's very full on with him - picking him up for cuddles, kissing him etc. When leaving last time, he was clinging on to me and she pulled him off for kisses and cuddles. DS then started crying hysterically. Five minutes after she left, he was running around the room laughing.

She's a lovely woman, just quite loud and enthusiastic! I've said I think she just needs to back off and also to see him more often, but I'm getting ignored at the moment. So hoping someone else with experience like this might be able to offer some advice (even if it's just backing me up on the stop invading his personal space approach!)

Mxyzptlk Sun 15-Oct-17 21:31:53

Yes, I think you're right.
I am a grandma who doesn't see my DGD very often, because of distance. She is now 4, and is fine with me, but when she was small she would scream and/or hide as soon as she saw me.
I would take very little notice of her and just talk with her parents and gradually, during the course of a week's visit, she'd get used to me.
I guess this is your MiL? Can your husband/partner say anything to her!

GummyGoddess Sun 15-Oct-17 21:32:38

Stop her from being so intense with him. Ds hates fil because he gets in his face constantly even when ds is pulling away and trying to look elsewhere. He makes it worse when ds wants me or my dh by trying to get between us so ds can't reach us and then ds panics and cries, then is told he's silly for crying.

Tell her to back off and follow the lead of your dc or their relationship will never be what she wants it to be. If you find a nice way to do that then let me know!

WildKiwi Sun 15-Oct-17 21:52:03

Thanks for the replies. It's really helpful to have people reinforcing what I've been saying.

In fairness to DH, he's saying the same and before each visit he's spoken to her and said just ignore DS and let him get on with whatever he's doing. She can usually manage that for about 10 minutes and we have calm, but then she thinks he's ok with her and tries to tickle him or something. At best DS is annoyed, at worst he's clinging to me or DH.

This time was the worst he's been - he was off crying when she hadn't actually done anything! I think possibly one reason she's really not understanding is because out of several other grandchildren (two of which are overseas and see her once a year), he's the only one that's reacted like this. I think he's inherited my personality (I like my personal space!)

Changerofname987654321 Mon 16-Oct-17 02:18:17

It sounds like she is too full on and he he does not trust her to take him away.

You need me to physical block or stop her from doing it by picking him up and saying Grandma won’t cyddle you because she knows you don’t like/want it.

Bubblebubblepop Mon 16-Oct-17 02:23:36

I think this is really normal and the full on part probably doesn't make much difference anyway. My DS disliked both grandmothers until he was 2 when he suddenly decided they were ok. They were a bit hurt but he's a baby, they know they're not rational

NikiBabe Mon 16-Oct-17 02:28:29

My nephews were like this. I utterly ignored them and spoke to their parents instead and let them be to play, be with their parents as they wished. Other than teas ready, what on tv, etc I just left them.

Strangely they came to me of their own accord and are very good with me now.

You need to stop the overbearing behaviour. Its scary for a child.

WildKiwi Mon 16-Oct-17 19:33:05

Thanks everyone. DH is going to give his mum a call and talk about it again. Hopefully she'll take it on board this time!

SockEatingMonster Mon 16-Oct-17 19:42:00

We also have a lovely, well-intentioned but very full-on and overbearing grandmother. DD is 7 now and, although unfailingly polite, is still very wary of her.

We have all tried suggesting that grandmother give her space but, like yours, she can't seem to help herself.

No advice I'm afraid, just sympathy!

Mxyzptlk Mon 16-Oct-17 21:00:49

I hope it works out for you WildKiwi.
If grandma keeps it up maybe you, or preferably your DH, need to stop her at the time by saying your son is frightened by being grabbed or doesn't want to be kissed or whatever, and remove him from her.
Whether that actually changes her behaviour, or not, at least your son will realise that you are protecting him.

Mxyzptlk Mon 16-Oct-17 21:09:04

Just re-read your OP, saying that grandma grabs your DS off you. shock
Try to be alert so you can move quickly to prevent her from doing that. Your DS shouldn't have to be repeatedly frightened just to suit her.
Best of luck.

WildKiwi Tue 17-Oct-17 08:11:43

Thanks All!

SockEatingMonster has used a good description - well-intentioned but full-on sums her up. In a weird way it's difficult because she means no harm and just loves him, but it's totally back firing.

chocolateshortcake Tue 17-Oct-17 08:15:50

This sounds exactly like my ds at that age. I think he found her overwhelming and too in his face. It was relentless. I tried telling her to back off a bit (nicely) but she took offence and made pa comments about how he must think she is a stranger. He is nearly two now and she has calmed down and he adores her so don't give up hope smile

SockEatingMonster Tue 17-Oct-17 09:23:58

Our over-enthusiastic grandma also happens to be my (really very lovely) MIL. I suspect that DD's reticence towards her is partly the result of the fact we have very different ways of interacting with children. SIL has a baby who already seems warmer to her than mine ever were, despite spending almost exactly the same amount of time with her, and I do wonder whether she'll have better luck maintaining a relationship with this grandchild.

WildKiwi Wed 18-Oct-17 08:33:32

That's a really good point about different ways of interacting with children.

We try to have a calm environment with a lot of routine. We're both introverts, but DH has a few extroverts in his family to put it mildly (not sure how they produced him!!) so the other grandchildren are getting a very different upbringing. So I wonder if they respond better to her partly because they're used to her way of interacting with them.

DH has spoken to her again today and said that we've asked for advice from other parents who've had similar experiences. She's said she'll back off and I know she'll try her best - she just gets over excited. Oh well, at least she has good intentions!

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