Saturday, 22 April 2006

Crying Baby

I can’t seem to get my SIL and her little boy of my mind, Easter Sunday I got to witness first hand how much she adores her child and how well he is looked after and loved.

Up until this point, my assumptions were purely based on what MIL had told us and the situation was reported as being grim, no love, constant crying by both baby and mother, not feeding correctly and so on.

I should’ve learnt by now that I shouldn’t listen to people and form my own opinions. In this case I didn’t and part of me feels guilty. Last Sunday our little boy fought the need to sleep, it was better to stay awake and look around. But he was tired so mummy had wrapt him up and held him until he fell asleep. A short time later he woke up and started crying, Mummy tried to settle him but he fought it and started getting really annoyed.

It was amazing to see that as soon as he was held, he went straight back to sleep, within seconds. SIL and I took him out to the living room and I got to hold him while he slept.

MIL steps in and starts saying how with her 3 kids none of them cried that much during the day and that our little boy was just a ‘bad baby’. I was quite upset seeing how SIL was being worked up; it is not her fault that her child cries.

As we were leaving I turned to SIL and told her that she was doing a fantastic job! She cried a little and her husband admitted that she didn’t believe that she was doing a good job.

The next morning I turned to the book that I have beside my bed, Baby Love by Robin Baker just to see what she said about crying baby:
Feelings of guilt, loss of confidence and loss of self esteem may come from within or may be triggered off by heath professionals, partners, grandparents or the neighbour. Women whose baby cry a lot often become isolated simply because even if they can accept the crying, others can’t.

A mother with a crying baby may feel disappointed when a much-loved beautiful baby doesn’t come up to everyone’s expectations – ‘not a good baby’. Disappointment might turn to anger as the mother tries harder and harder and becomes more and more exhausted.
From Baby Love by Robin Baker

I’m guessing (as I don’t know yet) that having a new baby can be a tough time and more than anything you need support not criticism or being made to feel guilty. It got worse as the afternoon wore on and as he woke up again MIL started hassling SIL that the baby had a sore stomach or was hungry or thirsty, which was not the case. I’m still so appalled as to how SIL was treated and dominated by her own mother, I just wish that there was more than I could have done for my SIL.

It also terrifies me to think that if SIL wasn’t in the house, MIL would’ve automatically fed something to the child as she thought his tummy was sore or he was thirsty.

The lessons I have learnt from this are:
- Not to listen to MIL about SIL
- Not allow negativity to dominate our conversations
- Grow and stronger back bone to deal with MIL when Bobim arrives
- Leaving Bobim with MIL will be done with strict instructions, or not at all.

I should put a sign on our door in Hungarian and English….Negative Comments and unwarranted advice are not welcome here!!!


  1. Yuck. It sounds like your MIL really is NOT helping the situation! Has your SIL heard of the book "Happiest Baby on the Block"? It has some really good advice on calming a so-called "colicky" baby.

  2. Having dealt with exactly the same problem for the last two and a half weeks with Spudly, I have learnt (though acceptance is difficult) that babies just cry. Even if they're not hungry, have a clean nappy, dont have wind, and are safely snuggled and loved. They cry. Often for long stretches. Eventually they stop.

    Well-meaning assvice just undermines your confidence in your ability to parent your own child. I wish peoplw would just butt out or instead do what you did - tell the parents they're doing a great job. Its all we want to hear, because when you cant do anything to comfort yur own child you sure as hell dont feel like you're doing a good job.

    Good on you for offering your SIL that support and encouragement.

    And say NO to the MIL babysitting!