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Am I being a bit PFB?

48 replies

CluelessNewMama · 02/12/2019 09:21

DD is just under 6 months old. I’m on mat leave and look after her mostly by myself Monday to Friday (DH works long days so doesn’t often see her awake in the week). At the weekend we spend lots of time with his family (PILs, SIL, BIL); they love spending time with DD and will pass her around for hours.
When I really need a bit of a break in the week or just need to get something done Ill let her watch baby videos on YouTube, but I don’t love the idea so keep it to a minimum (20 mins or so once or twice a week). ILs have discovered that she likes these videos and I now feel like whoever gets hold of her instantly gives her their phone with YouTube on. Whenever we are out and she cries or fusses MIL immediately hands me her phone. I’ve said a few times that I don’t really want her staring at screens all the time but haven’t been particularly forceful about it. It’s just really starting to grate on me. Am I being a hypocrite cause I introduced them in the first place? And am I being a bit PFB generally? I know it isn’t going to do any major damage, I just really think it would be better for her to be interacting with people or exploring things around her not staring at the phone screen.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

FineWordsForAPorcupine · 02/12/2019 09:32

YANBU. Basically, there are a number of "cards" you can use up per week to make your life easier - convenience foods, sticking a video on, etc. You need them to allow you to cope with your life and get things done, ie putting on a video so you get ten minutes to make an important phone call, or dry your hair, concentrate on something, etc.

If someone else uses one of those "cards" then it makes your life harder. It's OK to ask them not to do that.


MsChatterbox · 02/12/2019 09:33

You are definitely not being pfb. It is such a trap placating a baby with a screen. Soon they will be demanding it in the pushchair and will be fixed in front of a screen in restaurants.

My son watches some TV at home. But out of the house there is no screens. I talk to him about what he can see etc. I have a bag of quiet toys in changing bag for restaurant high chair situations (he's 2 now).

You are well within your right to say no thank you I don't want my LO overexposed to a screen.


saraclara · 02/12/2019 09:37

You're right, and you bed to be pleasantly form about it. You can even say you regret introducing it and won't be doing it any more (they won't know if you do, obv).

I often read about grandparents being very sad that their school age grandkids don't communicate with them any more. That when they visit they just sit looking at their phones. Say to your in-laws that you'd hate for that to end up happening to them, so you're going to have a no screens rule for when you visit.


saraclara · 02/12/2019 09:37

Bed= need


Seeline · 02/12/2019 09:37

I think maybe you are being a little PFB, but your baby so you decide what she does.

If you/baby are handed a screen, then hand it back.
Make sure you have several toys/activities with you that you can entertain your baby with. Things that attach to the buggy etc are useful as they can't be dropped if you are out and about.


Mylittlepony374 · 02/12/2019 09:38

Your baby, your rules.
I worried too much with my first about what my in laws would think if I said no to various things (totally different backgrounds and parenting styles), now looking back I really really wish I'd told them to piss off more.
So yes, tell them not to give your child the phone. Be firm. You don't need to give a big explanation &get into rationale, just ' I don't want him watching screens' is sufficient.


ScotsinOz · 02/12/2019 09:46

YABU in regards to sitting your less than 6 months old child in front of a phone/iPad to watch YouTube. No child that age needs ANY screen time. If you need to get something done/have a quiet 5 minute cup of tea, your child needs to stay in the same room as you, but put them on their playmat with a few toys/soft books, while you sit close by doing whatever it is, whilst watching them. Generally at six months your child will nap during the day and that’s the time you use for a quick cup of tea/phone the electricity company/whatever.


Seeline · 02/12/2019 09:59

20 minutes a couple of times a week of screen time is not going to do any harm at all!

We all have our own ways of grabbing those vital minutes. Not all babies nap reliably, not all babies are happy on a play mat etc. You do what works for you and your baby.


user1493413286 · 02/12/2019 10:03

Tell them that you’ve decided you don’t like it and you won’t be doing it any more and don’t want them to be doing it. They’ll never know that you’re continuing to do it if it’s that little.
There are plenty of my own rules that I break to be able to have a breather that I’m not happy for someone else to do as their first choice rather than last resort


Oysterbabe · 02/12/2019 10:08

I think your child is too young to be given a screen. Yanbu.


littlepaddypaws · 02/12/2019 10:11

sensible advice on here, at least no one has said they are awful people go low contact with them. although the 'passing her round for hours' is that literally ?


Celebelly · 02/12/2019 10:12

Just hand it back. I am pretty relaxed about the odd bit of screen time as we do so much else it won't make any difference, but if it's beyond a level you're happy with just hand the phone back and say 'She's had her screen time for the week' or something.


OoohTheStatsDontLie · 02/12/2019 10:13

I dont think you're being PFB.

I'd tell them you've stopped doing it as you've found out recommended screen time for under 2s is zero. Or that you've decided half an hour a week and she has had her time.

As others have said, when you're looking after a small baby all week, you need something to keep them occupied while you get stuff done or just have a breather (mine was a jumoeroo). If they are feeling like they need a break from her then maybe you should be cutting the visiting time!

Saying that I guess it's not the end of the world as if they dont look agree her every day then she wont be getting into a habit of wanting it on every time she grumbles. I'd be more inclined to say something if they are going to be looking after her when you go back to work.

My youngest gets a lot more tv than the oldest did (because she watches what the eldest does - mostly dancing videos) and it's sad to see how much she loves it, and sadly we have got into a habit of putting it on when she is very upset as it's the only thing that calms her. I do it and I hate it. So its easily done!

As an aside are you happy with how much you see your in laws? Do you feel like you get enough family time / time alone or to visit your friends and family as well? Be careful about getting into habits that you cant break especially if you're going back to work as you might value chilling at home a lot more as a family then


Spied · 02/12/2019 10:17

I'd not be using you- tube to placate/entertain baby.
They on screens early enough as it is ( even at nursery they use, albeit not all the timeHmm).
Your in-laws laws have taken your lead. They think they are doing something you are happy with.
Tell them you've had a think and decided it's not for the best.


toomuchtooold · 02/12/2019 10:19

Basically, there are a number of "cards" you can use up per week to make your life easier

That is a fantastic way of putting it. This is why it always annoys me a bit, if DH does the kids' dinner at the weekend, and it ends up being a frozen pizza. Nothing wrong with a frozen pizza and a bit of salad for dinner but I'd prefer to be able to do it on a weekday night when the kids have been out to hobbies/speech therapist and we're pressed for time. On the weekend we could do a full roast and soup!

OP, just plant a big grateful smile on your face and go "oh that's a good thought but I'll try a cuddle/teddy bear/getting her to look at the Christmas lights first, see if she can't settle herself" and then just give them the phone back.


Auradal · 02/12/2019 10:27

Yes just tell them you've read up on it and decided not to do it any more so they should also stop, thank you. And offer alternatives.

If you then choose to do it a couple of times a week at home that is your business.


Ihaventgottimeforthis · 02/12/2019 10:51

She might not even be old enough to eat solid food and already she's being fobbed off with a screen instead of human interaction.
If someone gives her a screen to look at, just give it back and then play with her or do whatever people have been doing with babies for millennia before we all had bloody screens in our hands 24/7.


friedbeansandcheese · 02/12/2019 10:54

She's under 6 months old! She doesn't need any screens at all. Ever. yet.

I know it isn’t going to do any major damage

It won't do her any good. She's much better off interacting with other people and watching you at this stage.


Didkdt · 02/12/2019 11:08

I think it's fair enough to say I don't want her to be pacified by screens as it will cause problems later.


DuckbilledSplatterPuff · 02/12/2019 11:08

The things you do to give yourself 20 minutes off to do something or get dressed or whatever are your business.
It sounds like you are volunteering too much information to your inlaws.. who sound like they are very happy to see you and your baby BTW.
You don't need to tell them everything you do, or confess about screen time as a guilty secret etc.. because the result is you get handed iphones.. Then you have to start explaining why you don't want to do that etc..people disagree and the whole cycle starts building up.
You could fall into the trap of almost inviting other people's approval for what you do, when you don't want/need approval for every tiny thing.
There's no point telling people you have hard and fast rules either as you will then feel bad about breaking them pr they will say "I thought you said that you'd never xyz"
The fact is that babies change every week and you have to be flexible. A tiny bit of screen time while you nip to the loo harms no one and you don't have to share that with anyone either.
I'd just smile, hand the phone back and give MIL a nice toy that baby likes and confess a little less.


Spacebowlisback · 02/12/2019 11:11

I used to feel like this. Like I had a finite amount of energy to invest and when that ran out, I used the easy stuff. I was always really miffed if people used the easy stuff without first spending quality time with her, whether rightly or wrongly. Also, it was about wanting guilt-free time to myself. It wasn’t guilt free if I knew that everyone else was just sticking her in front of the telly.


geojojo · 02/12/2019 11:20

I would not like this. I don't see the need for a 6 month old to watch a phone and think it can quickly become addictive and cause tantrums. I show my two (ages 4 and 2) tv as downtime but never phones or iPads when we are out and about and I wouldn't want others to do this unless it was a real treat or really necessary (eg my dd is terrified of having her hair cut). I also think your family should respect your wishes.


Poppinjay · 02/12/2019 11:22

It won't do her any good. She's much better off interacting with other people and watching you at this stage.

She's much better off being cared for by a mother who can get a 20 min break a couple of times a week when she really needs one.

Screens aren't poisonous and it's much better for children to learn to use them in moderation from an early age. It isn't goog for them to be the go-to strategy every time they're a bit unsettled.

OP, it sounds like you've got a good balance there. If someone tries to put a screen in front of her, just tell them she's had her screen time for this week already.


Rainbowtheunicorn · 02/12/2019 11:29

My DD (16 months) watches a fair amount of Peppa pig on tv so I can get stuff done but I’m still not keen on the iPad so don’t give it to her.

At 6 months I don’t think they get much from it and would be better doing something else.

If you don’t like it say so- you’re the Mum!


Rainbowtheunicorn · 02/12/2019 11:31

And also not keen on watching stuff on phones. I hate to see everyone sat staring at their phone and DD becoming a phone zombie makes me shudder.

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