148 answers

Mom Not Ready for Baby to Have Sleep over at Grandma's

My mother-in-law is pushing me to allow my 4 1/2 month old to have a sleep over at her house. I work FT & I am nursing and really do not want to be away from my baby any more than I already am. My husband has made it known that he does not care if she keeps our baby so its my call - then he jokingly accuses me of being over protective. Our nephew (who is 6 months older than our son) stays all night with g'ma & g'pa almost every weekend & has since he was 2 months old. However, g'ma also let our nephew sleep in her bed with her all night - which I totally do not agree with. I need advice on how to deal with this. Am I being too overbearing? When will I know that I am ready for this next step? Please advise!

4 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the responses! I never imagined to receive that much feedback but it was GREAT! After reading all the advice I talked to my husband. I told him that I had joined Mamasource & what it was about AND that I submitted a question that I was struggling with - the overnight issue. He asked what type of advice I got & I showed him several responses. Then I told him I was not ready & did not know when I would be BUT it would not be until I am done nursing (unless of course we have something come up where we have to be away overnight). My in-laws & my parents have babysat for us many times already so we can go to dinner or on days when my son has been home sick, so they get alone time with him. You are all right - I need to set my boundaries now & stick to my gut. Thank you all again!

Featured Answers

I know I am late, but I'll just make it to the 100:)Gosh, I wish we had grandparents that would offer.What a gift.

1 mom found this helpful

I was in the same boat. My son didn't stay over at his grandparents until he was 7 months old and that was only because I am pregnant again and needed a full nights sleep! When you do you need to explain to her what you want to happen and if that doesn't happen then you shouldn't let him spend the night. She needs to respect you. Also they aren't going to do everything the same way as you... it will annoy you but you are the mom and sometimes moms are the only people who do things right!!! ;)

Hi M.
I agree with some of the other mom's. I did not let my son spend the night at my in0laws until he was almost 2. MThe funny thing was that my mother in law kept his first year of life. He did not spend the night at my mom's until he was almost 3. The thing know is he will not stay anywhere now He is 5 so do it when you feel ready. If you do it to soon you will not be able to relax. So he might as well be home with you.

More Answers

i know you have worked it out but for a topic that gets this much attention, i need to join:)
my daughter is 4 1/2 months and nurses as well. first of all, you nurse. i cant imagine not being there for her to go to sleep, if she wakes at night, or in the morning to nurse her. for you to work full time, i assume you pump or supplement, but if your baby is away from you for that long, its going to be very uncomfortable for you phsically. also, since you do not nurse exclusively, you wouldnt want to confuse your baby or your body and jeopardize your milk supply.
what is up with grandma needing the baby to SLEEP there. its not like the baby is going to have some rememberance of a special night over at grandmas baking cookies or something- hes 4 months old. you already allow them to babysit him, so he has plenty of time to bond. i just dont get the need to SLEEP over. as for the bed, we personally have our daughter sleep with us in a cosleeper, however i would never feel comfortable with her sleeping in the bed with others, god forbid something happen.
i dont know if your husband or your mil understands this, but its normal for a baby to want his MOTHER at night. my mil will be holding the baby, and she starts to cry, so she asks if shes hungry or something. i know she isnt, its just sometimes she wants mommy. i take her and she immediately stops crying. its not saying she doesnt enjoy being with grandma, but babies know their mommy. i cant imagine if she woke up upset and i wasnt there to comfort her. why on earth should you put your feelings and your sons comfort aside to please someone else? and as it is with working full time, cant she understand that between work and sleep, you dont get alot of special time yourself?
ok, now i hope you read this because its the most important advice i can tell you. stand your ground because this is all a test even if its not intentional. after we had our baby, there were issues about not watching the baby(we didnt have anyone babysit till 9 months old so your mil should feel lucky), about stopping over all times to see baby unannounced, about demanding us to be in uncomfortable situations to please them. my husband and i would discuss something and make a decision, and if she didnt like it, as soon as i left the room she would try to change my husbands mind or make him feel bad, but not in a mean way. it took years for my husband to understand he needs to be the one to tell her anything. she still thinks its all me, but at least she gives less resistance since he is the one delivering the message. make sure your husband is behind you, and is the one telling her no. even if he doesnt agree with you, in front of his mom, he should be on your side and you can discuss it later when she is gone. having a baby changes everyone's dynamics and right now she is testing the waters to see how deep she can get.
secondly, my sil lives differently than we do and depends on her parents a great deal. they watch the children all the time. since they were her first grandchildren, my mil bases them as what she thinks it shoudl be like. i believe you are in the same boat. she has the experience with your nephew so she is trying to get the same from you. honestly, i wonder why she watches the other grandchild that much. please advise your husband that situation is not the norm, as he also may be basing what a grandmother does on what he sees from the nephew. she is trying to replicate her relationship with your son. my mil did that for a long time, but we stood our ground. and the result, when around my sil and her kids, the kids will go to grandma to ask for something, even after mom said no. and grandma is always giving her opinion on how my sil should be handling something, its a complete power struggle. this leaves the children confused on who is really the boss. when im with my mil, my daughter comes to ME to ask for cookies. thats the way it should be. she raised her kids, now its my turn.
whatever you do now, is starting groundwork for your future. your mil is unintentionally testing the waters to find out what type of mother you are going to be, and how influencial she can be to you. just get your husband behind you, make decisions, and stick with them. the first year was a little tough getting my mil and us all on the same page. just remember, you are the mama, your baby wants to be with YOU more than anyone else. thats a wonderful thing, and we should enjoy that as it wont last that long. and never ever compare yourself or your child with your nephew. you have 2 different sets of parents, and each of you will decide on things for your sons. you dont have to do anything just because they do.
you ask when you will know you are ready, it will be when you dont have any hesistation and actually think its a great idea, arent nursing, and think your child is ready. good luck, tell your hubby how we all are behind you and he better be too!

4 moms found this helpful

I like alot of these just saw this today, but have to respond. #1 this is YOUR baby, your rules. Grandma will just have to accept it. I'm a grandma of one 3 year old. I had three babies, nursed them all, no way would I send them off if I or they weren't ready. As they grew, only one of the three ever stayed away from home at my parents or anyone elses houses. You'll know when its time. I do have my grandson every weekend. My daughter works nights, and I love having him. It works for us, all of us. I love having him. If when my sons have children, they know I"m here to watch their children whenever they want me to, I would never consider pushing myself on them though, that wouldn't make for a good relationship. So stick to your guns. You'll know when you're ready, and if you never are, thats your right as a mother. I can honestly say, there is no way on this planet, my MIL would ever have been alowed to watch any of my kids, at any age. You know whats best, stick with it. Good luck:)Sue

3 moms found this helpful

I have dealt with this with my mother-in-law. (except she respected the nursing bond) I stood my ground and my daughter didn't spend the night with her until I was ready. And that was when she was 3 years old, I had a newborn, and my husband was out of town on business. Then I was ready!
It's fine that your husband says it's your decision. But HE needs to be the one to lay down the law (if necessary) with his mother. Dr. Phil says each spouse should deal with their own parents when there are issues. I think that's great advice and we follow it.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

As difficult as it may seem, it shouldn't be. I have a 2-1/2 year old and rarely spend the night with either set of grandparents. At first I felt the same way. I nursed until she was 11 months old and I really enjoyed bonding with her. I also work from home so she was with me all day and night. I had a difficult time with separation anxiety...me leaving her. I guess every mother feels that way. The first time I left her with my MIL, she was 3-1/2 months old and it was a terrifying experience for me because I simply wasn't ready, but the next morning, I felt relieved. She was well cared for and I really didn't have much to worry about. On the flip side, I felt bad, because my father commented on how I haven't left her with them. If you know you can trust your parents as well as his, allow them to have an overnighter on occasion with them. It also gives you a little break.
As I mentioned, she rarely spends the night now, with either set of grandparents, because my mother has been battling cancer for 4-1/2 years and has had surgery this year and still recovering. My elderly Father-in-law had a major surgery last January '07 and has been in the hospital ever since, with one complication after another. I wish that my mother can take her more often and the same with my Mother-in-Law who has been spending all her days at the hospital. I know every person's situation is differant, but its nice to know that your child will be safe with your own parents and In-laws. It's less frightening than to leave them with other family members or friends.
I agree that you are the parent and you are not ready. You'll know when,...but in the mean time, consider giving yourself a little break at the same time. It may help you see things in another perspective.
Best of luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful

You've got the perfect excuse! You're nursing. Remind her that with you working, you need all the time you have to let her breastfeed so it doesn't hurt your milk supply, which there is truth to.

I would agree with you, 4 months is a bit young for a night away. My daughter was 9 months before I even left her with my parents for 2 hours.

2 moms found this helpful

If you aren't ready then you aren't ready. My sons are (almost)3 and 9 months and the 9 month old hasn't even been to my in-laws house. My older son has only been there like 3 times and NEVER alone. I trust them enough, but they have dogs (one who has bitten) and aren't very considerate about them. So, if they want to see their grandsons, they come to our house or we meet for lunch/dinner. (Note: we have dogs, too and so does my mom)

My older son spent the night with my mom when he was about 6 months - maybe younger. We went away to Vegas for a long weekend when he was 8 months or so and he stayed with my mom.

It's all about what YOU are comfortable with. I don't know the relationship with your in-laws and how you feel about their relationship with your child. I've made my feelings clear with my husband and he is supportive of what I feel. If it came down to it, I would stand my ground alone. I'm their Mom and I'm not going to go against my "gut" feelings.

Serioulsy, you are not being over-protective. You are a first time Mom to a 4 1/2 month old that is still nursing. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to have him/her away from you over night.


2 moms found this helpful

Dear M.,
This response is more a response to all the other answers you had. One thing we young mothers should never forget is, that most likely these older parents (because that's what they probably feel like) have gone through it and want to help. If you don't need that help right then, tell them, but it is nice to know that someone is out there to help in an instant.
I had a special experience when I was expecting my first child. Because of insurance reasons I had to move back to my home country after the eight month and come back when my son was only one moth old. That meant two 13-hour transatalantic flights, one being pregnant, one with a one month old baby. My mother-in-law came to pick me up, and my husband came for two months and we all flew back to the US together.
I know one thing, she was an enormous help to me. Her exerience help quiet my nerves that everything will turn out as planed. Baby coming on due date and no complications...
I lived at her house and would have trusted her to take good care of my son, which she did. I don't even remember when exactely my children first slept over at her house. It was no dramatic experience, just something we all were ready for.
With my sister-in-law she did much more and her children sleep at her house often. Her first son was very complicated. If my mother-in-law would not have taken him regualrly her and her husbands sleep and life would have been unbearable.I spent one summer there and that child was unbelievable, even able to push my mother-in-law to her limit. Definitely good that more than just two people were able to handle him.
I wish you good luck and don't forget whatever they over has to be helpful to you and/or to the child.
I have two children: 12 and 10 years old. I am a stay-at-home mom, living away from my extended family and sleep-overs later with friends saved my husband and me from never going out with each other,

1 mom found this helpful

4 1/2 months is very young and if you are breastfeeding then I don't see how it works at all. I don't really see why a child needs to sleep over at all until they actually want to themselves. I would talk to your husband and say that as you work full time, you really want to spend time with the baby and that you would appreciate some more support from him. What other people do is their business but you are nursing your baby and want to have the baby at home at the moment.

1 mom found this helpful

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