Hi girls. I just got back after spending a week visiting the in-laws and relatives. My SIL just had a baby who is 6 weeks this week.
It's her first and I think she has or is getting bad advice. She lives in a VERY small town (about 500 people) with no library and she doesn't have internet. She doesn't drive and even if she did, there are no book stores for more than 3 hour drive in any direction. Therefore she is just going by what people are telling her or suggesting.
She gave up on breast feeding because she wasn't producing enough milk. If I had known ahead of time she was having issues, I would have offered advice but she stopped over three weeks ago so no going back now.
I'm concerned at her lack of feeding/care knowledge. She's already trying to force the baby to STTN and she only wants him to eat every 4-6 hours. She is also considering adding cereal into his bottle!!
She is already letting the baby CIO constantly as well, sometimes letting him cry for over 30 min before she will go near him. She was very firm on us not going near him when he cries as she wanted him to sooth himself and go to sleep.
I'm also concerned because she is putting him to sleep with all kinds of toys in his crib, blankets, and with the bumpers on the sides. Isn't that a suffocation hazard?
Should I say something? Because I have no kids I worry I'm going to get the "well, how would you know, you don't have any kids" conversation. She doesn't know about our TTC issues and therefore doesn't know how much knowledge I've gained and read about in the last four+ years. I could send books but I don't think she would read them. I think she is already annoyed at how much I was holding him while we were visiting because I couldn't stand to let him cry so much.
If it was me I probably wouldn't say anything. It sounds like no matter what you say or how you say it she won't receive your well meaning advice very well. If everyone around her does it that way then its all she knows and will probably be determined to keep it that way.
As far as CIO and the crib and stuff like that - actually all that she does - I just feel like it was probably worse than that decades ago and we all survived. I personally wouldn't do some of the stuff she is doing but some things wouldn't bother me. We did let DS CIO - just not as much as her. We did have lots of blankets in his crib when we were advised not to - but it was never an issue for us.
My cousin was raising her DS and I was scared for his life. The first time I saw him he was about a month old and looked like he was literally dying of starvation. He was so thin you could see every bone in his body. I told my mom I wanted to call CPS but she talked me out of it. The next time I saw him he was this fat little baby and had shot up on the charts. Apparently her milk wasn't coming in and they had been working with heir pedi to figure it all out. Had I called CPS she may have lost him when she was doing what she could to take care of him.
Oh Rachael, that's tough!! I'm so sorry you're so worried.
I guess maybe you could give her a call and ask her if she wants some advice/help. You can let her know about your child-rearing interests and that you've researched things pretty thoroughly. If she receives your offer well then go ahead and gently, without accusing, give her some pointers.
If, however, she does not receive your offer well then drop it. If she doesn't even like the offer of help she certainly won't take your advice at all and may even go so far as to not wanting you near your nephew.
It's a delicate situation. You don't want to come off as telling her how to raise her kids but you also want to help her make good, informed decisions.
GL - I hope you're able to find peace with whatever your decision is.
Christina + Rory = a grand total of:
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I have two kids, an almost 6 year old and an almost 2 year old. I fed them both cereal by the time they were between 6 and 8 weeks old. I did this to help fill their bellies better (I would do it at night before they went to sleep, but made sure they got the amount of milk they needed before doing so). They are fine. It's just nicer to not have to wake up as much in the middle of the night. I also got the girls on a schedule as soon as I could. However, if they were starving I would break the schedule and feed them. That was just me, I know not everyone agrees. My sister did everything the way the dr told her to (didn't feed her daughter solid foods until 6 months, the 2nd one started around 4 months).
Also, my mom showed me her old baby book (she was born about 50 years ago) and she said how the drs suggested back then that at 6 weeks they start to feed the baby regular milk! Ha, how times have changed!
As for CIO (ha ha took me a while to figure out what that meant), I didn't let mine do that until they were older. But that is just how I raised them. Now we do (just the 2 year old) because she knows when it's bed time and she's just upset because she's wanting to play more (we have the kids on a schedule still because then it's easier for us and them).
With both, I did have one blanket in the crib (a small quilt) and the bumpers (my kids seem to enjoy shoving their legs through the crib and getting stuck, ha ha). My younger one even likes to have pillows in the bed, and has since she was a few months old. Although they weren't real fluffy or anything. And my kids both had strong necks since the time they were born (they could hold their head up real well). We didn't keep toys in the bed though, but that was because we didn't want them staying up playing. We had a mobile and my younger one has a seahorse that lights up and plays music.
With breast feeding, I got discouraged and stopped with my 1st after 6-8 weeks, my 2nd I got sad (my husband left for boot camp) and stopped around 3 months. However, I have read that you can still try and continue breast feeding after stopping, but it takes a lot of patience.
You could try encouraging your SIL to try BF again if that is what she wants. She may also be feeling sadness she doesn't want to talk about with people, which is why she is letting her baby CIO so early and for so long. Postpartum could be playing a role. Since she just had a baby, you may want to approach subjects gently because she may be very emotional about things. Really, I think it depends on how close you are with her. You don't want to offend her, but I see some of your concerns. You sound like a very concerned SIL and that you love her and your nephew, and that's a good thing. I would just try to approach the subject carefully and if she doesn't want to hear it, there's nothing you can really do. Just be there for her and the baby.
Katie and Tyler: 04/13/2010
Isabelle Elaine: 10/07/2005
Lorelei Evelyn: 11/01/2009
Desmond Jensen: 03/23/2012
Juno Ezra: 10/31/2013
I wouldn't say anything because I'm sure she's exhausted and hormonal right now and may feel attacked. I would send her a care package with some nice things for her (bubblebath, lotion, chocolate, and anything to pamper the new mom). I would also include something nice for the baby along with some parenting books. If she doesn't have a general "what to do when" I would get her one but make sure it's very middle of the road and not anti-her parenting right now, basically I wouldn't give her Dr. Sears A really great book that could encourage her to continue with the sleep training but in a "better" way is Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. She does not do CIO but teaches other methods to get on a healthy schedule and assist LO's to fall asleep.
I know it's not easy but this way you can help guide her without being too obvious.
She also may be having a hard time with some postpartum depression. I would try to keep an eye on her, check in on occasion. She may be finding it hard to bond with the baby as well.
Rachael - you should check out the newest issue of Parents magazine. There is an article in there about several of the things you are talking about. You could mail her "your" copy, get her a subscription or just tear that article out and mail it to her.
I thought of you as I was reading it last night.
I know how most people don't like confrontation, but on the flip side, if something happened to baby, the guilt that you would feel would be overwhelming.
I like the idea of giving books, but highlight the parts with your concerns.
Or better yet, have a conversation with her immediate family (not sure how she is your SIL).
As for being hormonal it's all how you approach the conversation. Maybe having a heart to heart about the issues you've been having TTC and how much research you have done, will open up that door so there is no "How would you know - you don't have any kids statement"
I haven't had children, but have been in the TTC boat for a while. I have learnt so much from all of the research. My best friends just had a baby (well his Fiance did) he was telling me some issues they were having and I told him what I had researched. It helped ease his mind and gave him comfort. He really appreciated it (they are in a small town too - so simualr situation)
Who knows, maybe she feels overwhelmed by the lack of knowledge she has and lack of support (small town, no internet, ancient advice) and would really appreciate any advice she could get from you.
Food for thought... If it were me, I would say something, not to be a "knowitall" but out of love and concern for her and that baby.
Maybe you can talk to your MIL instead and see if she would talk to her, or just tell your MIL you are a little concerned that she seems overwhelmed and may need advice or help..
Mom of 3 beautiful babes!
1 mth 6mth, 11mth