Ignoring baby


#1

hi everyone,

I decided to travel to another part of the country to visit my brother and his wife. just want some advice. obviously I'm just a visitor to their household, I know that. I'm the Godfather of their baby, and uncle. anyway, the mom... well... she seems kinda lazy.

their baby girl is nearly perfect as far as babies go. she's now 7 months old. since she was about 3 weeks old, she has slept consistently without waking up at night from around 9pm to 7am. she would also nap reguarly etc. she still does

anyway, yesterday she got a flu or something. then at night while they were having some drinks, the baby was frantically crying. you could also hear the flu in her voice and stuff. but her mom just kept saying to ignore her. it was really upsetting. especially since the baby NEVER wakes up. that's what the mom said. she said the baby only did this one other time a few months ago.

also yesterday we went grocery shopping, and the baby was sitting in a cart, but it was really oddly shaped, and I kept saying I would carry the baby. the mom refused because she said she doesn't want her daughter to get "used to it". eventually she relented when the baby was really uncomfortable in the cart.

the mom's mother called her and said the baby should see a doctor. the mom got really annoyed at the mother and just got mad at her for trying to make her "worried".

I'm sorry I'm just really annoyed.

help.

I don't know what to do. it seems like if I say anything she'll bite my head off. but it's hard to see stuff happening like that...


#2

seems like the loss of one’s head is small price to pay to call out the neglect of a baby.

questions:
where’s your brother in all this?
how much do these people drink?
are you still there with them?

more questions:
how old is your sister in law?
is she kind to the baby otherwise?


#3

What does your brother have to say about this? This baby is his daughter.

It doesn't sound like she is doing anything overtly neglectful. She knows her baby better than you do and mothers tend to know, especially after several months go by, what kind of cries are serious. You say she "got the flu or something"- did anyone take the baby's temperature? Does she have a fever? Also, does she have fatigue, chills, or a cough? If she has any of these symptoms and you think the baby might really be sick, I'd try talking to your brother. Tell him you are just concerned about her and want to make sure she is ok.

About the shopping cart, as long as a baby is properly strapped in, even if it's a weird shape, it should be fine at 7 months. Your sister in law has a right to decide whether to let you carry her around or not. I admit it seems ridiculous to me, when you went all that way to see them, not to let you hold the baby. But in the end, you have to respect that she is the parent.

I think if you truly are concerned about the well-being of the baby, you should talk to your brother if you think your sister-in-law won't be receptive to your concern. I can say though, that if my brother in law was trying to tell me how to parent my child I would be a little annoyed.


#4

I hate when people just let there baby “cry it out”. If the baby normally sleeps through the night, but got sick then she has the right to be comforted. It’s not fair for the baby, she is sick and has no idea whats going on. She depends on her parents for the comfort.


#5

my brother in relation to his wife is a little hard to understand unless you know him. he basically just "obeys" her. she always points out stuff he is doing or saying wrong and my brother's response is to always apologize or laugh and say yeah that's true. he actually seems a little afraid of her. like he came to pick me up from the airport, and we made a wrong turn, and all he kept saying was uh oh, my wife is going to ask why we were gone so long. and we went out yesterday and same thing, kept thinking she would notice that he was gone too long. I'm talking 25 min. vs. the normal 20 minutes.

and in terms of drinking, they drink every weekend. he has 6 beers, and she has baileys. but they don't get drunk or whatever.

to be honest, she seems to watch a lot of tv and be mostly concerned that her baby doesn't intrude too much in her lifestyle.

but she's by no means neglectful whatsoever. I'm just concerned that's all.

I hope people know I'm concerned. I havent' said anythign to her about anything. I just offer help wherever I can. I'm not trying to tell her how to raise her daughter. I would rahter not say anything, but it's hard when I hear the baby on the baby monitor...


#6

It may be there is something wrong. I'm not sure these 2 instances are enough to determine that.

I'm a mother of twins. Within a few weeks I could tell you WHO was crying, from the other room. But that even took ME a few weeks... if you just showed at my house, you wouldn't be able to tell that from another room. I could tell you if it's a colic cry, I'm stuck cry, I want someone to hold me cry, change my diaper, get me some food cry. They are all different. It's strange.

I can also tell you which cry says... Hey, is there someone in there I could play with? come and get me... me...me...me...me...me. Our babies always had some extra lung time when company came.

Regarding the shopping cart. Ug... I'm not really sure how bad your sitaution was. 7 months should be able to sit there fine. How weirdly shaped was this cart? BUT, a 7 month old can see you, and wants to play with the new guy... However, I have in-laws that liked to step in... Now as mentioned, I have twins. Do you know what this causes? Total chaos... when everyone leaves... with all their extra help and ideas, I have kids with a whole new set of demands. It's very weird how company effects them. One of my guys (they are 5) STILL takes 2 solid weeks to recoup after visits. Meaning, he is high anxiety, he wakes all night for 2 weeks, and he's in my bed 'cause he just plane freaks out.

Another example, same little guy had a hard time getting off his midnight bottle VISITS... so, I had established a routine to wean him. If he cried (I don't like the cry it out), I'd get up, get him a bottle, and either he actively ate, or had 10 minutes of my time, then 9, then 8... The idea that he learns how to self sooth. This is VERY important. A child that doesn't sleep, has learning problems, gets sick easier, a whole bunch of problems... and well, he's proving that right now...(and now my family likes to pretend that I'm over reacting to that too... ) Anyhow... we were doing well, and then family visited. Who offered to take night time feedings. This was AWESOME, I always appreciated extra help. The sleep deprivation with non sleeping twins seriously effected my health even. HOWEVER, they decided to ignore my instructions and INSIST that he eat a whole bottle... as if otherwise he was missing a meal. This literally set us back 4 months. As I'd hear the crying, and then it would stop after a minute. It wasn't until my family repored extremely exhausted on day 4 that it was taking him a whole HOUR to get the bottle down. :eek:

I'm just telling you this stuff, because what may be alarming to you, isn't really a big deal because there are things you don't know about. However, it might be worth talking with your brother. See what he thinks. He might be able to tell you that his wife, just finally got the child to sit in the shopping cart... and she needs to keep her there

So, how do you know this baby had the flu?


#7

It's normal for baby cries to disturb adults; we're wired that way. I'll tell you right up front that i kept my babies with me all the time--I like it that way! It is very difficult for me to be in a home where a baby is left to cry, as if it is selfish of them or something. If I am lonely or want to spend time with someone else, I go do it, and I think babies should be able to as well. I don't make a division between needs like food and changing that "deserve" to be attended to, versus loneliness, boredom, or crankiness. A breast and a baby sling solved it all in my family and we were all happy.

That said, people have the right to determine how to raise their own kids. I know that some people think that my high-contact style of parenting is crazy, but it is my choice. I have to respect other parenting styles (provided they aren't neglectful or overtly abusive) whether I like it or not.


#8

I'm just really... I don't know what to do. I think I'm just annoyed by my brother. it's really hard to describe him on just this. it's like he has no principles himself, he's just a lapdog and doesn't know how to react.

just then the baby threw up her entire bottle. it went everywhere on everyone. the mom was concerned, but my brother was just laughing... that is until he noticed oh look this is a serious situation, maybe I shouldn't laugh... but he would never know unless someone baiscally said "This is a serious time. don't laugh."

I'm just frustrated.

sorry. I hope someone can understand. I'm just trying to minimize myself and stay out of their business.


#9

PHil,

I gather you don't have children... Do you?

A baby that pukes up it's entire bottle... or what might seem like the bottle... does this oh about 20-30 times a day. They spit up. Sometimes alot. It can be stressful, because it's just a mess. Now, if baby is sick (which she could have been, you are quite possibly right), she will have a hard time holding food down. If this continues, depending on size and such it does become more urgent. As you're dealing with dehydration. A tired mom, whether seemingly vigilant to you or not, might be on alert right off. She may not have been concerned about the crying... but vomiting... if more than normal spit up... time to pay closer attn. = more stress...

Dad's have a tendancy not to be so involved. He may not know it's time to worry, until he's told... VERY COMMON... Or it is so stressful, they laugh. Laughter gets a lot of people in trouble because it can be a stress release for a person they can't control.

Here's something else to consider... the baby is 7 months? Dad has been Dad for 7 months... He's still learning a lot... and guess what, he almost always will be nearly 9 months behind mom. She's been physically bonding with this baby since moment one.

You sound as though you're genuinely concerned. You might find, that you can actually ask your SIL questions... in the name of curiosity. Hey there, I didn't know you could do that... tell me about that. When the baby is crying... Wow.. how can you tell she's not sick or something from here?

I can't tell you how many childless people will ask... "is that normal?" And that's perfectly ok with most people.

It will be worth being aware of behavior when you're around. But don't jump to conclusions... HTHs


#10

well, this is the first time or second time this has ever happened. the baby was taking some medicine and projectile vomitted all over the kitchen, the floor, her dad, her mom, the cabinets. the mother almost started to cry, started looking for the doctor’s number, and my bro just laughed his silly laugh until she told him not to laugh. this goes much further with my brother. there are many other things. it’s just annoying. but I could be wrong. anyway.


#11

OP, the one thing that really concerns me about what you have written so far is this:

anyway, yesterday she got a flu or something. then at night while they were having some drinks, the baby was frantically crying. you could also hear the flu in her voice and stuff. but her mom just kept saying to ignore her. it was really upsetting. especially since the baby NEVER wakes up. that’s what the mom said. she said the baby only did this one other time a few months ago.

If she normally sleeps though the night but woke up on this occasion than chances are something was up and mom should have at the very least checked on her. Maybe she was caught on something in the crib? How would mom really know unless she checked on the baby?

Honestly, as a mom, I would have gone and checked on the baby. I would have never just let her sit there and cry, especially not when she’s sick. You don’t know what’s going on in the other room if you don’t at least go check.

I just read your update phil, I’m glad they are calling the doctor. She sounds like she needs to be seen. Prayers for her that she get’s better real soon.


#12

Was this motrin or tylenol to keep a fever down?

Sometimes they can't keep it down... and then the doc. has mom get bottom bullets...

IT is very stressful because you're dealing with this tiny person, and they can't tell you what's wrong, and your guessing, and it's very easy to get scared.

Not really sure what to think of your brother. Maybe he's a lapdog, because he doesn't take much of anything seriously??? And now that children are involved his wife has to make him behave...

The one thing I can tell you for certain... It is a HUGE adjustment having children. No more sleeping in, and doing things on your own schedule.

Perhaps your brother doesn't help much. Perhaps you SIL doesn't let him for whatever reason. It becomes very exhausting...

I can remember when my husbands best friend came to visit. We've traveled together lots, and have known each other since we were kids, and so we know each other pretty well... this is the guest I can hand a vaccum and ask him to run it through the house... and he's happy to do it...

But this was the first visit after we had the twins... and I'm not sure we didn't scare him off from having children of his own...

It seems one of ours was still quite dealing with colic. I probably had DH take our friend out so he didn't have to listen to non stop crying for 4 hours solid.

Regardless, he witnessed lots of crying... and tons of interrupted conversations. Me probably in a pretty bad mood due to total exhaustion. I may or may not have showered while he was there, and you can bet I didn't do more with my hair than a ponytale, and no makeup. And let's just say the house was "clean enough" And the one thing he commented on was how often we did the dishes. Because we bottle fed and I ran some 30 bottles 2 times a day... He thought we had become completely fanatical with all the dishes... It was pretty funny...

"Seriously, how many times are you going to do the dishes today..."

LOL... basically, you can rest assured that life with a baby is stressfull to many, and can create an environment that the childless nearly lose their mind in...


#13

Phill,

I ask you this question to answer to yourself. Is the issue maybe you are having trouble adjusting to yoru brother's new lifestyle? When one of our own siblings moves to a different stage in life, it is easy for sibling rivalry to set in. Or also just plain weirdness because it is hard to see the people we grew up with become parents.

Your SIL may not on the outside have the soft maternal appearance but to be honest..... I don't think the baby is being overly neglected. Also, you have to remember that with you in the house, everybody is behaving differently.

Kids cry a lot. Mom's get worn out. It is VERY normal for a mom to learn that if every time the kid cries, she comes running, she will soon wear herself out.

Pray to God for guidance. I think this is more your issues.

CM


#14

CM may have a good point.

I can tell you… both of our sisters have pretty strong opinions about what goes on in our house.

We’re close enough they will say. But they are sooooooooooo off target. They have no idea what they are talking about…

Let’s just say we can hardly wait for them to have their own…


#15

Yeah, I think you’re right. it’s weird. but after what happened tonight, I could see that she does care, adn that’s what I’m mostly worried about. this is my first niece or nephew and I’m the Godfather. I love the baby a lot, and want to be sure she’s safe and in good hands. I guess sometimes I am afraid with my bro, because he just always seems unaware of what’s going on around him. his wife always says he’s wrong and making fun of him and he just laughs about it but not a big laugh but like a “heh” and just agrees under his breath, but then he does really strange stuff. like today it snowed a lot, and so he said I’m goign to go out and shovel. I said oh I can help. so he says “ok, you can do it all” so I did. I was shoveling his car out and stuff too. then I just happened to ask him if a plow comes by, and he says “oh uhhh, yeh I guess so”. anyway, his wife answered and said yes it comes. so anyway, it did come and completely cleared everything out anyway. Why didn’t he tell me?? anyway, that’s not really related I guess.


#16

Okay, as an attachment parent, this has me nearly in tears. I know some people disagree, but I don’t think babies should ever be left to cry. Period. It raises cortisol levels, and actually changes the structure of the brain and the way the child responds to stress. Children left to CIO are more prone to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues later in life.
Babies who are sick should be taken care of. Period. A child who’s crying at night could be stuck or caught in a dangerous position in his or her crib.
Children also can never be held too much. It doesn’t ‘spoil’ them. It makes them securely attached to their caregivers.
The OP’s suspicions are right on. While there isn’t abuse going on, there is what I would term non-criminal neglect, which can have serious consequences for the child’s mental health down the road.

Aaaand let the flaming begin ;).


#17

Your not going to get any flaming from me. I’m right there with you. We never cio’d with our children.

Phil, WOW, if my dh treated a guest like that he’d be in some seriously hot water. But then my dh would have never treated a guest like that.

It sounds like those two really need to sit down and talk. I know when dd was born dh and I went though something similar where he could do no right. However, he never laughed it off. He sat me down and we talked about it. I saw the error of my ways and started trying to back off and allow him to do things his way. For my part it was not easy. There is definitely a big adjustment and learning period with the first baby.


#18

[quote="pentecostbaby, post:16, topic:228270"]
Okay, as an attachment parent, this has me nearly in tears. I know some people disagree, but I don't think babies should ever be left to cry. Period. It raises cortisol levels, and actually changes the structure of the brain and the way the child responds to stress. Children left to CIO are more prone to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues later in life.
Babies who are sick should be taken care of. Period. A child who's crying at night could be stuck or caught in a dangerous position in his or her crib.
Children also can never be held too much. It doesn't 'spoil' them. It makes them securely attached to their caregivers.
The OP's suspicions are right on. While there isn't abuse going on, there is what I would term non-criminal neglect, which can have serious consequences for the child's mental health down the road.

Aaaand let the flaming begin ;).

[/quote]

I'm not going to flame you pentecostbaby. Quite the contrary, I want to praise you! It's the most common sense thing in the world! A baby cries, you attend to her/him. The REASON adults' brains react to a baby crying is because they are supposed to DO something. This whole idea that somehow leaving them to cry is a good thing just flies in the face of how we are built!

I was so shocked when the mother refused to let me hold her baby because she doesn't want her to get used to it!

I am not saying the mother is a bad person. What I'm saying is that she's very concerned about her "free time". the baby has strict eating times, she stays up even if she's tired. The mom rarely just "plays" with her. she doesn't use baby talk. she just checks things off her list. she probably spends about 8 hours a day or more watching television. she rarely holds her baby unless she's feeding her milk. she didn't want to breastfeed. her baby was playing on the floor with a toy, and she just moves it closer to her with her foot, but almost never actually plays with her.

I was just so surprised when she said she doesn't want me to hold her baby because she'll "get used to it".

And I will tell you, this is as close to an ideal baby as possible. she almost never cries, I mean it's extremely rare. when she does it's only for a minute or two maximum. she sleeps through the night almost always, etc. etc.

the mom doesn't work. I really hate to say this, but the mom seems a bit lazy. she is extremely overweight. that's not just being insulting. I'm just painting a picture for people.

I'm really glad for pentecostbaby's comments. babies have only one way to communicate. and in this baby's case, it's like a person who only speaks once a day for 1 minute. if someone only says a few words each day, it's probably a good idea to listen.


#19

oh and I just wanted to add that yesterday, she was lifting the baby up and down, and at one point they butted heads and the baby cried out really hard, like a very desperate and loud cry, probably one of the loudest I’ve heard from her. anyway, for some reason the mom couldn’t stop laughing, and the baby was just looking for comfort from her mom. why was she laughing?? and she was just like you’re fine hahaha. I thought it was really odd… I think the baby even had a mark after.

now, I don’t want to panic anyway, the baby wasn’t “hurt”. but I just thought it was a weird reaction. you don’t laugh at your baby that’s crying. sorry. maybe you will say I’m overreacting, but I don’t think that’s what you’re supposed to do.


#20

[quote="Sabda, post:17, topic:228270"]
Your not going to get any flaming from me. I'm right there with you. We never cio'd with our children.

Phil, WOW, if my dh treated a guest like that he'd be in some seriously hot water. But then my dh would have never treated a guest like that.

It sounds like those two really need to sit down and talk. I know when dd was born dh and I went though something similar where he could do no right. However, he never laughed it off. He sat me down and we talked about it. I saw the error of my ways and started trying to back off and allow him to do things his way. For my part it was not easy. There is definitely a big adjustment and learning period with the first baby.

[/quote]

I'm sorry. this is off-topic, but to be honest, I've felt more like a burden since I got here, rather than a guest. they seemed happy that I was visiting, but they keep making me feel unwelcome.

they made me do the driveway. my bro ordered pizza and instantly said I have to pay half, even though I would have anyway, and he said it like he was really suspicious.

just then I needed a printer because I have an important telephone interview tomorrow. when I asked if I could just move the printer (which takes 30 seconds), he sounded so annoyed. when I said it's for my interview, nothing changed. him and his wife just sounded totally annoyed at me.

when I first came in the door, the first time I was in their house, his wife didn't even stop watching tv or get up.

I was after flying and being in airports for about 6 hours or more, yet they didn't offer me any food. I had to ask about it myself. then they laughing said they have some pizza pockets. I said that's fine. my brother went into the kitchen and I opened the freezer and saw some frozen meals, and he strongly hinted that I was not welcome to those, because those were "his". so I had a couple of pizza pockets.

just one thing after another....

sorry. I'm not ungrateful, but I don't know...


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