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omishev

setting boundaries with sister's newborn

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11 hours ago, omishev said:

Sorry if the title doesn't make sense, I didn't want it to be too lengthy.  My sister has never made a blanket statement that DD can't hold the baby. In the hospital it was "when we get home" and once they got home (actually our house, we have not gone to their house) there have been a variety of vague "not right now..." answers so she leaves the door open for hope. I don't think DD has even asked more than once per visit to hold her. We are not going to their house or even asking her to come over, she just comes to my house like she always has. Maybe I just need to ask my sister point blank what her plan is. Does the baby need to be a certain age? Or once the baby is allowed to stay awake for for more than 2 min between feeding and naptime? I would rather have a straight answer so there isn't this cycle of hope and disappointment. I don't even tell DD when my sister is coming over or make any indication that she will be allowed to touch/hold her. 

Let me reiterate that we are not waking the baby up. It does not wake up a NB to touch her. Well, I shouldn't speak for all babies.... it does not wake up THIS NB to touch her. The adults touch her plenty. 

So that (the bolded) makes me think you sister doesn't have an idea yet of when she will feel comfortable having your daughter hold the baby; all she knows is - it's not now.  So I don't know if you asked her what her plan is, if she could even answer.  And I don't know, but I think when my baby was 3 weeks old if someone had asked me what the plan was for their child to hold him, I'd have felt angry or at least frustrated. Like, why do I need to figure out now at what point I'll let your kid hold my baby?  Even beloved family members. 

I think I would tell the 6-year-old that her aunt is still getting used to the baby and doesn't know yet when she'll feel comfortable letting her hold him. (I think I read that the baby is a boy?) And then sometime when you are alone with your sister (or at least your kids are not around) tell her how excited your daughter still is about the baby, and that whenever she (your sister) is ready to let her (your daughter) hold him, she will be very excited.  In the  meantime, I agree with the suggestion to give the 6-year-old some tasks related to baby care that can keep her involved without having her actually holding the baby.

Edited by marbel
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I didn't let anybody hold my first-born.  Probably not for 3 months.   I was just (insanely, jealously) protective of him.  That eventually wore off and I've been much better with the other kids- better at suppressing my desire to rip my baby out of other people's arms, not actually better at not feeling that way.  

I suggest you prepare dd by managing her expectations before sis arrives.  It is irrelevant whether or not she can safely hold a baby.  

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Just to support OP, it is normal in my family culture for cousins to hold newborns as well. As soon as the cousins met my younger, at 24 hours old, they got to hold her. But - with no prompting on my part my sister had them wash hands, put on a clean shirt, and sit on the couch cross legged (large couch) with a pillow on their lap to lay the baby on. So really, the baby was laying on a pillow, not their arms. And then an adult (my mom or sister, forget who), was RIGHT THERE to make sure the baby was okay. 

They only held her for maybe 15 seconds each, but they were so excited, and it was adorable. 

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OP, I think talking with your sister directly is a good idea--let her know how excited your dd was, how disappointed she is when rejected, and ask when and under what circumstances your sister might be okay with her touching and/or holding the baby. Let her know you will respect her rules, you would just like to be able to help your dd know what to expect and what the rules are so she will not keep facing disappointment.

I don't think it is at all surprising that she is not as chill as you anticipated--it is 100% normal for a new mom to be protective of her baby. I had always considered myself to be a laid back non-worrier--and then I had kids and everything changed. She is feeling protective of her baby just as you are feeling protective of your 6 year old--except hers is amplified by post birth hormones. That protectiveness isn't entirely rational and can take some extreme forms at times, but it is a normal thing for a mom to experience.

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Kindly saying:  Your sis won't be comfortable until your dd can either follow instructions or pick up on nonverbal cues.   Until then, she will be seen as too impulsive and not possessing the skill of respecting other people's needs.  

Sis wants baby not overstimulated at this age, since she knows the nervous system is still developing.  People need to respect that. Sometimes they forget that newborns hear very well - I had people in my extended family tell me they didnt, when any observation showed they were responding to sounds like car door in the driveway.  The young cousins who had never been taught an indoor voice or a gentle touch were too much, even without the poking, as were the hearing impaired seniors... the young babies would go into sensory overload from all the jarring sensations.  One of mine even rolled over several months before the expected early range of rolling over because he was desperate to get away from the approaching banshee aunt, as he heard her as she was walking up the sidewalk yakking (I rescued him; we had already realized Auntie doesn't understand nonverbal body cues nor can she modulate her touch or voice).  Her philosophy was just let the baby scream it out, he'll get used to me.  That's not how it works with babies who aren't at a certain point neurologically, and it certainly does not work for feeding. It drove auntie insane that she couldn't hold the babies, while her dh could - he's the type babies accept and instantly fall asleep on the shoulder.  He understood babies. Auntie was unable to learn from him.  One of mine agreed only to be picked up by calm men and mom and even at 3 was stressed by a sitter who would roil the atmosphere emotionally.  You've only had four visits. I'd advise chill, keep a calm atmosphere, let mom & baby continue to bond, and when she and baby are ready, mom will invite your dd. Nothing wrong with waiting for an invite.

 

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58 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

Kindly saying:  Your sis won't be comfortable until your dd can either follow instructions or pick up on nonverbal cues.   Until then, she will be seen as too impulsive and not possessing the skill of respecting other people's needs.  

Sis wants baby not overstimulated at this age, since she knows the nervous system is still developing.  People need to respect that. Sometimes they forget that newborns hear very well - I had people in my extended family tell me they didnt, when any observation showed they were responding to sounds like car door in the driveway.  The young cousins who had never been taught an indoor voice or a gentle touch were too much, even without the poking, as were the hearing impaired seniors... the young babies would go into sensory overload from all the jarring sensations.  One of mine even rolled over several months before the expected early range of rolling over because he was desperate to get away from the approaching banshee aunt, as he heard her as she was walking up the sidewalk yakking (I rescued him; we had already realized Auntie doesn't understand nonverbal body cues nor can she modulate her touch or voice).  Her philosophy was just let the baby scream it out, he'll get used to me.  That's not how it works with babies who aren't at a certain point neurologically, and it certainly does not work for feeding. It drove auntie insane that she couldn't hold the babies, while her dh could - he's the type babies accept and instantly fall asleep on the shoulder.  He understood babies. Auntie was unable to learn from him.  One of mine agreed only to be picked up by calm men and mom and even at 3 was stressed by a sitter who would roil the atmosphere emotionally.  You've only had four visits. I'd advise chill, keep a calm atmosphere, let mom & baby continue to bond, and when she and baby are ready, mom will invite your dd. Nothing wrong with waiting for an invite.

 

this.   dudeling was hooked up to monitors - absolutely NO outward sign he heard or was reacting to auditory stimuli - but every single time, his heart rate and breathing went nuts and set off his alarms.  they weren't just "slightly raised" - they were VERY raised!  every. single. time.

Edited by gardenmom5
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I am a baby fanatic. I want to hold all the babies.  It’s my job to read and respect moms’ cues though, regardless of what I think about them. 

Im not a fan of small kids holding newborns. My own kids all got their photo ops with their new siblings, but that was about it. Even with my biggest age spans, I preferred waiting until the babies were sturdier. (And they still had their share of minor accidents.) I still get nervous seeing my teens carry babies. It’s not like replacing a friend’s phone if you break it!

There is nothing bad about not wanting little kids to hold babies, but I’m sure it’s way awkward for a mom who knows the other party will be offended by that. Don’t keep putting her in the position of trying to protect your feelings. She’s got enough to deal with. 

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3 hours ago, Tibbie Dunbar said:

 

I thought we were talking about newborn infants who can't do that yet.

 

No, we made a little side trip to church with an older barefoot baby. 

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On 8/4/2018 at 10:09 AM, Paige said:

The baby is 3 weeks old, so your sister is still probably all hormonally wrecked even if it was the most perfect birth ever. I'd try to give her some grace and just go along with whatever she wants. If she's still acting like this when the baby is 6months old, then maybe it'd be worth saying something, but right now I'd let it go. 

You might want to ask your sister if she wants some space for a while because it seems like your kids are stressing her out. 

I agree 100 % w/ Paige. Three weeks is young -- my twins weren't entirely "awake" really until four weeks. Was the baby a preemie? Sorry if you've already said.

Alley

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2 hours ago, katilac said:

 

No, we made a little side trip to church with an older barefoot baby. 

 

I was responding to someone else's posts...there's suddenly a lot about baby feet in this thread. LOL

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I am one who did not have kids holding my babies.  I wasn't comfortable with it, really didn't see a reason I needed to be.  I might do a photo with the little one sitting on the couch with support holding the baby, but that would be my limit.

I am sorry you and your dd are disappointed, and I completely understand her desire.  I would have wanted to hold the baby at her age, too!  But I think unless and until your sister wants it to happen, it should be off the table.  I would tell mine "I know baby is cute and you'd like to hold him, but Auntie prefers only adults hold him so we aren't going to pester her.  Maybe one day when he is older she will be more comfortable with it."

And honestly if my sister had nudged me because I wouldn't let her 6 year old hold my baby, I would have been a hormonal crankpot, but your sister may be of a gentler nature!

As far as keeping the kids silent whenever baby is around, that's her issue.  Kids are going to make noise.  I would certainly expect them not to yell and startle the baby, but if she wants complete silence, she can't have the baby around other kids.  

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9 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I am with your sister. I never ever let other people's kids hold any of my new tiny babies. AND I didn't let most adults hold them either. I would not be happy with a 6 year old touching the head etc. the baby is NOT A DOLL.

 For my own kids to hold a younger sibling when they were 3 weeks old they would have had to go scrub their hands and be seated while the infant was carefully placed in their lap, with guidance on positioning of their hands to hold the baby. THEY ARE NOT DOLLS

 

Again, this is not a random child or adult, this is a close relative who the mom has been around at least weekly apparently for many years.  There's nothing wrong with putting parameters on it like you describe.  But a 6 year old very close cousin touching a baby's head is not a horrible thing or treating a baby like a doll.

Sorry, I agree with OP.  You (and the auntie) have every right to that behavior, but no, I don't think it's either normal or healthy in the family situation described (close family who know each other well, are around each other often, neurotypical 6 year old, etc.)

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Right it's not that they think it is a doll, it's that they love their new cousin and want to be affectionate. 

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I know the OP doesn’t enjoy dealing with a disappointed 6-year-old, but cutting a new mom from regular family functions because of it seems harsh. At three weeks, she’s exhausted and wants the baby to stay asleep when it’s sleeping. She deserves to have her parenting supported by her family. A kindergartener has no claim to jostle someone’s newborn even if it visits her home. Even if the child is calm with the baby, the situation puts the new mother on edge for some reason and now is not the time to stress her out. Dd’ll get over the disappointment and eventually the new mom will be grateful that the child wants to hang out with her baby. ‘Setting boundaries’ while your sister is post partem with her first child is a BAD idea. The 6-year-old’s behavior issues are not hers to solve OR worth damaging your relationship with your sister. 

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8 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

I know the OP doesn’t enjoy dealing with a disappointed 6-year-old, but cutting a new mom from regular family functions because of it seems harsh. At three weeks, she’s exhausted and wants the baby to stay asleep when it’s sleeping. She deserves to have her parenting supported by her family. A kindergartener has no claim to jostle someone’s newborn even if it visits her home. Even if the child is calm with the baby, the situation puts the new mother on edge for some reason and now is not the time to stress her out. Dd’ll get over the disappointment and eventually the new mom will be grateful that the child wants to hang out with her baby. ‘Setting boundaries’ while your sister is post partem with her first child is a BAD idea. The 6-year-old’s behavior issues are not hers to solve OR worth damaging your relationship with your sister. 

 

If she's that frazzled she really needs to be at HER home with family coming to visit HER, not baby. It's a heck of a lot more work to leave the home with baby to seek assistance and support than to allow the help to come to you.

Edited by Sneezyone
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9 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

 

If she's that frazzled she really needs to be at HER home with family coming to visit HER, not baby. It's a heck of a lot more work to leave the home with baby to seek assistance and support than to allow the help to come to you.

If it’s their family culture to have weekly dinners, it’s a LOT less work to attend at your sister’s house than it is to host at your own. It probably gives her a chance to just hold her baby and talk to her family without worrying about what needs to be done at her house. It might really sting if the price of admission is letting small children hold your newborn as much as they want. 

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5 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

If it’s their family culture to have weekly dinners, it’s a LOT less work to attend at your sister’s house than it is to host at your own. It probably gives her a chance to just hold her baby and talk to her family without worrying about what needs to be done at her house. It might really sting if the price of admission is letting small children hold your newborn as much as they want. 

 

Who said anything about hosting? My family gets together a lot and no one expects a new mom to host. The price of admission is being comfortable around others and the normal noise of family gatherings. She's not. You don't even have to get to the cousin holding issue; she wants silence.

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Thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments! The subject actually came up today in church. They sat with us (their choice) as usual. DD ended up sitting between my sister and I. My brother-in-law was holding the baby, thankfully. My sister spent the first half of the service scolding DD for moving around and making noise (there is no children's church for her age in the summer), and she really wasn't that bad but I was on it if she was. Finally when my sister got on her case for chewing too loudly (she was eating raisins!!!) I snapped at her. This is very out of character for me. I have a cold and have my period and spent the whole morning cleaning and cooking (because my in-laws were coming over) despite feeling lousy. So... I snapped at her, "This is my child, I will deal with it. You have been on her case non-stop." We sat is silence for the rest of service but afterwards I apologized for snapping at her and she apologized for scolding DD so much her whole life. Then we each explained why we were in bad moods today (not that she needs an excuse!!) and proceeded to have a normal discussion. I feel terrible for being so snippy with her when I should be giving her grace right now but maybe it was for the best. I will follow up with her and apologize for DD being a pest and try to figure out a plan moving forward.  

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Maybe the OP could drop a freezer meal at her house for a few weeks and to let her know when she's feeling up to a family visit.

With my babies, letting the cousin hold the baby meant asking them to wash their hands, sitting right next them on the couch, putting down a boppy pillow, setting baby on the boppy with a hand on the baby, having big cousin look overjoyed for about 30-60 seconds.  And then say they were done. 

I really think new moms can set whatever boundaries they want.  But parenting a 2, 4, and 6 year old isn't without stress either.  If these visits are stressful for the OP she has the right to boundaries too if her kids can't just be normal kids whenever baby is in range without even getting into baby holding territory.   The OP doesn't get to decide who's going to hold her sister's baby. But the sister doesn't get to dictate how the OP's kids can act in their own home.  

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3 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

 

Who said anything about hosting? My family gets together a lot and no one expects a new mom to host. The price of admission is being comfortable around others and the normal noise of family gatherings. She's not. You don't even have to get to the cousin holding issue; she wants silence.

I agree with you on the silence. She definitely loses that battle. A house with extended family is just noisy. Unless “silence” means “please don’t yell 3 inches from my baby’s ears” she gets no sympathy on that one. 

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2 minutes ago, omishev said:

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments! The subject actually came up today in church. They sat with us (their choice) as usual. DD ended up sitting between my sister and I. My brother-in-law was holding the baby, thankfully. My sister spent the first half of the service scolding DD for moving around and making noise (there is no children's church for her age in the summer), and she really wasn't that bad but I was on it if she was. Finally when my sister got on her case for chewing too loudly (she was eating raisins!!!) I snapped at her. This is very out of character for me. I have a cold and have my period and spent the whole morning cleaning and cooking (because my in-laws were coming over) despite feeling lousy. So... I snapped at her, "This is my child, I will deal with it. You have been on her case non-stop." We sat is silence for the rest of service but afterwards I apologized for snapping at her and she apologized for scolding DD so much her whole life. Then we each explained why we were in bad moods today (not that she needs an excuse!!) and proceeded to have a normal discussion. I feel terrible for being so snippy with her when I should be giving her grace right now but maybe it was for the best. I will follow up with her and apologize for DD being a pest and try to figure out a plan moving forward.  

Oh I think you were totally fine!  Berating a kid for chewing raisins and basically just being a kid is over a line.  LOL.  She sounds like she is a bit touchy and it's perfectly acceptable if you have boundaries too.  It sounds like you have a healthy relationship!  Glad you can communicate.

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41 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

The 6-year-old’s behavior issues are not hers to solve OR worth damaging your relationship with your sister. 

The 6 year old does NOT have behavior issues. She is a little girl who wants to love her new cousin. I can't believe the snarkiness of some of the people toward a small child who simply wants to hold her baby cousin.

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7 minutes ago, omishev said:

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments! The subject actually came up today in church. They sat with us (their choice) as usual. DD ended up sitting between my sister and I. My brother-in-law was holding the baby, thankfully. My sister spent the first half of the service scolding DD for moving around and making noise (there is no children's church for her age in the summer), and she really wasn't that bad but I was on it if she was. Finally when my sister got on her case for chewing too loudly (she was eating raisins!!!) I snapped at her. This is very out of character for me. I have a cold and have my period and spent the whole morning cleaning and cooking (because my in-laws were coming over) despite feeling lousy. So... I snapped at her, "This is my child, I will deal with it. You have been on her case non-stop." We sat is silence for the rest of service but afterwards I apologized for snapping at her and she apologized for scolding DD so much her whole life. Then we each explained why we were in bad moods today (not that she needs an excuse!!) and proceeded to have a normal discussion. I feel terrible for being so snippy with her when I should be giving her grace right now but maybe it was for the best. I will follow up with her and apologize for DD being a pest and try to figure out a plan moving forward.  

You really don't owe her an apology. You do, however, need to stand up for your DD. Your sister isn't being loving toward her at all. 

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6 minutes ago, omishev said:

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments! The subject actually came up today in church. They sat with us (their choice) as usual. DD ended up sitting between my sister and I. My brother-in-law was holding the baby, thankfully. My sister spent the first half of the service scolding DD for moving around and making noise (there is no children's church for her age in the summer), and she really wasn't that bad but I was on it if she was. Finally when my sister got on her case for chewing too loudly (she was eating raisins!!!) I snapped at her. This is very out of character for me. I have a cold and have my period and spent the whole morning cleaning and cooking (because my in-laws were coming over) despite feeling lousy. So... I snapped at her, "This is my child, I will deal with it. You have been on her case non-stop." We sat is silence for the rest of service but afterwards I apologized for snapping at her and she apologized for scolding DD so much her whole life. Then we each explained why we were in bad moods today (not that she needs an excuse!!) and proceeded to have a normal discussion. I feel terrible for being so snippy with her when I should be giving her grace right now but maybe it was for the best. I will follow up with her and apologize for DD being a pest and try to figure out a plan moving forward.  

You and your sister both sound very very sweet.  I know it’s HARD now, but I’m about five minutes those kids will all be teenagers and ignoring you both. You’ll still have each other to talk to. ? 

My sister and I are in that phase now. It’s like the roles have reversed and we’re begging our kids to pay attention to us. Sisters can be a real blessing. 

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It really does sound like she needs a quiet space, a good book, and regular deliveries of hot tea and food. Maybe she's feeling pressured to keep up normal routines and needs permission to hibernate.

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13 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

The 6 year old does NOT have behavior issues. She is a little girl who wants to love her new cousin. I can't believe the snarkiness of some of the people toward a small child who simply wants to hold her baby cousin.

I don't really get some of the tone in this thread about  OPs kids either.  I haven't seen any indication that these kids aren't being anything but normal sweet kids.  All kids are precious and should have loving, age appropriate expectations.  And not to be treated like annoyances just because there is now a new baby cousin in town.  

I actually think it's super healthy the OP laid down the law a bit on nagging the 6 year old for basically existing.  

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9 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

The 6 year old does NOT have behavior issues. She is a little girl who wants to love her new cousin. I can't believe the snarkiness of some of the people toward a small child who simply wants to hold her baby cousin.

Of course she does. She’s 6! She’s not nearly fully formed in the manners, empathy, or impulse control departments. I didn’t say she was exhibiting abnormal behavior for her age. When you’re six you want what you want when you want it. We can’t just hand them everything to avoid them being sad or learning to cope; especially not newborn babies. 

I feel for her. She actually sounds very sweet. I absolutely understand the mother’s impulse to just want the aunt to give her the baby more. However, since this isn’t a JAWM thread I offered an objective opinion. This doesn’t mean that I don’t adore 6-year-olds or that I’m being snarky. 

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The best line is the one where the 6 year old can't hold the baby until.she learns to read nonverbal cues.

Hee hee hee! Ha ha ha! Ho ho ho!

/Count Olaf

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34 minutes ago, omishev said:

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments! The subject actually came up today in church. They sat with us (their choice) as usual. DD ended up sitting between my sister and I. My brother-in-law was holding the baby, thankfully. My sister spent the first half of the service scolding DD for moving around and making noise (there is no children's church for her age in the summer), and she really wasn't that bad but I was on it if she was. Finally when my sister got on her case for chewing too loudly (she was eating raisins!!!) I snapped at her. This is very out of character for me. I have a cold and have my period and spent the whole morning cleaning and cooking (because my in-laws were coming over) despite feeling lousy. So... I snapped at her, "This is my child, I will deal with it. You have been on her case non-stop." We sat is silence for the rest of service but afterwards I apologized for snapping at her and she apologized for scolding DD so much her whole life. Then we each explained why we were in bad moods today (not that she needs an excuse!!) and proceeded to have a normal discussion. I feel terrible for being so snippy with her when I should be giving her grace right now but maybe it was for the best. I will follow up with her and apologize for DD being a pest and try to figure out a plan moving forward.  

Your sister scolded your daughter in church while you were sitting right next to her?  For moving around and eating, like a normal kid who isn't used to sitting in church?  Just guessing, obviously, but I wonder if your sister is totally overwhelmed with the new baby and is struggling more than you think.  Is she home alone with the baby all day already or does her husband have some time off work?  (You don't have to answer that, of course.)

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59 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

It really does sound like she needs a quiet space, a good book, and regular deliveries of hot tea and food. Maybe she's feeling pressured to keep up normal routines and needs permission to hibernate.

 

28 minutes ago, marbel said:

Your sister scolded your daughter in church while you were sitting right next to her?  For moving around and eating, like a normal kid who isn't used to sitting in church?  Just guessing, obviously, but I wonder if your sister is totally overwhelmed with the new baby and is struggling more than you think.  Is she home alone with the baby all day already or does her husband have some time off work?  (You don't have to answer that, of course.)

 

Both of these. Honestly, this screams to me that your sister is overwhelmed, trying WAY to hard to get everything perfect for the baby, and is possibly dealing with some post partum depression or anxiety. Time to figure out how you can help her. And reassure her over and over she's doing fine, and the baby doesn't need her to be perfect. That there is no such thing as perfect. 

Could the schedule that worked so well for you be not working for her, and she feels you will judge her on that? Like, she's trying so hard to stick to this perfect schedule because that's what she thinks you did? 

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1 hour ago, omishev said:

she apologized for scolding DD so much her whole life. 

This is about more than whether or not your child can hold the newborn baby. It seems that overall, parenting boundaries in the family may need a serious reset. If she's been scolding your DD for her entire life, then you need to establish the boundary that doing this is not acceptable, you will correct your daughter if and when you see fit. Everyone will breathe much easier in the long run if everyone is responsible for their own "stuff" and it will free the cousins up to be cousins, the sisters up to be sisters, etc.. I highly recommend the book Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend - it's a great resource.

ETA: I'm glad you told your sister to knock it off today in church. That's what needs to be said. Hopefully the two of you will work together on this. I'm sure she doesn't want you to mother her children any more than you want to mother hers.

Edited by TechWife
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1 hour ago, hippiemamato3 said:

The 6 year old does NOT have behavior issues. She is a little girl who wants to love her new cousin. I can't believe the snarkiness of some of the people toward a small child who simply wants to hold her baby cousin.

Yeah, me neither. Some of the things said here about the poor 6 yo have really surprised me. Um, she's 6 and asked one time each visit and was visibly disappointed and touched his feet once and had the audacity to wiggle and chew her raisins during church. Good lord, that's not a behavior problem. 

I think it's just a case of a lot of very small level misunderstandings on both sides. And hopefully it'll all get worked out over time. The 6 yo in question sounds lovely. The sister in question sounds like a normal, tired, unsure new mom who will be fine as she finds her footing. The OP sounds very understanding of both of them and only made very minor missteps of the kind we all make. No one really needs to be scolded.

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1 hour ago, omishev said:

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments! The subject actually came up today in church. They sat with us (their choice) as usual. DD ended up sitting between my sister and I. My brother-in-law was holding the baby, thankfully. My sister spent the first half of the service scolding DD for moving around and making noise (there is no children's church for her age in the summer), and she really wasn't that bad but I was on it if she was. Finally when my sister got on her case for chewing too loudly (she was eating raisins!!!) I snapped at her. This is very out of character for me. I have a cold and have my period and spent the whole morning cleaning and cooking (because my in-laws were coming over) despite feeling lousy. So... I snapped at her, "This is my child, I will deal with it. You have been on her case non-stop." We sat is silence for the rest of service but afterwards I apologized for snapping at her and she apologized for scolding DD so much her whole life. Then we each explained why we were in bad moods today (not that she needs an excuse!!) and proceeded to have a normal discussion. I feel terrible for being so snippy with her when I should be giving her grace right now but maybe it was for the best. I will follow up with her and apologize for DD being a pest and try to figure out a plan moving forward.  

what???? please tell me she was being hyperbolic!  if that was serious and accurate - time for you to step up  and protect your child.  parenting your dd is your job - not your sister's. as has previously been mentioned - boundaries.  time to learn about them, and use them.

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9 hours ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I didn't let anybody hold my first-born.  Probably not for 3 months.   I was just (insanely, jealously) protective of him.  That eventually wore off and I've been much better with the other kids- better at suppressing my desire to rip my baby out of other people's arms, not actually better at not feeling that way.  

I suggest you prepare dd by managing her expectations before sis arrives.  It is irrelevant whether or not she can safely hold a baby.  

 

I was so happy every time anybody came over so I could literary hand over the baby. ? Mine needed to be held all the time, so anybody willing to rock my newborn was welcome to do so for as long as they wanted. In the meantime I got to take showers, brew coffeee, or just say have minimal life one can expect as a new mom. I must be lacking some sort of a defensive mommy gene, but never once I felt any jealousy toward anybody else holding my kid. More the merrier. ?

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34 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

 

 

Both of these. Honestly, this screams to me that your sister is overwhelmed, trying WAY to hard to get everything perfect for the baby, and is possibly dealing with some post partum depression or anxiety. Time to figure out how you can help her. And reassure her over and over she's doing fine, and the baby doesn't need her to be perfect. That there is no such thing as perfect. 

Could the schedule that worked so well for you be not working for her, and she feels you will judge her on that? Like, she's trying so hard to stick to this perfect schedule because that's what she thinks you did? 

I appreciate the comments about pp hormones/anxiety/depression because it really never occurred to me that this could be the manifestation. I had pp anxiety/depression with my first but it manifested differently. 

I actually consider myself to be a Babywise failure. haha! I tried with all but struggled to actually get the babies to fall asleep at the right time and stay asleep for the recommended duration until they were at least 6 months, sometimes 10 months (though I was pretty loose with it at the beginning). At the time it stressed me out and in hindsight I regret being so set on the schedule because it caused me to miss out on sweet moments or be upset over normal NB/baby patterns or lack thereof. It hurts to see her making the same mistakes (IMO) as I did but with an even younger baby. I think she is so desperate for sleep and the promise of a schedule is improved night sleep so that has become her one focus. Please don't make this thread into a discussion on the merits or perils of Babywise!

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Sounds like sis is way overwhelmed and needs to hear “hon, baby’s less than a month old. You can come to church or not. You can come to my house or not. If you have a bad night, it’s fine to rest.” She has an automatic out for at least 6-8 weeks for anything she’s not up to doing. Be the big sister and “give her permission “ to not be okay. 

Some churches and families do have an unspoken pressure to keep up even with newborns. Tell her it’s ok to take time to heal and rest with baby.

and go over the list of ppd. Some people are irritable with it.

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4 minutes ago, omishev said:

I appreciate the comments about pp hormones/anxiety/depression because it really never occurred to me that this could be the manifestation. I had pp anxiety/depression with my first but it manifested differently. 

I actually consider myself to be a Babywise failure. haha! I tried with all but struggled to actually get the babies to fall asleep at the right time and stay asleep for the recommended duration until they were at least 6 months, sometimes 10 months (though I was pretty loose with it at the beginning). At the time it stressed me out and in hindsight I regret being so set on the schedule because it caused me to miss out on sweet moments or be upset over normal NB/baby patterns or lack thereof. It hurts to see her making the same mistakes (IMO) as I did but with an even younger baby. I think she is so desperate for sleep and the promise of a schedule is improved night sleep so that has become her one focus. Please don't make this thread into a discussion on the merits or perils of Babywise!

 

The problem with all the baby books is that the babies don't read 'em.

Have you told your sister that you wish you'd been less set on following the bw schedule? If some of her stress is because her baby isn't responding the way a book tells her to expect it might ease her stress to hear that the schedule won't make or break her parenting.

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Conversation topics that should be off limits for a three weeks post partum mother:

* How tired she looks and how she should sleep more

* When is she planning on losing that baby weight

* Her parenting methods towards her newborn child when they are perfectly safe

I’m surprised at how many people think it’s normal to pull aside a new mother and tell her she needs to let her niece hold the baby. It’s not appropriate at all this early in the baby’s life. I don’t care about “family culture”. If the mom’s not comfortable letting a young child hold her baby, respect her wishes.

Edited by ErinE
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By the way, your sis may be really being hard on herself. She may be really struggling with the realities of life with a newborn and wondering what she's doing wrong. You may need to share some stories about what your experience with your oldest was. She may be saying "Dear me, Big sis managed a newborn and several others and she did fine.What's the matter with me?" Even if you were very transparent, in the fog of post partum and fatigue she may be thinking this.

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You sound sweet and like you’re trying really hard, OP.  She’s lucky to have a sister like you ?

 

Please give her permission to chill and stay home and just be visited.  She sounds like she is doing too much right now.  That sort of irritability isn’t normal, and definitely could be exhaustion, anxiety, or PPD.

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45 minutes ago, omishev said:

I appreciate the comments about pp hormones/anxiety/depression because it really never occurred to me that this could be the manifestation. I had pp anxiety/depression with my first but it manifested differently. 

I actually consider myself to be a Babywise failure. haha! I tried with all but struggled to actually get the babies to fall asleep at the right time and stay asleep for the recommended duration until they were at least 6 months, sometimes 10 months (though I was pretty loose with it at the beginning). At the time it stressed me out and in hindsight I regret being so set on the schedule because it caused me to miss out on sweet moments or be upset over normal NB/baby patterns or lack thereof. It hurts to see her making the same mistakes (IMO) as I did but with an even younger baby. I think she is so desperate for sleep and the promise of a schedule is improved night sleep so that has become her one focus. Please don't make this thread into a discussion on the merits or perils of Babywise!

I promise, not trying to debate the merits, just wondering if it is contributing to her stress to feel she is "failing" at something. Maybe she thinks you did it well, and she can't? Have you told her you were looser in the beginning, have regrets, etc? I have similar regrets, and wish someone had told me it was okay to loosen up, that it wouldn't "ruin" my baby the way the books said it would. 

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7 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I promise, not trying to debate the merits, just wondering if it is contributing to her stress to feel she is "failing" at something. Maybe she thinks you did it well, and she can't? Have you told her you were looser in the beginning, have regrets, etc? I have similar regrets, and wish someone had told me it was okay to loosen up, that it wouldn't "ruin" my baby the way the books said it would. 

Yeah.  Newborns were a cakewalk once I a) wasn’t fighting postpartum depression and b) realized they’re JUST babies and it isn’t nearly so hard as I was making it by being an anxious perfectionist.  

 

But I couldn’t see that in the middle of it - I really needed someone to come alongside me and tell me it really was okay to chill with Netflix and ignore everything but nursing and sleeping for a month or two.  

Edited by Arctic Mama
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11 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Just to support OP, it is normal in my family culture for cousins to hold newborns as well. As soon as the cousins met my younger, at 24 hours old, they got to hold her. But - with no prompting on my part my sister had them wash hands, put on a clean shirt, and sit on the couch cross legged (large couch) with a pillow on their lap to lay the baby on. So really, the baby was laying on a pillow, not their arms. And then an adult (my mom or sister, forget who), was RIGHT THERE to make sure the baby was okay. 

They only held her for maybe 15 seconds each, but they were so excited, and it was adorable. 

 

Yeah. My friend came to the hospital with my eldest and brought her kids. (Who were 8 and 12 at the time I think) I didn't think twice about letting them hold my newborn (While they were sitting down). I've got tons of pictures of friends all over the place (location and age) when they were feeding a bottle to one of my babies.

Edited by vonfirmath
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Just now, Arctic Mama said:

Yeah.  Newborns were a cakewalk once I a) wasn’t fighting postpartum depression and b) realized they’re JUST babies and it isn’t nearly so hard as I was making it by being an anxious perfectionist.

Yup. When you think your baby is "bad" and you are dooming them to a life of no impulse control and such, it's really stressful. A zillion diaper changes and sore boobs are hard enough without worrying that you are also contributing to the delinquency of a minor, lol.

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4 hours ago, omishev said:

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments! The subject actually came up today in church. They sat with us (their choice) as usual. DD ended up sitting between my sister and I. My brother-in-law was holding the baby, thankfully. My sister spent the first half of the service scolding DD for moving around and making noise (there is no children's church for her age in the summer), and she really wasn't that bad but I was on it if she was. Finally when my sister got on her case for chewing too loudly (she was eating raisins!!!) I snapped at her. This is very out of character for me. I have a cold and have my period and spent the whole morning cleaning and cooking (because my in-laws were coming over) despite feeling lousy. So... I snapped at her, "This is my child, I will deal with it. You have been on her case non-stop." We sat is silence for the rest of service but afterwards I apologized for snapping at her and she apologized for scolding DD so much her whole life. Then we each explained why we were in bad moods today (not that she needs an excuse!!) and proceeded to have a normal discussion. I feel terrible for being so snippy with her when I should be giving her grace right now but maybe it was for the best. I will follow up with her and apologize for DD being a pest and try to figure out a plan moving forward.  

I’m so glad you told her off for nagging your child, even if it did come out snippy. It sounds accurate and she needs to relax. 

 

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2 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

 

Please give her permission to chill and stay home and just be visited.  She sounds like she is doing too much right now.  That sort of irritability isn’t normal, and definitely could be exhaustion, anxiety, or PPD.

I agree she's doing too much, but I don't think her irritability is abnormal. I think it's quite normal because exhaustion, anxiety, and PPD are all very, very normal when baby is so young and irritability is a normal reaction. It doesn't mean it's ok to let your DD be picked on all day, but I would just back off and give her lots of time and space.

I can't believe she took a 3 week old to church- so many people/germs, so much leaky boobs, and so much exhaustion! FWIW, it's also pretty common for pediatricians to tell parents not to let school aged kids touch the baby until they've at least had their first shots. If this is her first, she may be taking it to heart a little more than I would since not letting Baby be around his 4 older siblings is kind of ridiculous.

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On 8/4/2018 at 4:13 PM, marbel said:

 

Sure. I think that is particularly why little girls want to hold babies so much. I do believe there is a maternal instinct. But as an adult, I was happy to hold, care for, and dote on my own infants, but I have never felt the need to hold other peoples'.  Maybe I will feel differently if I have grandchildren.  And, I am pretty confident that if I found myself in a situation where a baby needed me to hold and care for him or her, I would do it without a thought. And I am always happy to hold a baby when a mom/dad needs me to. 

ETA: But people offering the baby to me and saying "do you want to hold him/her?" I am just standing there thinking, "no thanks."  I just don't get that. I mean, can't comprehend why people do that.   

I never would have asked other people to hold my babies, because I loved holding my babies. ?  People had to ask.

 

*edited for clarity*

Edited by CES2005

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33 minutes ago, Paige said:

I agree she's doing too much, but I don't think her irritability is abnormal. I think it's quite normal because exhaustion, anxiety, and PPD are all very, very normal when baby is so young and irritability is a normal reaction. It doesn't mean it's ok to let your DD be picked on all day, but I would just back off and give her lots of time and space.

I can't believe she took a 3 week old to church- so many people/germs, so much leaky boobs, and so much exhaustion! FWIW, it's also pretty common for pediatricians to tell parents not to let school aged kids touch the baby until they've at least had their first shots. If this is her first, she may be taking it to heart a little more than I would since not letting Baby be around his 4 older siblings is kind of ridiculous.


So much of this is about personality, though.  For some people, feeling isolated is a big part of the stress of parenting a newborn.  I have friends who just wanted to spend that time cocooned at home, and other friends who were desperate to get out.  

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2 minutes ago, Daria said:


So much of this is about personality, though.  For some people, feeling isolated is a big part of the stress of parenting a newborn.  I have friends who just wanted to spend that time cocooned at home, and other friends who were desperate to get out.  

Yeah, I took a three day old infant to Costco because two days cooped up in a hospital room had just about driven me crazy.

I was back at church the first Sunday with my oldest.

With later babies I stayed home longer but that was primarily about keeping my toddler and preschooler away from the church nursery germs.

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7 minutes ago, maize said:

Yeah, I took a three day old infant to Costco because two days cooped up in a hospital room had just about driven me crazy.

I was back at church the first Sunday with my oldest.

With later babies I stayed home longer but that was primarily about keeping my toddler and preschooler away from the church nursery germs.

LOL - I made my DH go to a restaurant on the way home from the hospital.  I took my 2nd to family music class with my preschooler starting at 2 weeks.  Everyone has different comfort levels.  Leaving the house doesn't mean you're letting people drool and cough on baby.  My 2nd was born in June, so that was nice.   I got squirrely home with an infant very fast.  

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