Mother in law babysitting newborn..

posted 1 year ago in Parenting
Post # 2
3178 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Is overnight help what you actually need right now? I’m guessing if you’re expressing you’ll still need to get up during the night anyway. 

Its ok to say no to help that you feel might not be useful. You could instead tell her what would help. For me it would have been her watching the baby in the day so I could nap, or bringing us food. 

Post # 3
3454 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I don’t think it needs to be framed as you telling her how to care for your baby.

It sounds like she loves being involved and wants to help and do what’s best for baby and for you guys. Why not just sit down as a family (you, husband and MIL) and have a discussion about these concerns? You can do some research, talk to a pediatrician about it and get their take, and then come up with a plan together about what will work best for baby. 

Post # 4
4998 posts
Honey bee

I assume this isn’t every night, so the baby will be fine and won’t mix anything up. I went through the 2 hour asleep stage with my children, it doesn’t last forever. (It just seems like it) But the point is that as your baby’s main caregiver, you need to be sharp, and you need the sleep.Take advantage of her offer and let her be where she wants. Babies are driven by hunger at this point and breast milk is digested easier than formula, leading to hungry but healthy babies.

Post # 5
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

View original reply
KB87 : It’s so lovely to hear a story where Mother-In-Law actually wants to help out and DIL is appreciative.  

I’m not a mum, so no experience, but it does sound strange for her to stay up all night holding the baby.  Is that the way they did it in her day?  Or does she just want some 1 on 1 cuddle time?  Even though she’s retired, I would be concerned she could eventually fall asleep holding the baby. 

I would have thought it would be easier for her to stay over, but get up at the early feed (say 6am?) and have the baby for the whole morning while you get a nice uninterrupted sleep in. 

Post # 6
6878 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I actually don’t believe this will mix up baby’s sense of night and day. My daughter had difficulty sleeping as a newborn, and Dh and I took turns with her sleeping in a bassinet in the living room, doing much as your Mother-In-Law described. I actually think it HELPED he because there was someone to hold her or pick her up and get her back to sleep when she fussed. The lights were low and the volume on any telly or radio was low, and newborns sleep a lot so they aren’t as affected by those things. 

So by the time Dear Daughter was several months old, she was used to sleeping the better part of the night (even if it was with someone holding her), so she transitioned more easily to a dark room on her own. Of course, it is your call as a parent, but I don’t think your MIL’s plan would mix baby up at all.

Post # 7
4241 posts
Honey bee

When my baby was that age, I slept in the living room with her in her bassinet a lot because she was such a LOUD sleeper, too, that my husband couldn’t get much sleep (and he had to get up for work in the mornings).

I would usually watch TV until 1 or 2 am, and had the lights on but low. I don’t think it mixed up her nights and days too bad and by 3 months she was starting to differentiate, with one long stretch of sleep from 8-12ish, then two shorter stretches of sleep (which she then later joined and now at 11 months sleeps 7-7). I think the important thing is that at night, when the baby wakes up you feed them, change them if needed, then straight back to bed- no talking, no playing. Lights are low and TV is low (and when she woke up, I would usually turn off the TV for that time). During the day, I kept on the TV or music to a normal volume, lights on and didn’t try to keep quiet. I think if you need your MILs help and you stick to that, baby will figure it out.

Post # 8
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

View original reply
KB87 :  at this point I don’t think she is messing u your baby sleep schedule. You can talk to your pediatrician thought. When I was helping my friend with her baby we also took turn everyday till she was 3 years old. When the lo was a Babe, my friend would stay up the night and take care of her whenever she was hungry, need a diaper change or just fussing. She would then go to sleep by 6am and I would wake up and take over for the next 8-9 hours. As a Babe she was sleeping in her bassinet beside her while she was reading or watching tv. Around 3-4 months, the lo slept 6 hours straight at nigh so the baby was put in her room unless she cried.

Take advantages of the help so you can be a well rested mom that your child need. When you wake up, your Mil can get some rest. 

Post # 9
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

So, I don’t know if it made a difference , but I kept all the lights off and the room dark from 7pm to 7am from the very beginning and my daughter started sleeping in 8 hour stretches at 6 weeks old. I won’t do anything different next time, if I can manage it. I’m well aware I may have just gotten lucky, but if there is any chance our routines played a role, I’m not going to change them, so I’m with you on not having your Mother-In-Law do that. I’m also concerned she would fall asleep.


That’s amazing you have such a great support system though. 

Post # 10
264 posts
Helper bee

I’d be less concerned about schedule and more concerned about Mother-In-Law falling asleep holding the baby, to be honest. She sounds like an awesome woman, but there’s a good chance she will doze off when trying to stay up all night, and that’s incredibly dangerous when holding a baby.

I personally wouldn’t worry about feeling like you’re telling her how to parent. You’re not telling her how to parent, because she’s not the parent. You’re just telling her how you are raising your child and asking her to follow the same pattern for the sake of the baby’s sleep and wellbeing. 

Post # 11
45 posts
  • Wedding: February 2016

I’d be most worried about developing mastitis if you are usually used to waking up every few hours for feeds overnight and you suddenly have a night sleeping all the way through. I agree that the more useful help might be getting Mother-In-Law over at 6am and taking her after a feed so you can get a nice sleep in or otherwise you could feed the baby at least once overnight then hand her back over to Mother-In-Law to resettle

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