Dealing with "help" from inlaws


It’s been a while, but I’m back on CAF. :slight_smile: We sold our place and are in the process of moving home. I see so many red flags going up around me for my baby and marriage though, it’s not even funny.

My inlaws try to tell me how to raise my baby (mind you they have kids who are having babies at 15!). I can deal with that and smile and nod. but last night, while holding my 4 month old daughter (my first), my brother in law fed her ice cream!!! I asked, begged, told him no, and he did it anyways, and everyone told me to relax, she’ll be fine. including DH! so it spaqned a huge fight with DH last night. Am I overreacting? Should I let people do things against my wishes to avoid from upsetting the apple cart? if they do, what do I do? I don’t want to be known as the psycho wife, but I need to do what’s best for my baby!

my inlaws are good people I just can’t stand the thought of them undermining me like that. Advice and similar situations are truly appreciated. God bless!


Pick your battles. When someone offers a suggestion, smile and say “that is interesting” or just “thank you for that input”.

Decide if it is worth alienating your family over a taste of ice cream. If they fed her ice cream by the bowlful or fed her spoonsful every day, then, say something. One taste at a family dinner does seem to be no big deal to me.

If your child has food allergies or other health issues that make this dangerous, sit them down and make them aware. If not, then, let bygones be bygones.


Seems like a very minor thing to get into a huge fight over.


Not sure what “fed her ice cream” means. He forced a spoonful of ice cream into her mouth or gave her a drop or two.


ok good, thanks guys, I’ll try to relax about that stuff. It wasn’t the ice cream itself that bothered me, it was the fact that I said no, very blatantly, and was ignored, very obviously. It was the principle of it.

BTW she has no known problems, but the pediatrician said no dairy until 1 year. he didn’t give me a reason, I just take his word because, well, he’s her doctor. that and I didn’t want to make her fussy/belly achy a few hours before we take her on another 17 hour roadtrip. and there’s a little selfish part of me that says she’s my baby and maybe I wanted to give her her first taste of ice cream. :blush: but that’s irrelevent.

so I will try to chill out. I think I have DH on board to back me up, now, after I flew off the handle on him last night. I’m just having terrible apprehensions about the new living situation we have coming and I’ve been a basket case about alot of minor things. maybe it’s just being a new mom and will wear off… i hope. :rolleyes:

thanks again. :thumbsup:


a finger full then the spoonfuls, and when she spit them out, he shoveled them back in, as I was having a fit… about jumped across the table… :shrug:


For a moment I thought you were my daughter :wink: Sounds very similar to her complaints.

The advice to “pick your battles” is sound. There are always some things that various families do differently; food can be just one of the issues - unless there is an allergy or the food poses danger, chokeing for example, just let it go.

I’ve watched my DD learn to step back, grit her teeth and give in or ignore the little things that aren’t important, but maintain her strong stance on the important ones. At the same time I’ve seen my DGD develop a most wonderful relationship with her other granny and grandfather, aunties and uncles.

Yes, it still gets too much for her at times and she gets vocal, just last week she, in her words, “threw a hissy fit” and the air is clear again.

Hope you can find a way to make this work. These in-laws are your beloved husband’s parents and siblings, your precious daughter is their granddaughter and niece.


The finger full, I might have tolerated. Forcing more after she spit it out is something else. (perhaps he’s a bachelor and doesn’t know any different?)


When your daughter hits 13 you will look fondly back at the days when your biggest concern was people feeding her ice cream!:slight_smile:


lol, thank you! my mother in law is fairly devout and online alot, so I am half paranoid I’ll get busted here too! :smiley:

Yes, there will be other issues already brewing. church for instance. most of the family is very secular and sees no problem with underage partying, premarital sex, and sees the church as kind of a joke. so I’ll have my work cut out for me. :o they have been after me about our bedtime routine and things that are truly none of their business. but they are just trying to be helpful, and since they have experience and I don’t, I appreciate the advice. I can take the advice or leave it without them being offended because they’ll never know. Ok, deep breath, I can get through all this…


Your original issue wasn’t with your in-laws–it was with your husband, (which you probably know deep down inside since you had a huge fight with him following the incident.) You asked your BIL to stop and when he continued, your husband didn’t back you up. Maybe your husband didn’t see a problem with giving his baby ice cream or maybe he just didn’t want to make a fuss with his brother or maybe it was something else. Whatever the case, decide together with your husband about parenting strategies and (in general) let your husband make those decisions clear to his family if they cross a line.

Your husband might very well have different parenting ideas from you. Seldom do two people agree on everything. Some of his parenting ideas may come from his family, (which is a normal source for parenting information.) Your husband may not read all the books and magazines with the newest parenting advice. That’s not neccesarily a bad thing, since sometimes all that advice, which may even conflict from one “expert” to the next, often undermines new parents’ confidence.


I disagree that this is a minor thing, there is evidence that early exposure to certain food items (dairy being one) is a huge factor in food related allergies. There is a reason your pediatrician said no dairy before a year. Also if it upset your little one’s digestion, I bet no one but you was going to be up all night soothing her.

Besides, its your child, your wishes should always be respected.

But your problem is with your dh, he should have backed you up. I’m glad you and him were able to work it out. You are certainly not the first couple to have this “talk”, it doesn’t make either of you a bad parent, or an uncaring spouse. Its just something that most first time parents have to work out.

Its one thing to have “advice” shoved down your throat. You should be able to find polite ways to bypass that, but doing exactly the opposite of what you said you wanted done, to your child while you are there is blatant disrespect. Try to pick your battles, but this is one I would have absolutely stood up for, nothing is more important than your child’s health.


I asked, begged, told him no, and he did it anyways,

It would have bothered me too. Especially when it seemed that you said it more than once, and also because you used the word “beg”. :frowning:

You are the baby’s mom, family members should respect that. If mom says no, it should be no. :shrug:



yes, pick your battles.

no, do not “ask”, much less beg and plead when it comes to your own kid.

yes, I’d be furious with dh.

no, we would not scream and fight over it.

yes, I’d get home and explain that “no, means no” and that when a mama bear is growling, it ain’t smart to encourage some poor idiot (even if it is a bil) to prod her with a stick (or ice cream;)) b/c then she might turn on you.:smiley:

So this is what would have happened if it were ME:

bil gives 4 month old a lick of ice cream
I say don’t give her anymore. (Note: I didn’t say I would prefer he not, or ask him not to, I said not to do it. Also note, that I’m not being hateful or rude, just matter-of-fact about it.)
I see she spits it out and bil is ignoring me.
I come pick her up and sit her in my lap for the rest of the meal.
If questioned or told to lighten up, I say it’s my perrogative to choose not to deal with her screaming and fussing later thanks to being given who knows what foods she’s never had to digest before all in one night.

Dh tells me to lighten up.
Dh hears the riot act about always siding with the gal you came with when we get home.

**If he disagrees - fine. We can discuss that later. Like I’m doing right now with my disagreement with him. **But it’s not appropriate to do so publicly. Ever. Even with family. Heck, ESPECIALLY with family.:smiley:

And yes, it’s stupid ice cream. A petty thing to be sure. Those petty things are like itty grains of salt though. They can really rub raw if rubbed enough.

There’s my free .02 worth of opinion.


True. :wink:


*Hi justme…I agree with others, pick your battles wisely. This isn’t a battle worth picking. I like to think of what you are experiencing, as very normal though…I call it the mama lion syndrome. lol When my son was born, everything seemed a bit overwhelming at first, and I didn’t like anyone ‘undermining’ me as you put it. Mama lion wants to protect her babies from outsiders. :wink: Very normal.

I might have reacted the same way back then. By baby two…I had completely chilled out. :smiley: It’s not ‘abnormal’ to react like you did, don’t worry over it. Now you know. :slight_smile: God bless…*


I would have been very upset.

When my daughter was less then a month old my MIL tried to give her a spoonful of sugar and acted like I was mean not to let her.

When I ran across the street to go to the store and left my daughter with her for ten minutes she tried to do it while I wasn’t there. Luckily my husband said no, sugar isn’t good for babies. I was upset and she didn’t even get fed sugar! It’s the whole, doing something a parent has said “absolutely not” to with a baby.

You have the right to say what does and doesn’t go into your child’s body. I would probably have gone across the room and picked my little one up and then no one would be holding her. If they can’t respect the mothers wishes on what a tiny baby is eating, then they shouldn’t be holding the baby!


thanks again guys, I feel a little better yet. I am gonna let this go and try to be a little more relaxed but I guess I feel confident in standing my ground next time. It’s a full day later and I’m still steamed up over the whole thing!

Oh yeah, the fight was between DH and myself, alone in the bedroom. I’m not sure though, that my MIL didn’t hear it! :o oh well, she was a new mom once too.

I don’t know if DH really understands and agrees with me, but at this point, I have him buffaloed into backing me up or else face the wrath of mama bear again, LOL. that’ll work for now.

the BIL raised 2 kids and 5 stepkids, so he should have known better. but he is a super good guy that really truly loves kids, I’m just not sure why he didn’t stop when I asked. He had to know how mad I was. He was holding her across the table from me and I couldn’t get to her, or I would have. when I tried to stand up DH “sat me back down” and wouldn’t get out of my way. by the time I crawled out the ice cream was already getting shoveled back in for round two. sigh. :shrug: I explained my concerns about developing allergies, about fussyness, and because of the Dr. said, after the fact, then dropped it except for a rather fowl attitude I couldn’t seem to help. I didn’t actually pick a fight with them. still, they think I’m crazy. oh well, my kid’s gonna get raised healthy and right, they can’t say that about theirs.

you know he told me he was gonna feed her ice cream, chocolate frosting, and other stuff. I thought he was kidding but still told him no earlier in the day, just in case. I won’t leave her alone with them now, that’s for sure. not until she’s older. How sad is it I’d rather hire a sitter to do things my way if I have to than leave her with family for free… :rolleyes:

Thanks again for letting me vent. I’m still hot about the whole situation but I feel a little better!


:eek: :mad: I would have lost it! sugar! aside from risks of eating it at that age, she could have inhaled it, choked on it… oh yeah I would have spazzed out… my DH would have (pre fight last night anyways) let his MIL do it and not told me… I’m kinda glad it happened though, now, because we never really talked about little stuff like that, now we know we need to!


Wow, almost this exact same thing happened this past week with my 4 month old (why are these tickers always a few days behind?). My FIL gave my son spoonfuls of iced cream after I explicitly, and multiple times, told him not to. Everyone just laughed. The problem is, we are pretty sure that Josh does have a milk-protein sensitivity, besides the fact that I just don’t want him to have any ‘solids’ before 6 months. He’s been spitting up and having reflux symptoms something awful ever since and I’m very angry. I didn’t show how angry I was or say anything further to FIL, but I wish I had. It doesn’t help that SIL was there as well. She feeds her 1 month old, and has since he was a week old, iced cream every single day.

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