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Thread: Water!?!?

  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Water!?!?

    So I am pretty frustrated with my MIL. I am probably over reacting, but this is just another example of her overstepping the boundaries.
    She was babysitting tonight for just a few hours and I left her a 4 oz bottle of EBM. That should have been plenty. I have told her before that if my son is fussy in the evening it's because he's tired and wants to nurse, not because he's hungry. But once again, she insisted that he was starving when I returned. She said she looked in the diaper bag for "something else to give him"- which makes me angry because he gets nothing besides BM and I have told her that. So she said she gave him some water. I got really angry but I said as calmly as possible- please don't give him water.
    He's almost 5 months, so I know some babies get water by now and it won't hurt him, but we are not giving him anything besides BM until 6 months. And he spit up multiple times after I picked him up and he never spits up- so I am sure his tummy was full with water (I asked her how much she gave him and she just said a little bit- not sure what that is.) When I went to nurse him, he sucked a few times and spit up. She asked why I didn't want him to have water and I said I just didn't want anything besides BM filling him up. Besides the fact that he probably wasn't hungry to begin with and even if he was, I was returning shortly to nurse him.
    This is just one more example of her not respecting me. I went into lots of detail in a previous post about being frustrated with her, so I won't here, but I really feel like if she's going to babysit him, she needs to ask me before she gives him ANYTHING we didn't talk about. I really don't think she knew that it would upset me, but it makes me not want to leave him with her.
    So am I just being silly? Is giving him water that big of a deal?

  2. #2
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Water!?!?

    Uhhhg! Sounds like my MIL...she gave my LO sprite when she was 7 months old, after we had told her no, and while both hubby and I were in the bathroom. I came back and Ava was making a funny face and she told me it was becasue she had dripped some sprite into her mouth through a straw. Needless to say I was mad and MIL has never watched either kid alone

    As far as the water is concerned, I don't think it will hurt your LO.
    Mommy to
    Ava 9.24.08 self weaned at 2.5
    August 8.19.11 still nursing, trying to wean gently
    Abram 9.12.13

  3. #3
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Water!?!?

    Fwiw, our pediatrician who encouraged breastfeeding and hreastfed her own kids told me that a little water was okay if someone was watching our lo, ran out of bm, and was just tiding him over until i got home. I would want to know what else your mil tried to make your lo happy before giving him the water. If she had tried several ways of soothing him before deciding he needed "something else" then it wouldn't be a big deal for me. But with the spitting up, i don't think he was hungry.
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Water!?!?

    it's difficult dealing with in-laws. On the one hand she might have honestly been doing what she thought was best, offering water because that's the one thing she thought would work and not upset you, ya know? On the other hand, if you told her not to offer water than she shouldn't have.

    However, if she's there with a crying baby and her instinct was to sooth the baby in whatever way she could I think that's a good thing at the end of the day. She didn't offer formula. She didn't offer baby cereal or another solid.

    I can totally understand your frustration though. It's your baby and you should be the person making the decisions. If you say no water than your baby shouldn't have water It's a tough spot to be in because your MIL isn't going anywhere, ya know?

    I would suggest picking your battles. You and your MIL are likely going to butt heads a lot over the years so only arguing the things that are REALLY important to you may be a good habit to get into. If this is really important to you, by all means, sit down and discuss it with her. However if in the grand scheme of things it's not something you want to fight over than I would just drop it. Give her permission to use water and set limits. "If I'm out and you run out of bm you may give him 1 oz of water" or whatever. in-law drama is draining
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Water!?!?

    This is one area where it seems that people can have wildly differing ideas about what is appropriate. Some people think feeding a baby is no big deal. Breastmilk, formula, solids, water, soda- in their minds it's all about equal, and therefore it doesn't really matter what you give a baby. For other people- and I think breastfeeding moms and moms of kids with allergies are more solidly in this camp than most- feeding the baby an unauthorized substance is a huge violation of boundaries and trust.

    I think the best way to deal with this is to be absolutely clear about what you expect. Tell your MIL that his bottle(s) and solids (when you get to them) are in the diaper bag, and he doesn't need anything else. If she is unable to comfort the baby using the contents of the diaper bag, she needs to call you. Not to think outside the box and give baby water or Sprite or motor oil. It might also help to give her 2 bottles instead of 1. One big 2-3 oz bottle and one small 1-2 oz bottle. That way your MIL doesn't get flummoxed when baby finishes the bottle, and still seems fussy. Instead of thinking "Oh, he ate his bottle, he's fussy, therefore he must still be hungry" she thinks "Oh, he's fussy but he finished his bottle and got topped up from the second bottle, therefore he must be tired."
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Water!?!?

    I agree with MommaL. Try leaving more so that there's no other options needed. Leave twice as much as you believe will be needed. Since she's only baby sitting on occasion, giving her extra shouldn't be a problem.

    Babes that are typically breastfed may fuss at the end of a bottle because the ONLY need a bottle can fulfill is food. The breast offers so much more: comfort. While babes most often fall asleep at the breast, they may not at the end of a bottle. A new situation to both baby and bottle giver, it leaves them to assume that they're still hungry since the breast for comfort isn't an option.

    I also agree with "only give what we have in the diaper bag". That is crystal clear and leaves no room for interpretation. Again, leave more than you think is necessary so that foraging around the home for "something else" isn't required. I'd rather they got too much of what I'd prefer them to have than something of what I don't.

    For some reason, this seems to be a bigger problem with family than it does with hired baby sitters. Baby sitters follow directions, as that is what they're being paid to do - provide the service you've requested. Family seem to feel that they have more flexibility and "say" because they're related. So you either need to get them on board, or not leave your babes with them until they are older.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  7. #7

    Default Re: Water!?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*amysmom View Post
    I agree with MommaL. Try leaving more so that there's no other options needed. Leave twice as much as you believe will be needed. Since she's only baby sitting on occasion, giving her extra shouldn't be a problem.

    Babes that are typically breastfed may fuss at the end of a bottle because the ONLY need a bottle can fulfill is food. The breast offers so much more: comfort. While babes most often fall asleep at the breast, they may not at the end of a bottle. A new situation to both baby and bottle giver, it leaves them to assume that they're still hungry since the breast for comfort isn't an option.

    I also agree with "only give what we have in the diaper bag". That is crystal clear and leaves no room for interpretation. Again, leave more than you think is necessary so that foraging around the home for "something else" isn't required. I'd rather they got too much of what I'd prefer them to have than something of what I don't.

    For some reason, this seems to be a bigger problem with family than it does with hired baby sitters. Baby sitters follow directions, as that is what they're being paid to do - provide the service you've requested. Family seem to feel that they have more flexibility and "say" because they're related. So you either need to get them on board, or not leave your babes with them until they are older.




    IME, my friends that have no children follow directions way better than family. For me, family is like,"Well, I gave this to my children when they were babies, and they turned out fine, so..." .

    To the original poster, I've been there w/my family on the water issue too. Wait til' your LO gets teeth, then the pressure is on for solids IMMEDIATELY. Just stick to your guns. I know it can be difficult with family.
    ~Tiffany~

    Truly blessed by God
    Wife to Will
    First Time Mom to C 2/18/11
    Made it 6 Mos. EBF Now enjoying BLS
    My baby is a year old now!

  8. #8
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Water!?!?

    Thank you so much everyone for the tips and support! I talked with my husband since he was working when this happened and filled him in. He is usually very reluctant to say his mom did anything wrong, but in this case he was very upset. I think her negative comments are one thing- he's used to it- but the fact that she did something without asking us really made him feel disrespected. He is going to talk to her tonight about being more supportive and only giving him what we have brought. Hopefully this will help end some of the disagreements and hurt feelings we've had about breastfeeding. My MIL means well, but is pretty pro-formula/schedules/CIO. What I am doing is so different for her.
    I really like Mommal's idea of the multiple bottles. In fact that's what I do with my mom who watches him more regularly, but she has him for a longer period of time. I bring 6 or so oz and let her decide how to spread it out. (My mom is much more BF knowledgeable!) I guess I will need to do this for MIL even though she has him for such a short time.
    I am anticipating questions soon about why we haven't started solids yet, but hopefully my husbands talk with her will help settle some of that before it starts. I hope it goes well!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Water!?!?

    DD1 wasn't even 3 months old yet when MIL tried to give her mashed potatoes and gravy. There were many "situations" where MIL had me swinging from the rafters I was so angry. I tried to swallow my pride at our 4th anniversary and have MIL / SIL babysit both DD1 and DD2 (who was only 2.5 months old). At the last minute they tried to change the time, change where (i.e. not our home) and change who (only MIL and not both of them). Um, yeah. NOT!

    We've all dealt with it. When they proved themselves not able to gain / keep our trust over various issues, they took themselves off of the baby sitters list. They still haven't babysat for us. They probably won't for many years.

    I wanted you to know that you're not alone.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  10. #10
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Water!?!?

    Oh mama. How frustrating. Great advice has been given. I can understand where you're coming from on this matter. I constantly feel like my IL's are disrespecting me by not following my rules/directions when we allow them to watch our children (although they're a bit older now, and it seems to be getting better). One time in particular that stands out to me is from when my ds1 was about 2.5 months old. DH and I were going out for our anniversary brunch, and MIL and FIL begged to watch Liam for a couple hours, so we agreed. I told them to give him ONLY what was in the bag, which was a full bottle (probably about 6 or 8 oz of EBM), and when we got back they said he had the entire thing (which I believed), and he was still hungry (which I didn't believe, since I'd just fed him before dropping him off). How and why they thought this, I'll never know. Because he was the most pleasant baby, almost never cried,etc. Anyway, if I'm remembering correctly, they said they didn't give him anything else but, his onesie had an awful lot of something sticky on it. I didn't even ask because I would've most likely been livid with their answer, and decided it was better not to start a huge deal with them.... But I still get super angry thinking about it. Oh yeah, they also thought it was appropriate to give him a COOKIE for his first solid food at about 6 months old, when I left the room to go to the bathroom.
    So yeah, my point is that so many of us have been there. It isn't nice. Unfortunately, it's something that we just kind of have to deal with as it comes up.

    Mommy to L - May 7, 07' , B - February 7, 09' , and R - August 18, 12'

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