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Depressed:In-laws keep holding my 3-month baby, I as a new mother rarely get a chance

Community Member

Hi all,

I am a new mother with a 3-month baby by c-section in September this year. I have been coping with taking care of the newborn by myself and finally start finding some rules. Recently, my father and mother in law come visit my family from overseas and some of their acts really make me depressed.

They have been holding, cuddling my baby all day long, from morning when I wake up, they just barge in never knock and take the baby away, when we go shopping they always insist on pushing the pram, out for dinner they hold the baby while eating even there is a very cozy pram nearby, at night my mother in law prefer to shake the baby to sleep and don't want to leave my room. So, I only hold and see my baby at night.

I have been feeling very lonely and sometimes miss my bub so much. I think I can take care of my own baby and I don't need a nanny. From time to time, they prefer their old-fashioned caring style and ignore my objection.

I have talked to my husband about my concern, but I am not sure if he is going to negotiate with them.

What do I do? Do I tell them straight away? I don't want to ruin a peaceful relationship.

Need help.

14 Replies 14

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Sydney, I can well and truly see your point of view, and absolutely agree with you, it's your baby and you should have total control, your in laws can't take over, but I doubt whether your husband will want to tell his parents, so I believe that you will need to say to them 'hang on mum she's/he's my baby and we do it this way'.
If the mum is holding the baby then take her/him off her, you will need to be strong, but remember they are from o/s, so the baby is yours not their's, it maybe a bit uncomfortable to begin with but it's your house, your marriage and your baby, they are just visitors.
Many parents and in laws are always telling you what to do, how to do it and not to do it that way, but you need to set up a daily rountine that suits you and the baby. Geoff. x

Community Member
I believe its just them trying to provoke something or maybe even an instinct that the mother and father in law have always had
They could be very overprotective and miss the whole nurturing a child thing
My mom for instance went over that phase and began thinking of adopting a child
The rest of the family disagreed and therefore she now owns 2 cats, 3 dogs and 2 turtles

Thats my most rational sense really, out of the info you posted.
I could be wrong
But you dont have to be depressed about it
Take it as a chance of learning and accepting of what your in-laws are like
They will most likely spoil your baby with toys later in its life which is fine but in another sense demeaning if youre in financial problems

and always remember your relationship with your grandparents
How they treated you differently compared to your parents
I loved my grandma from my dads side so much
They have an impact on the babies life

Surely they dont have the baby all the time
ofcourse you will have the breastfeeding or nappy change (as bad as it sounds) its still time spent with your bubba

Community Member

Hi Sydney. The position your hubby is in is : between a rock and a hard place. In-laws, mum's in particular always feel they know best because they've raised their kids and believe they 'know' baby's better. Sometimes they are a bit wiser, but you as the mum need to 'bond' with your baby and this can take time. Are you okay with your MIL generally, by that I mean can you talk to her? If you are comfortable with her, I suggest you say, thank you for being here, but when you had your baby (meaning your hubby), wasn't it fun getting to know him? It could be your MIL genuinely believes she is helping you. Let her know if you need help, she will be called on, but you want to get to know your baby and you need time for this. I would try the 'gentle approach' first. If that doesn't work, you may have to assert a bit more control.


Community Member

Hello, Pipsy. Thank you very much. I do not understand my in-laws' language, which is an obstacle that I have to bridge.

I will try to be nice. Trust me, there is a little culture barrier here.


Community Member

Hi Geoff, I will try but I cannot guarantee the result. I have tried asking them to give me some time to be with the baby. It seems that in-laws get together and try to persuade me they have more time and experience. If I make some people a little angry would that be a big deal? It would be normal, right? Everyone deserves to speak their minds.


hi Sydney, in laws and parents do have the experience, but that's exactly what you are learning at the moment, your own experience, just say to them 'thanks I will remember what you have said but I need to do it my way because that suits the baby more'.
My Mum used to interfere and my wife got really upset so I would cop all her criticism, so if they say they are coming over to your place say 'sorry but I'm going to a g/friends place', or tell them they can come over for a short time only, because you have a special dinner planned for your husband. Geoff. x

Community Member

Hi Sydney. Geoff's right when he says in-laws/parents do have the experience, but by the same token, the only way you're going to learn is by making mistakes. Everyone learns by 'trial and error'. My first MIL was an absolute gem. I wouldn't have even held my daughter if she hadn't been there. She was not an interfering MIL, far from it. I've heard so many stories about interfering MIL's. I think to give them a set time to visit, plus a set amount of time when they do visit is a wise idea. At 3 months you're still getting to know your baby and getting him/her into a routine. There's so many 'wives tales' re: holding, not holding, allowing them to cry, not allowing etc. Your baby has different cries for different needs. Listening and understanding what cry means what, can be confusing and if someone who thinks they 'know' more tells you he/she wants feeding/burping/changing etc, this gets more confusing. My daughter would literally scream when I held her, this was because I was ultra nervous. My ex MIL (she has since passed), told me one day to sit down, make myself comfortable, then she handed me my daughter. My daughter looked at me, screwed up her face, but before she could even whimper, my MIL told me to look at her, talk softly to her, introduce myself to her etc. I spent over half an hour with her and she just lay there and looked at me, eventually she smiled and I got my confidence. Perhaps allow parents/in laws to visit when bub is asleep or settled. This way, hopefully, they will limit the time.


Hi and Congratulations on the birth of your precious little one.

Yeah that would make you feel sad not being able to be with your own dear baby, like you would like. My heart goes out to you.

I am guessing here, if you in laws were aware that it makes you so sad being apart from your new little one, I think they would understand somehow, as they to appear to have much love to give out. Maybe it is just as you say.....it is a cultural barrier issue. Can't you hubby tell them it makes you so sad to be apart for so much of the time??

Are you in laws of the Greek nationality or one similar. I only ask this because I studied Greek culture. Your dear in laws sound like they may well be Greek. So if this is so then they probably believe the way they are doing things is a way of showing love and it just seems natural to them. How long are they visiting for?

Again congratulations, babies are ever so special. Your one seems loved ever so much.

Shell xx

Community Member
Thank you truly. I will tell them politely yet firmly with all my respect and thankfulness.