(Closed) Preparing Grandparents for Baby

posted 7 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
9134 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Sit them down and explain no smoking or drinking around the baby and definitely no drinking when taking care of the baby.  One infraction means they will not be allowed to watch the baby again for a LONG time.

It’s about the baby’s health and they should understand that.  Smoking around a baby can cause asthma and the drinking thing is beyond terrifying for a parent (are they alcoholics? if so I would not leave my baby with them overnight ever and I certainly wouldn’t leave my baby alone with them while they were drinking or drunk.)  I don’t see anything wrong with baby not spending the night with the grandparents based on your concerns.  Maybe now is a good time for them to decide whether they want their vices or to spend time with their grandchild.

Post # 4
5474 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

My mother has offered to watch our baby when (s)he is born, but I said HELL to the NO!  She smokes in the house, and I said it would be fine with me to bring the baby over for short visits but there is absolutely NO WAY I’m going to leave it there all day to breathe in that crap.

Mother-In-Law also smokes, and it will be the same thing- visits are ok, overnights or all days are not ok.

Lukcily Darling Husband backs me up on this and we’re on the same page, so if we get any resistance from either set of parents we will have each other’s back. 

Post # 5
1652 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Great post. I need help with this too. Very interested to read responses.

Post # 6
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@peanuthead:  My parents are the same way. They both smoke and drink. My older sister was worried because she didn’t want them to drink around her Dear Daughter (they never smoke around babies to begin with). My sister was a nervous nelly when her Dear Daughter was born, she has since lightened up, but I can sympathize. My mother was the same way with us too. However, my parents drink more than they should.

My sister was worried that they would get drunk (esp at family parties) and do something to harm the baby (not on purpose, of course). My sister had been dropped when she was younger by my uncle who was drunk and was horsing around with her-I think that had something to do with it too. So she was trying to find a way to tell them to curb their drinking as nicely as possible.

What ended up happening was before she came to visit (she lives 5 hours away) she sent ALL of us an email. She did this so my parents didn’t feel targeted (even tho she meant it for them). She warned the rest of us about it. In the email she stated that she and her Darling Husband decided on some new rules that she would like all of us to follow. The first rule was that if we drink AT ALL, we do not take their Dear Daughter in the car for any reason. The other rule was that if we had two drinks (mostly at family functions-like christmas) then we would not hold Dear Daughter that day. She said that the rules go for her and her Darling Husband as well.  We all agreed to adhere to these ‘rules’ (we all did anyway, we dont drink as much or as often as our parents).

My mom was a little thrown off about it at first, but my sisters and I explained how we agree with my sister (mostly because we feel the same way about our children or future children.) We all followed it though, and this was three years ago. They still to this day follow this rule when we around any baby. I’m happy because I had worried about this with my own children, so I’m glad she initiated it. Good luck!

Post # 7
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@peanuthead:  Im going to try to find the email for you. I’ll post if I do. She wrote it very nicely and with wit and charm. Kind of like it was a joke-but serious at the same time.

Post # 8
3110 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

@Max04092010:  Your sister is a smart mommy! Set those boundaries and make them clear. If they are ignored then their alone time with baby is over. This is YOUR child- you will want to do everything possible to make sure s/he is safe and you will instinctually know that safety trumps everything, even hurt feelings.

As for spoiling, well, that’s tougher. there are things you can do on your end. Buy less things yourself (hey- if gram wants to buy a whole new wardrobe then BY ALL MEANS). Teach the kid as it gets older about charity. For every toy that comes in, one goes out. That sort of stuff.

Post # 9
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I found it! Here is the email:


Hi everyone!

 DH, Dear Daughter and I are super excited to come home to see everyone again.  (My oldest sister) has been working really hard on (my brother in-law’s) party and I think it’s going to be fun.  We are going to stick around until early Monday morning – and then head to (her best friend’s) beach house.  After that we have a couple of days at the beach thanks to our Radisson points  Soooo it looks like we may actually have a really vacation!  We are excited.


We are also running around like crazy – which explains this email instead of five different phone calls.


I just wanted to mention that I have been dealing with quite a bit of anxiety since Dear Daughter has been born.  It’s something that I am constantly working on.  I am very nervous about her getting hurt, and find myself dreaming up new and horrible ways that she could be hurt.  These feelings have kind of blindsided me.  Darling Husband and I are trying our best to get through them.  I am working on ONLY checking her five times during the night to make sure she is still breathing, etc. etc.


Part of this anxiety skyrockets when we are at parties – everyone is having a good time, everyone is drinking a bit and everyone wants to hold the baby.  I am hoping that you all can help and support me when I ask everyone to limit holding Dear Daughter if they have had more than two drinks.  This means everyone- including Darling Husband and myself – we have implemented this “two drink maximum” since the day she came home.  This by NO means indicates that people should not drink and have a good time.  It just means that if they choose to get their party on – they save their Dear Daughter time for the next day.


I don’t want to have to be the “fun police”  so if you all can just keep an eye out – that would be great.  I really don’t want to make it a big deal and have it seem like “(my sister) is just being ridiculous”  Maybe I am— but I am a ridiculous Mommy now and that “Mommy” title trumps all others.


I am getting better – I’ve started driving a bit more with her in the car, and I’ve started to wear flip flops again (I had a huge fear of tripping with her when wearing them).  But, I think this two drink maximum policy may stick around for awhile.


Thanks for you help and understanding.  Feel free to call me if you have any questions or concerns – but if you want to make fun of me — call (my oldest sister) for a chuckle:)


…I thought it was well done! Everyone listened. Hope this helps!

Post # 11
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Before my older brother was born, my father told my grandparents (his parents) that if they wanted to hold the baby, they’d have to quit smoking.  It scared the bleep out of them and they did.  I know that wouldn’t work with all families and it wouldn’t have worked coming from my mom but since it was their son and he was dead serious, they quit and never looked back. They are so grateful that he made them quit. 🙂  I tell this story not to say that this is how you should handle it necessarily, but to say that it is your right as a parent to set boundries and you hold an awful lot of power being the gatekeeper to the grandchild.  So don’t be afraid to set and enforce those reasonable expectations.  


@Max04092010:  Love this.  Nicely done by your sister. It makes no one defensive and is self-depricating so that it is actually harder for them to be like, she’s crazy. 🙂

Post # 13
7770 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@peanuthead:  Wow, I would not be comfortable with those things either.  I think you are on the right track about planning to sit down with your SO and have a conversation with the ILs.  Personally, I would be very straight-forward. 

“There is absolutely no drinking around the baby.”  If they don’t like that (if I was in your shoes) then they won’t see the baby.  PERIOD!  Since becoming pregnant I have become much more of a … straight-forward person (passive language for “a little bit more of a bitch”).  I think it is a good thing, we have to protect our little ones.

I have learned that even if it makes other people uncomfortable or upset, when it comes to protecting my own new family and our needs, they need to deal with it.  It is worth it to risk making someone uncomfortable, (who should be able to act like an adult) if it means health and safety- so I am not afraid to outline my needs/ rules/ desires.

I do have a concern with my Dad as a soon to be Grampa because he yells.  I really discourage yelling and promote patience.  The other day we were watching this commerical about patience for kids and he was like, “You don’t want to know what I think about this commerical!”  It worries me.  I have no idea if I should bring it up again, but if I ever see him yell and lose patience his “rights” to our child will get limited or revoked. 

Post # 14
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

See if there is a  Grandparents class in your area. Many things that they did to raise us is just wrong now. And hearing it from an expert may be beneficial.

Post # 15
861 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think one of the most important things is to make sure that your Darling Husband is on board with the boundaries, and helps you in communicating them. I have some anxiety about my Mother-In-Law having overnights with our LO because she is very emotionally unstable and drinks a lot of wine at night. I am working with Darling Husband to determine what we are uncomfortable with (emotional outbursts) versus what is actually dangerous to the baby (caregiving when drunk) so we can communicate those clearly to her!

Good luck!

Post # 16
3571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Commenting to save this thread for when the time comes.

@cbee:  my mom is the same way. She claims to love kids but has zero patience and tends to ascribe to the ” do it because I told you so” camp which I don’t believe in at all and I don’t think it works. I generally don’t think it’s ok the way she loses her temper on my little siblings. My kids will have supervised visits but I basically don’t plan to Really ever let her kee them overnight or extended visits where do and I aren’t there.

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