Nappies - very PA "gift"(52 Posts)
I'm currently 37 weeks pregnant with DC1 so I know I've probably being idealistic etc etc but...
All along I've said I wanted to try reusable nappies for the baby. In hospital and the first few weeks, I'm fully prepared to use disposable and I will continue to if the reuseables don't work out.
However, my mother thinks I'm crazy and that I should only use disposables.
As a bit of background, she also doesn't agree with slings (she actually said why would the baby just want to "stare at your tits" all the time) and has generally made me feel really bad this pregnancy (going between complaining that I don't eat enough and saying I've got a "fat arse"). I do feel sorry for her as she had an emcs then went back to work very very quickly and really didn't enjoy being a mother at all. Also, she is very anti breastfeeding, which I hope to do (again, formula wouldn't be the end of the world either).
Anyway, a while ago my SIL gave me a gift of a "nappy tree" - basically a tree made out of rolled up nappies secured with elastic bands. I accepted it with good grace, as you do while saying (to my mother and partner) that I wondered if the local women's refuge would like them.
It's since come to light that my mother paid for these nappies and got my SIL to make this and she's commented to others that I'm ungrateful and probably chucked them in the bin (I haven't... yet).
So my question is, WWYD?
She's spoilt my pregnancy with her constant jibes and now nappygate has really pushed me over the edge.
I feel that I could end up putting my mental health on the line and push myself to use reusables and breastfeed no matter what OR I could just give in and listen to her about both and then always feel shit as I never tried.
This is giving me sleepless nights and I really don't know what to do...
(And I know, first world problems, first time mum naïveté etc)
Honestly? Let it go. The advice and opinions won't stop once baby is here.
Other learn to say "that's fine mom but were doing it our way" or nod and say hmmm a lot.
If the nappies are the right size then you could either keep it for just in case or if the sight of it gives you palpitations donate it. Don't tell anyone either way.
If reusable doesn't work for you, if they do, if you choose to do half and half (that was my plan as carrying nappies of Poo onto the bus isn't my idea of fun) - don't discuss it. Don't defend it. Just "well that's fine but we are doing it our way. Same for feeding. Either or both is fine. Don't defend or explain just "well we want to do it our own way" and repeat ad nauseum.
Good luck xx
Do whatever you want to do. Try the washable nappies and if you don't like them switch. Try breastfeeding and if you don't like it switch. It's your time as a mother, not theirs.
I think it's easy to dismiss parenting ideas you didn't do yourself but I know that if I get to be a granny one day I will have to be open minded and accept that my children most likely won't parent the way I did.
Having said that my mum was so keen on me using washable nappies she bought me a set, but I had told her I was thinking of using them. I did use disposables too though so I would keep the nappies you were given just in case.
Is there any way you can limit contact for a bit after the birth? Give yourself some space to find out what kind of mum you want to be? If she asks you what you're planning just brush off with 'Im not sure yet....'
stick the nappies in a cupboard and just keep on with your plans. You might breast feed, you might not. You might use reusables, you might not. Nothing about having a baby is predictable or set in stone so just smile and nod at her advice and opinions then do what you feel like doing at the time.
My in laws were big on PA gifts when my kids were babies - I just got a bigger charity shop bag and got on with my life. None of it will matter when you have your lovely squishy newborn baby.
The best advice I had about babies was -
No one has ever had your baby before. So work out what works best for you.
It could be a mixture of both. We did reusable nappies and disposable like poster above, when I was out and about I didn't want to carry reusable poopy nappies. Lots of people were amazed we were going to, but I knew why I had chosen that route, planned it out and just went with what was best for the situation. We used disposable for about first six weeks as the meconium poop first (reusable not recommended) and my dds legs were to skinny, then she was big enough and I didn't look back.
Also love a sling!!
It sounds like you have a goid attitude to the things you want to do though - breastfeeding, reusable and sling. I did the whole 'I would like it to work but if it doesn't it's okay'. I think that's why we did succeed, I hadn't pressured myself.
Sorry long reply.
Nod, smile, repeat, parent your child the way you feel is best and forget it. You will meet many people who will insist on imparting their "wisdom" wrt your parenting.
sleeping Thank you for the luck, I shall definitely need it
Hollie Due to current circumstances, I may have to spend quite a bit of time with her when the baby arrives, unfortunately. I’m so scared that I won’t be able to stick up for myself and my baby as my mother is just so overbearing
four I wish I could just put them in the cupboard but I don’t have much room so they’re staring at me, constantly (which makes me sound crazy but I have to walk past them every time I need the toilet... which is a lot these days!)
cannot thank you I do feel as though I have a more balanced view when i’m Not around my mother... it’s just when she’s there I feel the need to either completely give in or rebel
Dione please tell me it gets easier?...
I use reusables and this time of year it becomes harder because of the weather and getting them dry. Either have to tumble dry or have some emergency disposables available.
My mother thought I was crazy to use them but now is completely converted. Brings it up with everyone who is pregnant and suggest they use them.
Smile nod and ignore is the best policy
babyorsanta totally understand that feeling!!
I'm loving everyone's smile, nod and ignore idea. Wish I had done that more. Including locking the door when to many guests turned up!
I would personally donate them to a women's refuge (or chuck them) just to get control back. It's your body, your pregnancy, your baby and nothing to do with your mum. Stop talking to her about these things and keep her at distance a bit. Tell her you are tired and need some space for the next few weeks, she can visit the baby once it's born. Otherwise she'll just drag you down and make you feel like shit.
Your mother had her turn.
You do what’s right for you. That doesn’t mean necessarily ignore all advice but in the end if the day you and your DP make the decision.
People spent a lot of time when I was pregnant telling me what I wouldn’t be able to do because I was pregnant with twins. But:
I breastfed exclusively
I used washable nappies
I did BLW
Base your decisions on how you feel and how the baby is. Not on validating someone else’s choices.
Your mother's language sounds very demeaning, quite apart from her interfering opinions ('stare at your tits' - 'fat arse'). I agree with pp that if you can limit visits, at least temporarily, your confidence would probably benefit, and that would allow you to feel conviction in your parenting decisions (as well as your prerogative to change your mind as appropriate).
In the long term, and if it's feasible within your relationship, it might be worth talking about the way she addresses you and the fact that it is pronouncedly derogatory, even if she doesn't mean it that way. It can't be doing your self-esteem much good.
Good luck with the forthcoming birth!
Sorry, X-posted about avoiding her for a bit. If that's not possible you might have to withdraw a bit mentally so you don't get overwhelmed - practice some mantras you can repeat under your breath when you feel the need, eg 'This is my baby and I'll do what's best for us' or 'My mum didn't like being a mum so I'm going to do things differently'. Reinforce your choices in your own mind. It might also help to keep talking with your partner about your plans and the reasons for them, along with any changes or developments in your parenting approach, to help with your resolve if you find yourself being swayed. Even write them down. And like others have said, stay as non-committal as possible with your mother - don't agree with or reject what she says, just um and ah and then change the subject.
And yes, get rid of the nappies! They're just a symbol of your mother's unwelcome influence lurking on your way to the loo! You can turn that into a wonderful gift for other mothers in need. Buy your own nappies as and when you decide to yourself.
Also meant to mention that you can use a nappy laundry service if there is one in your area and don't have the capacity to wash them at home - that might make it easier.
Your mother sounds very difficult to handle. I think you are really wise o be aware that you might push yourself in directions that are no linger suitable, just to make sure she doesn't "win".
But someone talking all throughout their pregnancy about using reusable nappies without having had a baby before does sound a bit like an invitation for the "I told you so" types to jump right in. They shouldn't and it's annoying and your mother sounds particularly challenging. But perhaps you can make a conscious choice not to discuss parenting choices around her if you know she will be difficult?
Also I'd be really surprised if a hospital permitted use of reusable nappies, it doesn't seem like it would pass hygiene and infection control standards. Could you check with your hospital?
And honestly, my mother gives praise every single day for disposable nappies after raising us in cloth ones before disposables were readily available and affordable in my country. She is grateful that her daughters don't have the additional workload she did. Any chance your mother is coming (in a terrible manner) from a similar perspective?
Your mum sounds like the generation who had FFing pushed at them (government wanted women back at work so promoted FF).
Modern cloth are nothing like the Terry squares of old. And washing machines make washing much easier. I don't mind carrying dirty cloth nappies in a sealed bag which goes in the wash with the nappies. But I do keep disposables in the change bag. Some outfits the cloth are too bulky for.
I would take the nappy tree apart they will take up less space flattened out and put in a drawer.
Your mum doesn't sound very nice, she seems to want to undermine you. I would lower contact tbh, this is a vunerable time in your life and you don't need her negativity - but if you can't, maybe keep in your head that her behaviour is more about her than you? I wouldn't expect her to get any better as your baby gets older either.
btw I BF, have a small sling collection, and have two kids in cloth; definitely give these all a try and see how you get on!
"I know your opinion on these things. I know you think bottle feeding, disposable nappies and no slings are the best things to do. Please stop saying them over and over again. I disagree and want the opportunity to explore other things. I don't want to discuss these things again. You are damaging our relationship by saying these things again. I know what you think already, because you have said these things many times before. It is my duty as the parent of this baby to do what I think best'.
Over and over again every time she says something. Broken record technique.
One thing I want to mention is some grandmothers feel like doing things a different way is a criticism of them and their parenting, so this is where this insecurity comes from and a desire to push you to do things their way. So, saying that you are going to breastfeed feels to them like a criticism of them because they formula fed. As you do have to spend a lot of time with your mum after the birth, maybe phrasing things in a way that doesn't feel like a criticism or acknowledges that things were different back then will maybe soften her words.
They will come in handy, but I know that they represent a lot more than just some nappies!
Work colleagues kindly gave me a basket of all sorts of baby bits and bobs when I went on mat leave. Lots of nappies, wipes, talc (who buys talc these days??), baby wash etc etc.
I used reusables, and a lot of the hamper did get rehomed. But the nappies - very handy - I have never bought a disposable! Not through any kind of principle, we just used them up in the hideous recovery from birth wtf are we doing phase
Could you stash them under your bed so you don’t have to look at them?
Give reusables a go, we’ve loved them, but started 1-2 a day about 2 weeks in I think. Then realised they were much easier/better than disposables and went full time.
Couple of helpful Facebook groups - ‘Cloth Bum Mums’ and ‘Nappy Lady group’ for online support when you might not have it in real life x.
I'm sorry your mother isn't supportive of your choices.
The thing that really rings alarm bells for me is that you say you want to breastfeed but your mother is against this, you find it hard to resist her views and she will be around a lot after the birth. With slings and nappies, if you can't resist the pressures of others around you at first - in the newborn days when you're so tired and really shouldn't be having other people putting any kind of pressure on you - that's one thing. You can always go back to plan A when you're a bit more in the swing of things.
Breastfeeding though can be hard to get the hang of for both mother and baby (though it may not be) and stopping early on often means stopping for good. If it's your decision to stop that's fine but if it happened because you felt under pressure to do so that would be sad.
So I would say with all these things, what can you do now to put in place support for your future self?
With breastfeeding in particular, who will support and encourage you with this? Is there a breastfeeding group you could go to (you can often start going before the birth)? Have a sheet with breastfeeding helpline numbers to hand. (E.g. National breastfeeding helpline - 0300 100 0212). More here - www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/breastfeeding-help-support.aspx)
You could look at some breastfeeding videos and bookmark them now for later (some of the UNICEF ones are good).
Are there Facebook groups of local breastfeeding support networks you could join?
Do you have friends/family who have breastfed who will be there for you and could you let them know you're apprehensive in view of your mother's attitude?
Can you mention this to your midwife and to your HV at the prenatal visit, so they know the background?
For the nappies and slings, again there may be local networks, particularly a sling library. Can you borrow a sling now? Have a few reusables in - you may not want to get too many until you know what brand you like. Having the things to hand and knowing how to use them should help.
Basically I would say don't put too much energy into arguing with your mother. Just state calmly that you have chosen to do 'x' and then put in place as much support as you possibly can for yourself.
Do you have a partner in all this OP? Perhaps it would be useful if you used them as a buffer between you and your mother?
She may be less likely to spout off her opinions if you have a united front on issues such as bf. And frankly in the early days you may not have the energy to argue for yourself.
I am concerned that you say she’ll be around a lot and hope you can get some degree of distance if you need it. Those comments sound really unpleasant and i’d Be tempted to tell her to do one (staring at your tits? Seriously?).
We plan to cloth nappy and it bugs the hell out of me when people say I’ll never keep up with thevwashing or I’ll find it too hard. Maybe I will but I do wish people would butt out!
I would just ignore and do your thing, whatever that ends up being
OP your mother is going to completely derail your breastfeeding plans if you have her around much after the birth. Some women breastfeed without a hitch but for most of is there is at least a certain amount of pain, frustration and worry involved until it all clicks several weeks in. Support is absolutely KEY to successful BF. If your main support after the birth is someone who is going to try to undermine and belittle your efforts, unless you are absolutely rock solid and steadfast in your resolve, there is a good chance you will give up. Do you definitely have to have her around? She sounds quite unpleasant and difficult and not terribly helpful in any regard.
As for the nappies you will probably end up using at least some of them. If your baby is on the smaller side then reusables are often too big at first. Plus you likely won't want to use them until all the meconium has passed! It might be difficult to wash out.
I used cloth nappies and disposable. Even the real die-hard cloth users I knew kept a few disposables in just in case of washing machine breakdown, traveling, general too busy days.
I'd just keep them. the rest of the comments would piss me right off though.
I cloth nappy but use disposables at night at present, baby is 8 weeks old. Disposables can be useful at times so just bung them in a cupboard for now
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.