Post # 1
Our 2.5 month old is a super chill baby and rarely cries for longer than the minute it takes to address his need (feed him, change him, etc). He just met his grandmother (my MIL) for the first time (we’re staying with her for 2 weeks right now) and he’s spent 2 out of the 4.5 days we’ve been here more primarily with her. On both of those days he has been much fussier. Not when he’s with her from what I’ve been told but def at the end of the day and he seems over-tired on those days. She says he is great when they are together and I’ve never come home to him crying; it just happens at night. I don’t think she is trying to wake him when sleeping bc she is more nervous than we are about that (ie On more than one occasion she has told us not to wake him when he’s sleeping– we do anyway [to change him or move him from his carseat] and he’s fine Bc we don’t have him on any schedule so if we wake him he’s used to just going back to sleep whenever). My concern is that she spends the majority of her time with him carrying him around and having him sleep on her (sometimes to the point of him sleeping through a feeding). We carry him too obviously, but not nearly as much Bc he is content to hang out on a playmat, in a bouncey chair/bassinet (while we are still interacting with him) and I think that’s a good thing. I am concerned that when she spends all day carrying him he loses the ability to self-soothe/sleep on his own. I want her to have a relationship with him and it is nice that she wants to help watch him and loves him so much but I don’t want her to destroy his chill demeanor just to satisfy her need to be needed. Is it irrational for me to be concerned about this? I know it’s not supposed to be possible to “spoil a baby” but this seems to be having a negative effect on him.
Post # 2
He’s 2.5 months old. He’s not getting spoiled, hes just becoming more aware and less of a loaf of bread.
Also possibly reverse cycling if you’re leaving him for longer bursts of time.
Post # 3
The thing is when he has not been with her (she has been with him for most of 2 separate days but they haven’t been consecutive), he is his normal chill self. He is fed breastmilk via bottle with occasional breastfeeding so his feeding schedule doesn’t really change with her (other than her letting him sleep through an occasional feed or not always encouraging to him to finish his bottle the way we would).
I’m not worried that he’s actually getting “spoiled” in the sense of how he will end up once he gets a personality, but more that her carrying him around all the time decreases his awareness of needing to self-soothe. But is that not a thing this young? Is this just coincidental?
Post # 4
Carrying them around constantly will only affect them as they are older, not at 2.5 months.
however I would nip that shit in the bud because my mom did the same thing constantly when I asked her not to as my daughter got older and now my daughter knows (she’s 14 months almost) that Nonno and Nonna will pick her up no matter what.
Post # 5
Congrats on your baby. Being a new mum is hard and it’s really hard to let go of the control.
At this age it’s natural for them to want to be held and it’s fine. I had many a snuggled nap with both mine and they also slept in cots and cribs. Self soothing isn’t a thing until much older and as they grow they will change lots and sleep / chillness is rarely consistent.
if you’re breastfeeding and bottle feeding, look up paced feeding and don’t encourage a baby to finish a bottle. They will take what they need / want.
Post # 6
He’s spending whole days with a stranger rather than his well-known primary source of safety and nourishment? No wonder he’s fussy. I’m surprised he’s not screaming.
Post # 7
maybe that’s part of it though it apparently doesn’t happen while we are gone which I would expect to happen if it was a familiarity thing? I also thought 2 months is a bit young to have specific attachment.
@ladyvk: good to know it’s too early to worry about now but agree that I want to nip it in the bud before it becomes a habit. My Mother-In-Law is a very needy person herself so I worry about that energy rubbing off on the baby
@Twizbe: thank you! Yeah I’m definitely out of my element as a new mom. It’s not so much that I worry about him wanting to be held–he’s happy with the amount that we held him prior to grandma and would sleep on us from time to time. I guess I’m just nervous that she’s over-stimulating him and prioritizing her wanting cuddles over him eating (he’s gaining weight ok, but we want him on a feeding schedule that ensures he’s getting an appropriate amount).
Post # 8
just to reassure you, at his age feeding schedules can be counterproductive. He should be fed on demand. He will settle into a routine in a few months but for now feeds should be responsive. It won’t matter therefore if she feeds him off schedule as that is a good idea.
he is also incapable of forming a habit at this age. Her neediness won’t rub off on him.
it is really hard in the early months to be comfortable with how others (including daddy sometimes) look after your baby, but it is ok for each care giver to have a different style.
I used to run a baby group and one mum there came one day in a right state. She’d had a huge blow up with her husband because he was ‘changing baby the wrong way’. After calming her down and finding out what happened it turns out daddy put baby with his head the other end of the mat to mum. Daddy is left handed and it worked better that way for him. Mum was convinced he was ‘confusing’ the baby. Lockdown happened shortly after this so I hope she accepted that different doesn’t equal bad.
Post # 9
It might just be that if he’s spending most of the day with her, he realizes after that he’s missed you. I can’t speak specifically to kids that age (I live in Canada, most people are home with babies for a year +), but I have heard that when children start child care they will often be fine all day and then upset when mom/sad comes to get them – they are often a little overtired and also just not comfortable enough at child care to cry about thing, so when they get picked up they end up upset, once they are back in their comfort zone.
As for the actual holding etc, as people have stated your baby is too young to worry much about that. At that age, I aimed for one nap in his crib a day for my son. The rest were in arms/carrier/stroller etc. If this is the first time Mother-In-Law is getting to interact with baby, and has only been most of 2 days, I’m sure she will relax as more time goes by. Though given that it is just a vacation maybe not. But I’m sure once you are back home and in your normal routine he will be fine.
Also, it’s always possible this is coinciding with a growth spurt/mental leap or whatever.
Post # 10
that was my first thought.
Post # 11
He’s too young to be extra “fussy” with someone else. Babies ARE needy. At 2.5 months he cant think logically and is just going through phases. I just think it’s a combo of postpartum hormones and mommy bear instincts kicking in.
Post # 12
Whatever happens don’t let this interfere with a good relationship with Grandma. I grew up without grandparents because both sets had passed away. This is obviously a well meaning grandma. When my daughter was little I found I had a certain routine that worked and it was unsettling and yes, irritating, when any other adult interacted with her in a way that I thought upset a good routine. I don’t know how this visit came about, but it is a long time to spend in someone else’s house with an infant, and especially with her taking care of him for hours at a time. Get through this visit (or cut it short), let this go, and then think twice before an extended stay like this in the future.
Post # 13
Sounds like you might need a bit more boundaries. If my mom or MiL tried to tell me not to wake up my own baby I would tell them that I make the decisions for my baby and if I want opinions I’ll ask for them. How long are you staying with them?
Babies can get over stimulated. If you aren’t there when mil is taking care of him all day you really have no idea what she is or isn’t doing for him so you don’t really know what things she is doing that might be causing this issue. I say trust your gut as the mom and or call your doctor to ask some questions.
Post # 14
You’re visiting for two weeks but you’re leaving him with someone he doesn’t know all day? You don’t think your mother in law might be bending the truth about him “being fine?” I know my mother in law insisted my baby was “fine” when she watched him but my brother in law who was there told a different story. Consequently, I left him with her for very short periods of time (1-2 hours) once a week for necessary errands only until he was comfortable with her. He cried like mad at first.
Back to gone all day….where are you going that is worth leaving your baby with an unfamiliar person all day? Starting work and initiating daycare is a necessary painful process that parents and babies work through, but for a two week visit? What?
I suspect you’re touring and visiting people when you’re out. Is this happening in an alternate universe where a covid pandemic isn’t happening?
None of this situation makes sense.
Post # 15
he’s fine. Babies change so much day to day there’s no telling for sure why the fussiness begins. However I’d nip it in the bud too. Much like my husband thinking it’s ok to rock the baby to sleep a few times, and now that’s the only way, you can’t let the habit develop or you’re screwed.
I’d frame it as a well-being issue though. General physical development, not grandma making problems. Baby needs more tummy time. Baby is slightly underweight and shouldn’t skip any meals. Baby naps too long in the day and can’t sleep at night and won’t she please help you out with that.