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AIBU not to offer to hold friends toddler

129 replies

pictureframenotperfect · 04/04/2021 17:19

Genuinely confused, me and a friend both got older kids, friend has 19 month old who is used to being constantly held. For example we are all eating lunch and the toddler is being held and mum says 'oh I just can't get a minute to eat' both having a drink and trying to chat and mum says 'oh I can't get a chance to drink' I think surely you can just put the baby down but always feel as though she's expecting me to offer to hold her child...

Is this the done thing? Should you have to take someone else's kid even though your eating/drinking at same time.

Always leave our coffee meet ups feeling she's pissed I didn't offer to hold the toddler so she could drink her drink but then it's not my child and I think you should be able to put children down.


OP posts:
PerspicaciousGreen · 10/04/2021 13:59

If she wants you to hold the toddler, she should ask. With words.

I had to have my toddler on my lap when we went out for a long time. Til he was eighteen months or so. It only stopped because I got so pregnant there wasn't any lap left! It's because he was so shy he was terrified of all the other people. If not on my lap, he'd be stood next to me hanging on for dear life. Totally different at home and with just one or two other people, couldn't cope with crowds of strangers. But I just accepted it as how life was for the moment, and he has indeed grown out of it and is now very confident and sociable at 3yo.

However, I never had any problems eating or drinking with him on my lap as a toddler. He was small enough that I could manoeuvre food round him or above his head.

So possibly YABU for thinking she should put him down, but YANBU for thinking if she wants help she's got to ask for it.

timeforanewnameagain · 10/04/2021 14:17


Just to say my son was also diagnosed with ASD and ADHD when he was 6 but at 19 months, I know that lots of my friends thought his difficult behaviour was down to me. About half of them told me I was too lenient and didn't intervene enough,
the other (almost) half) told me I was too uptight and should relax more, as I was apparently was helicopter parenting when I should leave him alone. This despite the fact that DS regularly would hit other children when frustrated and would often get very upset over seemingly small things .

The tiny proportion of my friends who did not judge , or at least not to my face , are the only ones I am still friends with 14 years later

Had exactly the same experience here. DD was a nightmare baby and toddler. It was simultaneously my fault because I was either too neurotic and didn't let anyone else help me, too soft and didn't discipline her (I did), a sahm (creating a dependent clingy child), too anxious which made her anxious (no) etc etc etc.

It was none of those things. She's autistic (diagnosed aged three). She was an effing nightmare at that age because she was overwhelmed, likely overloaded, terrified and confused at new things/people/places and needed me to be her safe space. I still am but luckily she is five now and can tell me what she needs.

OP I probably wouldn't offer either unless it was a small baby and mum needed a pair of arms so she could grab a hot drink. Other people's children aren't my thing either. But I would be careful judging her too harshly. In my experience I parented in the way I did because of the way my child was. My child wasn't that way because of how I parented. Screaming like that for hours and hours at being put down is not normal at 18 months. I wouldn't be surprised if in years to come there is more to this.
LadyOfLittleLeisure · 10/04/2021 16:34

@timeforanewnameagain and @bumblingbovine49 same experience here! So glad other people mentioned this.

timeforanewnameagain · 10/04/2021 20:38

@LadyOfLittleLeisure People don't think, do they? To be fair I probably wouldn't have either before I had my child.

I know there are children who are just pandered to, or difficult, or spoiled etc. But at 18 months I'd be surprised if there is anything the mum has done that has made her child behave in this way. Much more likely that there is something more going on.

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