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Is this really a thing? (Meeting new baby)

162 replies

Nappydirectd · 13/07/2023 00:15

Expecting my second baby in early September, it’s the first with my husband, we both have a child each from previous relationships.

When his dd was born 10 years ago he took her to meet work colleagues during paternity leave, neighbours (old and new) and friends of friends. As well as of course family and friends. I found this bizarre but took it as an excited dad wanting to show off his baby and moved on.

Now I’m expecting he has told me he promised the same colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances that he will bring our baby to meet them. I was shocked as he isn’t close to these people, rarely sees them, never socially, and hasn’t asked if I’m ok with parading my baby in front of strangers as if it’s a game of pass the parcel. I nodded and smiled in the right places but I know I will need to make my feelings known at some point. He has arranged meet ups and parties days before and after my due date, again without asking me. It’s a shock as he isn’t generally like this and knows I’m struggling with the heat, back pain and swelling currently, so may not be up to meeting strangers at that time.

When I had my son 6 years ago we had a small family bbq to celebrate, friends came to visit and we left it at that. I know everyone does things differently but to me it sounds exhausting and unnecessary. Refusing may cause arguments so I’m not sure how to best handle it.

We have even received gifts from people he once knew, for example an elderly neighbour from his childhood home has knitted an outfit - they hadn’t seen each other or spoken for over 20 years and we have no idea how she knew or where we live, we have a M&P gift card from someone who works for dh company but in another city so they never see each other and only speak on the phone to place orders, and a second cousin he hasn’t seen since childhood offered money towards a cot. Of course I’m grateful and taken aback by the kindness, but it seems very.. odd?

If I come across rude or spoilt I apologise, I’m just shocked that it’s a ‘thing’ as I hadn’t come across it with my DS and I’m not sure how to handle the overwhelming attention. Has anyone else been in this position and find it as strange as I do?

OP posts:
FlopsiesAngrySandwich · 13/07/2023 17:50

It's his baby too.
Sounds lovely that he wants to show his new child off.

Cucucucu · 13/07/2023 17:50

My partner is like that . I’m not the most social person so I find it strange but he was so Roy’s showing up the baby that I went along with it . It’s his baby too so I felt bad .

Mythoughtextract · 13/07/2023 17:54

Baby' s personality makes a difference to whether this will be a success even when tiny. Some seem to love the attention whereas others are only happy with dm

ElizaMulvil · 13/07/2023 17:55

Just reminds me, when dd was couple of weeks old I took her to pick up ds from school and his teacher, who I barely knew, put 2 coins in my hand, Apparently she said it was the thing you did in Scotland when you met a new born baby. Lovely idea to help a new mother.

When I had ds my mother's friend from way back ( so I'd only met her a few times), made a commemorative hand-painted plate for me. Again so thoughtful not weird surely.

Different cultures different ideas, I bf but it didn't stop me seeing friends and family in the early days but again Irish descent on dm's side so the culture is the more the merrier I guess. I've always visited cousins ( and I have a lot) soon after they've had babies and taken a present for Mum and baby.

NetZeroZealot · 13/07/2023 18:00

Taking the baby into the office to show him or her off to colleagues is a perfectly normal thing to do, in my experience.

Obviously not within a few days of the birth, but within the first few months.

Of course if you really hate the idea OP you should be able to veto it. But it is not unusual and there are many times I have cooed over the baby of a colleague I barely knew!

FrivolousTreeDuck · 13/07/2023 18:04

Pre-Covid, new parents often brought their babies into reception at work so people could see them. Personally, I was only really interested in saying 'hello' to the colleagues, but many people liked to coo over the babies.

Unexpectedlysinglemum · 13/07/2023 18:04

Nappydirectd · 13/07/2023 08:37

I don’t mean to offend for those who have done it. Taking baby in to meet colleagues who you considered friends is completely normal in my eyes, it’s the sheer amount of people who aren’t part of our life that is the issue for me. I get quite bad ocd with nesting and newborn days so having strangers touch the baby would make me a wreck anyway. Ive seen the photos of stepD being held by these people as a newborn so they’ll definitely want to pass baby around regardless of what I say.

You're not willing to put your baby at risk of infections (COVID? Step? Ear infection? Rsv? Common cold? All are avoidable with social distancing and are serious in newborns). No is a full sentence. Stop worrying about upsettting ppl and tell him it's not up for discussion and if he cares about his baby he needs to put both of your well-being above his social life

Blankstatement · 13/07/2023 18:05

I brought DD1 to meet people at my workplace. It was a custom at that place and both DH and I worked there.

I think it’s lovely.

Nappydirectd · 13/07/2023 18:07

Cucucucu.Did you feel uncomfortable? You’re right in what you’ve said (and others have said this too sorry can’t remember each post).

To me, after giving birth isn’t the time to meet new people and socialise politely when you feel tired and sore, maybe it’s the thought of making effort with small talk and repeating everything to so many people that sounds the most exhausting. Pulled pillar to post to show off and be the centre of attention for people you’ll never see again. At least with friends and family they understand and you can relax around them, breast feed in front of them etc.
with my first and for any colleagues having babies, it’s always been a congratulations card and a donation for a gift, but organised by colleagues considered as friends. If I didn’t know the colleague I’d say congratulations but I wouldn’t intrude, and same for everyone else I’ve worked with. Some people strangely see babies as a free for all.

thanks unexpectedlysinglemum

OP posts:
MindatWork · 13/07/2023 18:08

I think popping into a (local) workplace when baby is xx weeks old on a casual basis is fine and fairly normal. I went into work when DD was around 12 weeks old but I was passing anyway.

Your DH making set plans to do a long car journey a few days after your due date purely to visit his office is ridiculous. It sounds like his colleagues said 'you'll have to bring the baby in for cuddles' in the casual way that people do, and he's grabbed onto it and got his diary out. As others have said, you need to set your boundaries now - don't go along with it just to keep him happy.

The gift thing is completely normal in my experience. We were blown away by how many beautiful (and not so beautiful!) things we were sent by a host of people we'd never met, including hand-knitted blankets form my mum's work colleagues and soft toys from my inlaw's friends and neighbours. People generally love babies and a new baby is always cause for celebration. I would just accept gracefully and put the gifts away if they're not to your taste.

Nappydirectd · 13/07/2023 18:25

To add I’ve sent thank you cards to each person who sent a gift, I am grateful despite what some on here think.

OP posts:
Feraldogmum · 13/07/2023 18:27

I expect this is your hubby's colleagues etc being polite in response to his enthusiasm, folk do this, ask to meet the baby because they feel they should be interested . Either that or its a Rosemary's baby scenario and they're all members of some bizarre cult.🤔

Riverlee · 13/07/2023 18:36

Totally normal to show of your new baby, but maybe not straight away.

SylvanianFrenemies · 13/07/2023 18:37

Everything about what your husband is doing seems totally normal to me, except that he is rushing things after the birth and should be sensitive to your needs in that respect.

We got lots of gifts from people we never met e.g. neighbours of relatives, parents of colleagues. Normal around here.

RedHelenB · 13/07/2023 18:42

I don't get thos current obsession with not letting anyone else bar very close family see a baby. I took baby to see my work and my exs work, plus friends called in etc. Mumsnets weird about this.

Dente · 13/07/2023 18:47

Absolutely tradition where I live. New life is to be celebrated! Society seems to be hell bent on avoiding all social interactions. Old Agnes from his old neighbourhood may not have any Grandchildren. I love this kind of love and kindness. We should not lose that.

Blending25 · 13/07/2023 18:48

No way would I have my baby "passed around" among strangers at such a young age. Stand up for yourself, just tell him you're not happy with it and maybe organise a very informal bbq or similar when baby is 3 months old for people to drop in.....but I would still keep my bay in car seat or similar so not everyone is picking up him/her

Hellofromtheotherslide · 13/07/2023 18:48

ElizaMulvil · 13/07/2023 17:55

Just reminds me, when dd was couple of weeks old I took her to pick up ds from school and his teacher, who I barely knew, put 2 coins in my hand, Apparently she said it was the thing you did in Scotland when you met a new born baby. Lovely idea to help a new mother.

When I had ds my mother's friend from way back ( so I'd only met her a few times), made a commemorative hand-painted plate for me. Again so thoughtful not weird surely.

Different cultures different ideas, I bf but it didn't stop me seeing friends and family in the early days but again Irish descent on dm's side so the culture is the more the merrier I guess. I've always visited cousins ( and I have a lot) soon after they've had babies and taken a present for Mum and baby.

Very much a Scottish tradition around here, NE Scotland, to put a coin in the baby's pram for future prosperity. Were they silver coins by any chance, as they traditionally were?

loislovesstewie · 13/07/2023 18:51

It used to be a coin, a piece of bread and salt, so the baby should never want.

thecatinthetwat · 13/07/2023 18:52

We got knitted things and baby clothes from some very distant relatives/colleagues (eg my co-workers’ mum who I’ve never met knitted a little cardigan). I think ppl just get excited about babies.
my DH took baby to work etc. but after a few weeks. Just tell dp you need more time.

MysteryBelle · 13/07/2023 18:55

Nappydirectd · 13/07/2023 17:47

Wow MysteryBelle you’re taking it very personally, that in itself is odd, calm down. Everyone is different, you may happily pass your baby to strangers who don’t even know you or your dh names, but I prefer to keep my happy moments to friends and family.

Thanks everyone, will try and update when we’ve spoken about it. I don’t intend on keeping baby away from everyone, as I said we plan to invite friends and family over within days of the birth, as far as I’m aware they’re the important people who need to meet the baby. I see many posts on here where no one is interested in xyz’s baby unless it’s a friends or relatives, so I would never have expected the town to act like baby Jesus is being born…but I guess I have been proven wrong and my baby needs to meet the entire country 😄

Look how you’re exaggerating, first in your post and now here. Nobody thinks your baby is Jesus Christ or that the whole country has to meet your baby. You’re acting like it’s odd for your husband to take baby to meet his colleagues. No it’s not. And you said it’s odd for old woman to knit something for your baby, a woman who knew your husband as a child. No, it’s not odd.

And you’re lying. I didn’t say I happily passed my baby to strangers. In fact I said the opposite. I said you didn’t have to pass your baby around to be held and I said the people I took baby to were not strangers, I worked with them or my husband worked with them, or I had had brief and friendly interactions with them, they were not strangers on the street.

As I said before, you do not deserve the good will you’ve been given. Your husband thinks his colleagues and old neighbors who knew him as a child are ‘important’.

CurlyhairedAssassin · 13/07/2023 18:58

I'm kind of with you, OP. I think it's lovely to for friends and family to meet baby while they're still young. I'm not one of those who shuts everyone out for the first few weeks. I loved having people visit in the first couple of weeks. But not acquaintances and random people that neither parent knows properly. And neither did I want to go to places to show the baby off to virtual strangers either.

I do get that people like babies. And some like the idea of celebrating a new life, any new life. I just think it's wierd that there will be people who this baby will be taken to see who then most likely won't ever see them again! And probably won't even remember their name.

I actually found it quite stressful getting so many new baby gifts from people I hardly knew (or didni't know at all eg mum's friend from her work in the charity shop, mum's hairdresser etc etc). I felt under pressure and stressed thinking I had to write so many thankyou cards to these strangers, and do the whole "grateful, aren't you kind" thing, when all I wanted to do was spend time bonding and resting from the birth. Plus I ended up with multiple items that just didn't get used, then I felt guilty at giving them to charity shops. I honestly resented the extra hassle at having to make space for, throw wrapping out for and sort out piles of unused items to go to the charity shop a few months later. Just too stressful! There was far too much stuff!

I just don't get it.

elliejjtiny · 13/07/2023 19:17

QueensBees · 13/07/2023 17:19

very normal in my mind workplace too.

i was more surprised by the odd person putting a £1 coin in my baby hand.

The coin is because it's meant to bring you luck if you give a coin to a baby, I think the coin is meant to be silver though.

Songbird54321 · 13/07/2023 19:18

I’m with you OP. I took both of my girls into work to see my close colleagues/friends but they were not passed around, I wouldn’t like that. They were also over 3 months old, they weren’t tiny newborns.
Aside from that if family or friends wanted to see them they text/rang and we arranged it.
The only stranger I’ve ever let hold my baby was on a plane when she was 8 months old and getting tetchy so the lady sat with us in our row offered to try and occupy her so I could quickly eat. She was a lifesaver that day and by no means felt entitled to my child, just an older lady who’d obviously been in my shoes trying to help.
I’m unsure what all these strangers are getting out of this to be honest.

UsingChangeofName · 13/07/2023 19:25

Perfectly normal to be excited and want to show off your baby to people you know.
Perfectly normal for colleagues to drop in to work some time in the first few months.
I don't expect anyone is expecting you to pass the baby round like a parcel.

As a rule, people are generally delighted at the news of a new baby - it is a lovely, positive thing and people like to congratulate new parents.
Knitters like to be able to give what they knit to new babies. It really seems strange to me, that this is news to you.

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