A mom writes in looking for advice about whether she is wrong not allowing her mother-in-law to have her 6-month-old baby for a day.
A Community Member asks:
“I need help. My mother in law asks to take my six-month-old all the time. She’s exclusively breastfed, no bottle whatsoever, and I’ve told her multiple times I won’t pump unless absolutely necessary. She’s asked since she was a week old if she could take her for the day. I feel bad for saying no. We go to get the house every Friday to visit, so it’s not as if she never sees her. But she still wants to take her without having milk. Am I in the wrong? I feel bad saying no.”
Community Advice for the Mom Who Feels Bad for Not Allowing Her Mother-In-Law to Keep Her 6-Month-Old Daughter for a Day Because She’s Breastfeeding
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom and 6-month-old baby, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The advice given by the community included some great points, and I feel like they will be very helpful for this mom and her 6-month-old daughter. You can read some of these responses below.
“She doesn’t have to take her to spend quality time with her! She can spend the day with both of you.”
“No, you are not wrong but it is great that she wants to be involved. I would make sure that she understands that you are saying no because of the breastfeeding. I like the idea of having her come over and you get a nap or shower.”
“Could she maybe come over and watch her between feeds and you could do a few errands on your own or even just grab a coffee with a friend? Only if your comfortable that is, but having a little break is sometimes really good for both of you!”
“I don’t know if you’re asking for advice or sympathy. If its advice; your baby has a right to receive love and bond with his/her grandparents. At some point very soon your baby should be introduced to new foods. 6 months is typically a starting point for adding cereals and pureed fruits and veggies to your baby’s diet. Adding a bottle or sipping cup filled with breastmilk or any formula you choose is a great idea to assist with his/her independence in the next few months. Considering by 9 months of age your child should be eating a variety of first foods. Ask yourself if you are being reasonable at this point? Best of luck.”
“My grandbaby is 5 months. And bf. Very attached to mom. No way I’d think to take him. He’s not even close to being weaned and she’s been introducing bottle but he knows what he knows. It wouldn’t be feasible for me to take him as much as I’d like. I cannot do for him what mom can and what he needs.”
“She wants to spend more time with her, that’s a good thing. However, if you are not comfortable with pumping and sending her for a day, that’s ok. Is it possible to have her come to your house an extra day each week, or even all of you just spending another day together? I was fine with my mom taking my kids for a day at that age, but they were ff so there’s a big difference. Raising your child the way you see best (provided no harm is being done), is never wrong.“
I really loved the advice from the community. I think there are many ways that your mother-in-law could spend time with your 6-month-old daughter. She could watch her in between feeds to allow you to rest, run errands, or anything else that needs to be done.
If she has never breastfed before, she might not really understand what it means to be separated. If your daughter has never taken a bottle, she might refuse to take one now that she is 6-months-old. If you are able to explain to her that once she starts taking a cup and eating solids and breastfeeding less, you would love to let her take your daughter for a day. You will probably be introducing the cup soon, which can really help.
Don’t feel bad for saying no; just give her other options to spend more time with her. It is wonderful that she is taking such an active role in your daughter’s life. Grandparents are such a blessing to have in your baby’s life.
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Dawn Onye is a Certified Lactation Counselor. With this certification comes education and her own experience helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding. With her CLC, she is required to keep herself up to date on the research studies, conferences, and training related to breastfeeding. She chose this field not just because she is an advocate for the benefits of breastfeeding, but because she sincerely loves working with mothers and babies. Her mission is not to push breastfeeding on all mothers and babies, but to help all mothers reach the goals they have and to provide the expertise for them to do so. The most important thing in life is to do what is best for your family without judgment from others.
Dawn is also a wife and a mother. She has four children ranging from 12 to 19 years old. She can help many families with tips and tricks she has learned along the way. She loves to read and write. Her favorite seasons are spring and fall, although she does enjoy summers while spending time with her family. There has been no greater accomplishment in life for her than being a mother.