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Thread: How do I respond?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    75

    Default How do I respond?

    I am getting some pushback from my family about how I am caring for my LO. She is nearly 10 weeks old and we still breastfeed a lot. She will often eat every 1-2 hours, sometimes more. I feed her when she seems hungry but also when she's fussy or tired. It almost always calms her. When we aren't nursing, I wear her in a sling or mei tai. There are times when I put her in a bouncy seat so I can shower or do a quick chore but I pick her up as soon as she fusses and I do whatever she needs to be happy. She is a high need baby so she likes to be held and walked and nursed a lot. My family has been ok until recently. My dad has started commenting in how often she eats. My mom tells me she needs to cry some so she can learn patience. My husband says she's getting spoiled. I'm congratulated when i let her sleep in her crib instead of in my arms. I think she's still a tiny baby and needs lots of love and attention. Am I off base? I love my family and respect their opinions, but if my actions aren't crazy then I need to know how to lovingly but firmly respond to their comments.
    mom to four energetic kids ages 6,7,8 and our newest arrival born 8/14/2012

  2. #2
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: How do I respond?

    Well your DH needs to be on board. But the rest of your family, you don't really need to even discuss it with do you? Just change the subject. If you debate the issue with them then they may think the subject is up for discussion. Like they have a case. And they should work to try to change your mind. If you won't discuss it then they know it's not up for discussion. If that makes sense.
    For your DH. Perhaps printing up some literature for him to read would help. A 10 week old IS a tiny baby. And you do need to respond to her needs.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,626

    Default Re: How do I respond?

    You're doing exactly what you should be doing. Responsive parenting is the best parenting, and a 10 week old baby is brand-new and needs her mommy's cuddles and milk. You can't "spoil" a baby!

    I would get your DH on board with your parenting style- maybe have him read some of the Sears & Sears Baby Book? Don't engage your parents on this until your DH is on board and unless you're ready for an argument.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: How do I respond?

    You definitely do NOT sound like you're off base!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    San Diego
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    Default Re: How do I respond?

    As for letting your child cry, there is substantial evidence that indicates that allowing a child to cry MAY result in an insecure attachment between baby and caretaker, and may result in higher levels of anxiety and aggression as the child ages. John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth are the biggest names in psychology regarding attachment theory. They did their research in the 50s and 60s, but their work has been retested time and time again. Just wants to throw this out there just in case you wanted to present them with some scientific research.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How do I respond?

    You have lots of options on how to respond, and how you prefer to respond will probably depends on your relationship to the person who is questioning your mothering choices and their relationship to the child.

    You could for example
    educate
    make a joke/change the subject
    thank them for their input and then, ignore.

    I think in this case education may be in order. Your parents concerns and perhaps your husbands are very likely based on outdated child care advice. In other words, they are likely based on real concern for your child, but simply misguided concern. Parents were once taught that children can be spoiled being held to much, that babies can only learn to sleep if left to cry, and it is a fact that formula fed babies CAN be fed too much, and this advice at times spilled over to breastfeeding mothers (often with disastrous results) . These ideas are no favor by most baby care experts-the spoiling one in particular has long been debunked-but these old ideas are still around and even promoted by people who make money ‘teaching’ scheduling and sleep ‘training’ and may well be what your parents were instructed to do when you were a baby.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    940

    Default Re: How do I respond?

    Sounds like you are doing a great job of looking after your baby. There is lots of research to back up the way you are parenting. Realize that the ideas that your family has are culturally dependent and they are just repeating advice that was given to them as new parents.

    My MIL is chinese and her expectation is that babies should be held all the time, fed often and in bed with their parents. She used to tell us off if we put DS down on the floor or let him cry for more than a few seconds!

    Your parents really do have their hearts in the right place but you are still the mom. Under circumstances like this, I have found the best thing is to refuse to discuss the issue. If you start discussing things with them, they will think your parenting style is up for debate. You could change the subject when it comes up, not answer at all, or perhaps tell them thanks for your concerns, but this is how you want to do things. This is your 4th child? Did you have any of these issues with your other children and how did you handle it then?

    It would probably help alot if you can get together with other moms that parent the way you do. You can find moms like you at your local LLL group or attachment parenting group.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How do I respond?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*monika.h View Post
    My MIL is chinese and her expectation is that babies should be held all the time, fed often and in bed with their parents. She used to tell us off if we put DS down on the floor or let him cry for more than a few seconds!
    Are you using this example as how awesome your MIL is? Or that it's radically culturally different? Because this sounds normal to me?

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
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    Dec 2008
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: How do I respond?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    Are you using this example as how awesome your MIL is? Or that it's radically culturally different? Because this sounds normal to me?
    I don't think she's any different than other chinese women her age. The younger generation is starting to pick up 'western ideas', but for my MIL's generation it is unheard of to have a baby sleep in a crib in a separate room. My in laws were quite shocked when they heard how different parenting can be different here in North America. My husband shared a bed with his grandmother until he was 14. For them 'attachment parenting' is the 'normal' way of parenting. They were surprised we have a fancy word for it here.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,626

    Default Re: How do I respond?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*monika.h View Post
    For them 'attachment parenting' is the 'normal' way of parenting. They were surprised we have a fancy word for it here.
    Same with my mom, and my grandma- as far as they are concerned "attachment parenting" is what they called "parenting".
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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