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Old 06-11-2008, 09:49 AM   #1
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"Bad" parenting or just different?

My stepdaughter and her baby are currently living with us. Hopefully they will be getting their own apartment around July 1st and moving out. She does things very differently than me. I guess I'm just wondering if it's really that "bad" or if it's just different. Some examples:

~Amy (the baby) takes most of her naps in her carseat in the house. She'll either hold her until she falls asleep then put her in there or else put her in the carseat and rock her until she falls asleep.

~For most of Amy's feedings she sets her in her carseat, puts her bottle in her mouth then puts blankets under it to hold it up, then goes and does whatever (usually that's outside to smoke and talk/text on the phone)

~She doesn't change her diaper anywhere near as often as I change Sean. But maybe the average sposie user goes several hours between diaper changes?

~She is almost always dressing her in tank tops and shorts or skirts. We keep our house at 68 degrees. I usually wear sweats or pajama pants and at least a t-shirt or I'm too cold.

I don't want to start a "mommy war" with this post. I'm just hoping that maybe the things that I see as potentially "bad" parenting aren't really that bad and are more just different from what I prefer to do. So, TIA for keeping it civil!
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
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Re: "Bad" parenting or just different?

Unfortunately a lot of sposie users don't change the diapers until they're sagging not realizing that they're supposed to be changed more frecuently. I hate seeing babies eating all alone in their carseats but it's so common that she may think it's the way it's supposed to be. I know that some FF friends of ours that do the same always get excited once their babies learn to hold their own bottles because it means that they have to keep checking them/fixing the bottles if they fall off the babie's mouths before they're done eating.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:02 AM   #3
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Re: "Bad" parenting or just different?

Falling asleep in the carseat isn't always a bad thing. Maybe the baby has reflux problems and sleeps better in the seat?

If Amy doesn't have any rashes then she might be getting changed enough. I definitely have to change Jayden more when he is in cloth vs. a sposie.

As for the clothes thing, does Amy's skin feel cold? Is she covered with a blanket? Jayden is a lot like me and has always been more hot then usual so I dress him according to how he is. Or perhaps your SD doesn't realize that Amy needs to dress a little warmer?

As for the feeding thing, I think that is way dangerous. Maybe you could offer to hold her and feed her? She is still so small and could possibly choke on her milk like that.

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Old 06-11-2008, 12:43 PM   #4
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Re: "Bad" parenting or just different?

I think most of those things you mentioned alone would not be "bad" parenting but all together it sounds somewhat neglectful...not like call CPS neglectful but maybe with some supportive guidance the mama could be a better parent---
good luck
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:02 PM   #5
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Re: "Bad" parenting or just different?

IMO I don't see any of those things are necessarily BAD. Unless Her baby is showing signs of being uncomfortable and most babies will let you know when they are. I do how ever see that their might be an issue with the baby eating unattended. Being just a few feet away is one thing but to go "outside" IMO is much to far to be able to get to your baby if needed to get there quick enough.

In regards to being in the carseat I read from Dr. Cathryn Tobin that baby's usually feel more comfortable in a carseat because it resembles being cradled in the womb.

It also seems that sposies need to be changed less than cloth dipes. I mean it's how they design them, for connivence not necessarily for health reasons. Maybe she doesn't really know when the appropriate time(amount of urine) a sposie needs to be changed?

As far as the tank top and shorts thing I believe it's a matter of the baby being uncomfortable which again the baby will let you know and maybe just look to see if the baby's skin has some pickling and as a another mama suggested just put a blanket over the babe. Then maybe just graciously say "I noticed your Lo's skin was a bit pickled, I put a blanket on , I hope you don;t mind?"

These issues IMO aren't merit enough to start tension in your household. It's hard enough just having long term guests. Spare yourself the drama.

As I am noticing first hand being a first time mom has so many pressures. Just creatively post those parenting guides so she find her own path to raising "her" child. She needs support not criticism and make suggestions out of Love not fear. Just keep leading a loving parenting example and hopefully she'll catch on. Confronting her dead on might just send her in the opposite direction.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:45 AM   #6
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Re: "Bad" parenting or just different?

This is a tough one. I don't think she is a bad parent, but could use some guidance.

IMO, the bottle propping and sleeping in the car seat can be dangerous. Letting babies sleep in car seats has been linked to death and life threatening breathing problems. The position of the head and neck when the infant is in an upright position is what leads to difficulty breathing. Having said that, I did on occasion let DS sleep in his seat. If he fell asleep in the car, I would bring him in and sit with him while he slept.

It is really hard being a new mom. She may be too overwhelmed to take in a lot of new information. Would she go to a new mothers group? Maybe talking to other new mothers would be a better way to learn about being a mom. It may be perceived as being less threatening.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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Re: "Bad" parenting or just different?

Well I think the bottle propping is abhorrent.


Does she have a place to put the baby to sleep other than the car seat? I mean lots of moms put babies to sleep in swings so *I* don't see how it's much different... (albeit it a hard habit to break)

The other stuff isn't so on top of it but it's what she does. Maybe you can pick on of them and suggest she alter the way she does it and suggest trying to do another way because of x, y, z reasons... but in the end, if she wasn't with you- you wouldn't know she does it this way... so what can you do
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:07 AM   #8
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Re: "Bad" parenting or just different?

I'd say mostly new Mom different. I did some of those things with my DS until I learned any better and I was pretty young at the time. I never left my DS alone with the bottle prop thing, but there were a couple of times that I propped it while doing the dishes etc. He was right next to me in a highchair. I'm giggling at the carseat thing because my DD slept in her carseat next to my bed for her first month! She was a last minute C-section and had this gugling thing because of fluid not getting pushed out of her lungs. I was sooooooo afraid she would drown on her own fluid that she was propped up every time she slept (we even propped her crib mattress for a few months). Anyway, feel free to put a word of wisdom in there now and again but try not to be offended if she doesn't take it well...she is the Mom and is learning like the rest of us
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:09 AM   #9
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Re: "Bad" parenting or just different?

Oh...my babies are always in T shirts and shorts too. As little ones they were always in blankets though...but we all run a little hot down here in the south and like to feel cool.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:23 AM   #10
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Re: "Bad" parenting or just different?

I agree with the pp - not exactly bad, but different. I might bring up the car seat, though. Extended sitting in that position isn't good for babies - it puts stress on parts of the spine for a long period of time and can mess with alignment.
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