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Old 07-07-2012, 09:49 PM   #1
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Help! dd sobs when she sees grandparents

I will try to keep this brief

My dd is a happy 5 month old who gets fussy and upset when my inlaws come over. Not a big deal, except today she really wailed, seemed scared and had HUGE tears running down her face. This really upset my mil and even after a long afternoon visit she had warmed up somewhat to them, but I could tell she was still a little unsure. The thing is she doesn't do this with anyone else!

My DH is gone for two weeks for work and she is all smiles and happy to see him. My mom and sister see her about as often as the in laws and she adores both of them. I stopped in to luncheon with old co-workers (about 7 of them) and handed her to them the minute I came in the door and she was all smiles and let them pass her around. I even left for about 15 min. to go chat with others and she was great! I have friends we see once a month or less that she is fine with, but my inlaws was a disaster!

The past few visits with them I can tell she wasn't all that comfortable, but today was really bad and made the entire visit not go very well. I can't figure out why them?

I do know my mil wears strong perfume and my fil smokes cigars so I wonder if it is a smell thing (dd isn't around either of those things any other time). My husbands family can be loud... but she started crying just being within 3 feet of them even with my husband/me holding her.

DH now wants her to see them 1-2 times a week because he feels she just isn't use to them, but she sees other people even less often and doesn't have an issue. they live about 1.5 hours away and because he travels most of this would be on me.

I just can't figure this out? Does anyone have any ideas? She smiles and laughs at strangers why in the world does she seem frightened at her grandparents? And, I want her to know her grandparents and be happy with them (this isn't about me not wanting her to see them), but I am not convinced her sobbing is because she "doesn't remember them". I guess I feel like there is something else that bothers/upsets her about them (maybe the stronger smells/odors?)

If ANYONE has any ideas or theories about this please let me know I do have a very busy life (for being a sahm) especially since my husband travels 3 weeks a month and I am not looking forward to 1.5 hour drives one way 1-2 times a week (and there really isn't a good meet in the middle place). Plus, mil still works. This just has me baffled and I am hoping for a solution that doesn't require such a time commitment!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:52 PM   #2
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Re: Help! dd sobs when she sees grandparents

Time and patience.

All the grandchildren loved Papa except my youngest. He cried and wouldn't have anything to do with him. Now at 13 months he is more comfortable with him.

The more often she sees them the more comfortable she will get.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:03 PM   #3
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Re: Help! dd sobs when she sees grandparents

I agree that the more time she spend with them, the more comfortable she'll be. However, I think the smell thing could also be an issue. See if you and DH can find a way to suggest that your LO might be bothered by the smells and see if they can work on it, while y'all work on getting together more often.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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Re: Help! dd sobs when she sees grandparents

Personally I think it sounds cruel to forcibly subject an infant to people who clearly upset her. I'm not suggesting avoiding them, but increased visitation simply to "train" her out of her fear doesn't seem fair to her. It sounds like your DH is hurt because they are his parents, but I say suck it up (sorry!). Any of my children that have disliked relatives have gotten over it with age and I believe that your daughter will as well.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lissa~K View Post
Personally I think it sounds cruel to forcibly subject an infant to people who clearly upset her. I'm not suggesting avoiding them, but increased visitation simply to "train" her out of her fear doesn't seem fair to her. It sounds like your DH is hurt because they are his parents, but I say suck it up (sorry!). Any of my children that have disliked relatives have gotten over it with age and I believe that your daughter will as well.
Hee hee, I tended to not think it was such a big deal, but everyone else did and so I want to address the concerns they have. I am not comfortable forcing her to interact with them, because I think it will have thebopposite effect. Instead of getting happy and used to them, she will be upset and have a negative association.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:04 PM   #6
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Re: Help! dd sobs when she sees grandparents

I think it might be smells if that is not there with others......with grandparents.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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Re: Help! dd sobs when she sees grandparents

maybe compromise and do one visit a week for like a month and see what improves? do they approach her differently than other people do? too loud? too fast? too grabby? will they be receptive to trying a few things to see what works? perhaps coming in and letting her get comfortable, then you put her down to play and let her get comfortable, then they sit next to her and let that settle, and THEN they pick her up. Babies do get a vibe from people but they can also get overwhelmed by movement, smells, new sights like if they were glasses or something else that is new and scary. Do they come visit at times that are good for her? when she is well fed and well rested
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:12 PM   #8
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Re: Help! dd sobs when she sees grandparents

I would also have the in laws come to your house instead of you to theirs. Baby will be more likely to relax if she is on her own turf.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah
maybe compromise and do one visit a week for like a month and see what improves? do they approach her differently than other people do? too loud? too fast? too grabby? will they be receptive to trying a few things to see what works? perhaps coming in and letting her get comfortable, then you put her down to play and let her get comfortable, then they sit next to her and let that settle, and THEN they pick her up. Babies do get a vibe from people but they can also get overwhelmed by movement, smells, new sights like if they were glasses or something else that is new and scary. Do they come visit at times that are good for her? when she is well fed and well rested
Agreed. My DD hasn't liked SIL from the beginning. Too loud, too in her face and grabby, it scares her and I don't blame her. At 13 months she will warm up after a day but its touch and go. She only sees SIL a few times a year, but she is fine with other family members she sees less often. I really think babies are sometimes sensitive to certain, how do I say, personalities? Maybe that's a part of it too.

In any case, I wouldn't be forcing the issue on such a young baby. Visit once a month or twice, she will get used to them eventually.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:21 PM   #10
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OP, I could have written your post! My 5mo cries when mil so much as looks at her. It started recently. Its a different cry, too, like she's frightened. Weird. She, too, wears a lot of perfume and she smokes. I wondered if it was the perfume as well. My mom smokes and dd is fine with her. I'm not worried, I know she'll outgrow it. If your inlaws are upset, I would try to reassure them that it's temporary and perhaps suggest that the perfume and/or smoke might be a factor. Now that I think of it, when dd1 was an infant, she seemed uncomfortable with mil, and she was living with us at the time. It very well could be the smells!
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